What is Sound Healing?

Sound Healing

Sound healing is the therapeutic application of sound frequencies to the body/mind of a person with the intention of bringing them into a state of harmony and health.

Sound Healing can be transmitted to a person in a number of ways:-

  • Through using their own voice
  • Through using their voice with other voices
  • Through using their own voice while listening to music
  • Through listening to another person’s voice or a number of voices
  • Through listening to an instrument or instruments
  • Through listening to music or sound through a loudspeaker or headphones

How Does Sound Healing Work?

Each organism has its own vibratory rate. Every object in the universe has its own unique resonant frequency. Tap a wineglass and it will emit a ringing sound determined by its size, shape and the thickness.

When an opera singer vibrates a glass with her voice the singer has matched her voice to the resonant frequency of the glass and set it into vibration. As the singer increases the volume of her sound the resonance becomes too great for the forces that hold the glass together and it shatters. Luckily, our bodies are more flexible than a glass! The cells of our body enjoy the vibration of sound.

If one 'C' tuning fork is struck and placed next to another 'C' tuning fork, the second tuning fork will begin to resonate together with the first tuning fork. The sound wave from the first tuning fork has imparted some of its energy to the second one.

If the stem of the tuning fork is placed on a metal, glass or wooden object, this object will begin to vibrate. A simple experiment can be conducted by placing a tuning fork on the top of one's head. You will find that bone is an excellent conductor of sound.

  • In air sound travels at 340 metres per second (760mph).
  • In water sound travels at 1,500 metres per second (3,350mph).
  • In glass sound travels at 5,600 metres per second (12,500mph).

The human body is made up of 70% water; this makes it a very good conductor of sound.

Modern medicine now uses sound waves to break up kidney and gallstones in the body. The machine used is called a Lithotripter. This machine bombards the stones with a specific sound frequency for one to two hours. The patient is admitted in the morning and discharged in the evening. Generally no anaesthetic is needed. With most patients only one treatment is necessary to break the stones down. The pulverised stone is passed out of the body through the urine.

Every organ, every bone, every cell in the body has its own resonant frequency. Together they make up a composite frequency like the instruments of an orchestra. When one organ in the body is out of tune it will affect the whole body.

Through the principle of resonance it is possible to use sound to bring the body back into harmony hence avoiding the need for drugs or surgery.

Entrainment

In 1665 a Dutch scientist Christian Huygens, 'discovered' the principle of 'entrainment'. This principle states that whenever two or more oscillators in the same field are pulsing at nearly the same rate, they tend to lock in and begin pulsing at exactly the same rate. The powerful rhythmic vibrations from one source will cause less powerful vibrations of another source to lock into the vibration of the first source.

Systems theory states that; "the less diversity there is in a system the more energy it will conduct." It takes less energy to pulse in cooperation that in opposition. The composer Paul Hindemith said "People who make music together cannot be enemies, at least while the music lasts!"

Nature seeks the most efficient state. We see the law of entrainment in action when birds fly together in migration; they will flap their wings together and glide at the same time to save energy. Women who work or live together will often find that their menstrual cycles will synchronize.

Itzhak Bentov illustrates this phenomenon in his book 'Stalking the Wild Pendulum'. If you place a number of grandfather clocks on a wall with pendulums all swinging at different rates within a few hours all the pendulums will be swinging at the same speed!

The principle of entrainment can be experienced when one sings in a choir. If you are singing next to someone with a strong voice it is easy to sing your part. If the person with the strong voice is singing a different part to you it becomes much harder to hold your part.

If you sing a strong clear harmonious sound to a person who is sick or out of balance their body will lock into your powerful healing sound. The principles of resonance and entrainment are both at work in a sound healing treatment.

Recent scientific research has identified specific sound frequencies, which relate to different parts of the body. Therapeutic application of the appropriate sound frequencies can help disorders in those parts of the body.

If a part of our body is out of balance we can retune it like tuning a piano. If a piano is out of tune, do we drug the offending key or rip out the offending piano wire? This is precisely what we do to the human body.

Rudolph Steiner said: - There will come a time when a diseased condition will not be described as it is today by physicians and psychologists, but it will be spoken of in musical terms, as one would speak of a piano that was out of tune.

Intention

Jonathan Goldman in his book 'Healing Sounds - The Power of Harmonics' says: - "When we have learned techniques for harmonic toning, the human voice is able to create nearly every frequency, at least within the bandwidth of audible frequency".

Jonathan offers the simple formula: - "Frequency plus Intention equals Healing". If we can find the right sound frequency coupled with the right intention then healing will occur.

Intention is another important principle underlying the way sound healing works. If we sing a pure sound to another person with a pure intention then healing will occur.

Every action we perform has a conscious or unconscious intention behind it. We can see the principle of intention at work when a mother sings her baby to sleep. In a Sound Healing treatment, the sound carries our intention to the person receiving treatment.

Voices

Research in the USA has shown that certain sounds are under stress in our voices. These sounds correspond to imbalances in our bodies. Changing our voice pattern changes our brain wave frequencies and reduces illness.

Removing the stress frequencies in the voice has helped to reduce high blood pressure; it has helped diabetes, emphysema, and eye problems, reduced pain and speeded up the bodys healing.

Our voice is the ultimate healing instrument. All of us have the ability to create pure tone and vocal harmonics. There is a Sufi saying that "The voice is the only instrument made by God. All other instruments were made by man."

Toning is an easily learnt skill that begins to free the voice again. Regular toning helps to re-energise the body and restore health to the mind, body and spirit. There is a saying in Germany that ' bad men don't sing'!

When groups of people tone together, it produces a tremendous feeling of connectedness.

Laurel Elizabeth Keys in her book 'Toning the Creative Power of the Voice' says: - "A whiny weak voice will suck in negativity, attracting lingering illness like cancer, asthma, allergies, tumors, rheumatism and arthritis. No healing will be possible until the person reverses their tonal pattern".

Laurel discovered toning by accident. One day her body became filled with a sound so great that she had to express it: - "Each time I toned, my body felt exhilarated, alive as it had never felt before, a feeling of wholeness and extreme well-being".

EVERYTHING IN NATURE IS VIBRATING.

Our body has a whole number of rhythms:-

  • Heartbeat - normally between 60 and 75 beats per minute (Resting 60 / Average activity 72)
  • Breath - normally 14 to 16 breaths per minute
  • Cranio-sacral pulse - 8 to12 times per minute
  • Gastrointestinal tract - contracts once a minute
  • Stomach - contracts every three minutes
  • Brain waves - waking state 18 to 22 cycles per second (see earlier in the book)
  • Body temperature - changes from day to night

All these rhythms will be affected by the drumbeat.

When we are in a state of stress our heart beat can increase to 87 beats per minute. When we are deeply relaxed this rate will fall to around 57 beats per minute.

The regular rhythm of the drumbeat will entrain our heartbeat to its rhythm. In a healing session we may take a person's pulse to determine their heart rate then begin playing at that rate. Over a period of ten minutes we can gradually reduce the drum beat rate to help the person to relax. We can watch their breathing rhythm to gauge how quickly their heart rate and breathing rate has entrained to our beat.

(Article written by Simon Heather who is Principal of The College of Sound Healing.)