How does sound healing heal? (and what it doesn’t do)
Sound healing heals on mental, physical, energetic, and spiritual levels. I believe that healing with sound is possible on these levels through the vibrational energy of the singing bowls. And also through a growing awareness of our experience in the present moment as we deeply listen to the bowls and to ourselves. Sound healing is a meditation that takes you deeply within.
The bowls can help to reduce stress, put the body into a state of restorative rest that promotes healing, and can align and balance our subtle energy.
But I also caution people from thinking that it is a “cure”. The benefits of sound healing work to bring us into a state of awareness and a place where the mind, body, and energy come together for healing. This allows the true healing to come from within us. And this increased knowledge and balance can prompt also to sometimes seek additional outside help from professionals, which can all be part of our awareness and healing journey. Learning more about how sound healing heals is part of your healing journey also.
Healing through Awareness
One way in which sound healing heals is through awareness. Sound healing is an amazing journey of sound and vibration that can give us practice in deep listening. When we experience sound we become more aware of the following:
- Thoughts / emotions
- Subtle energy / chakras
- Sound of the singing bowls and sound in the environment
Self-awareness is the most important part of healing. Once we have awareness, we have an idea of where our energy needs to go to heal.
For example, we may realize that we need more restorative self-care like sound healing to relieve our stress which is wreaking havoc on the body. Or our increasing awareness of changes or pain could prompt us to see professional medical or psychological assistance.
Awareness truly is the first step on any healing journey and singing bowls are an amazing place to slow down and deeply listen to the bowls and to ourselves.
Sound Healing and the Parasympathetic Nervous System Response
When we come into a sound healing session, we are setting ourselves up for an experience of slowing down. Even if our mind feels busy or our body is fidgety, we are doing less than our everyday running. You can get an idea of how sound healing heals through how you might feel before or after a session.
Sympathetic nervous system
In our daily lives, we are constantly bombarded with information, technology, and to-do lists. This takes a toll on our system and can leave us feeling drained and lacking creativity. When we are constantly ON and running, our sympathetic nervous system (the fight, flight, freeze system) and ON.
We need the sympathetic nervous system to take action when needed. But some of us may be stuck in that state of alertness and arousal and lack the ability to transition in and out of that state as necessary.
Parasympathetic nervous system
To find more balance, we should be able to move into the sympathetic nervous system state when needed and out of it and into the parasympathetic nervous system state when we need rest. The parasympathetic state is our “rest and digest” state. This is where the healing in the mind, body, spirit, and energy happen.
So if we’re constantly ON and running, we might not be transitioning into that rest and digest state as needed. This might leave us feeling digestive issues, stress, fatigue, and anxiety.
Sound healing with singing bowls is a beautiful place to allow yourself to practice moving into the parasympathetic nervous system state. It’s a time to get still, go within and notice, and to practicing listening with kindness. This enables your energy to restore itself and go where it needs to go to best heal and support you.
Balancing our responses
This is a practice that literally needs practice. Each time we come into a sound healing session, we are practicing that flexibility of moving into the parasympathetic nervous system state. It’s this flexibility and resilience to move back and forth into these two needed states that will allow us to serve our true purpose while honoring our minds and bodies.
Sound Healing and the Chakras
In a sound healing session, each singing bowl corresponds to a particular note and that note links up to one of the seven main chakras, or energetic centers in the body. When you experience the sound of the bowls the energy of your charkas which could be a little open or a little closed (excessive or deficient) can start to move towards balance.
This balance isn’t achieved in a single session, but it’s a layering of our energy to the most harmonious state. Each experience with sound healing brings us closer to aligning into our energy and our true purpose.
What sound healing with singing bowls DOES NOT DO
I get a little scared sometimes when people come to me for sound healing with the expectation that it will cure or heal their major medical condition or pain. I know that some do believe this and I’m not discounting their beliefs because I’ve seen some amazing things happen from sound sessions. But this piece is really my opinion as an experiencer and practitioner of the bowls.
I believe that working with sound can put your mind, body, and energy into a state that is most conducive to healing, but that it cannot cure a medical or psychological condition. It won’t get rid of a specific pain.
Have I had people leave a sound session with relief from physical pain in a specific part of the body? Yes. Many times actually, but pain is very complex and I go back to the idea that the sound places them into restorative rest, reduces stress, and puts them into a state of alignment. I also tell them to check with a doctor for any pain even if they feel relief from a sound session.
Just as I teach in meditation the process of experiencing sound healing is about noticing with interest.
You may experience relief in a physical pain part of the body. And that’s awesome, but persistent pain needs to be explored by a doctor.
You may feel a release of stress as a result of your sound session. I do believe that sound healing is an amazing way to come into present moment awareness with deep listening that helps us understand the thoughts that are the undercurrent of our stress. But sometimes we need a good psychologist or other doctor to work with making changes to those thoughts.
Wrapping up how sound healing heals
Much of seeing how sound healing heals is about you actually experiencing it. Individual experiences are so different and I do believe that the benefits are beyond what we might be able to express in words.
I hope that sound healing becomes a part of your healing journey no matter what it might be or where it might take you. It is an amazing holistic tool for learning about yourself and improving the way that you communicate with others. And it gives you a grounding place to see additional places to enhance your health and your life from a point of awareness and kindness to yourself.
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