How Sound and Light Therapies Work on the Mind-Body Connection
Sound has long been associated with health benefits, from elevating your mood to relieving stress levels. If you’ve ever taken a meditative sound bath or immersed yourself in soothing music or chanting, then you have likely experienced the transformative power of sound healing firsthand.
Ancient Greece used sound therapy to treat mental disorders like anxiety and depression. While its exact mechanism remains uncertain, research suggests sound waves can stimulate the brain into a meditative state known as theta, which then lowers brain waves for deep relaxation and emotional release.
Light is a universal healing force that has been an integral part of human culture for thousands of years. It has long been linked to increased immunity, better sleep and enhanced mental clarity.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Psychophysiology, light and sound are particularly effective at treating anxiety and stress. In this experiment, participants were exposed to low-frequency white light waves from a light machine as well as soothing sounds played through a sound machine. After exposure to these therapies, most participants spent most of their time in theta waves – evidence that light and sound therapies work on the mind-body connection to improve moods and reduce anxiety levels.
Many sound therapists provide personalized sessions, while others cater to group experiences. In a private session, you’ll listen to music or binaural beats while sitting comfortably, often with a blanket covering your lap. Some practitioners also utilize sound bowls or other percussion instruments with vibrating frequencies which can stimulate different parts of the body.
Chanting and Kirtan are popular forms of group sound therapy that may induce an altered state of consciousness. They offer a way to connect with the divine, cultivate mindfulness, and show compassion toward others.
Vibroacoustic Therapy is a form of sound therapy that utilizes sound waves to aid the body’s healing process. In this type of therapy, a practitioner plays low-frequency vibrations through a transducer onto a mat or bed so the client can physically feel them.
Sound therapy is another type of sound therapy, in which you listen to therapist-guided sounds that can enhance memory, reduce stress and anxiety, as well as increase oxytocin – the hormone associated with love and bonding. Although these treatments have powerful effects, it’s wise to start slowly and build up over time.
Some sound therapists also employ meditation techniques, such as visualisation or breathing exercises, during a session. These practices can encourage deep breathing and relaxation, helping clients reach an optimal state of calm that is essential for reaping all the benefits from sound therapy.
Sound healing techniques come in many forms, yet all work the same way: To relax the mind, body and soul. By doing so, we can achieve a deeper, regenerative level of wellness which can be difficult to find in our hectic lives.