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ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES: My First-Hand Journey with Sound Baths


Singing bowls are bowl-shaped bells traditionally crafted from metal alloys like bronze or brass, originating from Buddhist cultures in the Himalayas. They vibrate and produce a rich, sustained tone when struck gently or circled with a mallet around the rim, eventually transitioning into a unique 'singing' sound as varying frequencies overlap. More recently, crystal singing bowls made of quartz crystal have also become popular. Used for meditation, religious practices, music, and relaxation, their resonant tones are believed to induce deep meditative states, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote overall well-being. Singing bowl sessions involve playing the metal or crystal bowls individually or together, sometimes with chanting or other instruments, creating a range of harmonic, calming overtones.
 

On a serene Saturday evening, I ventured out to experience the intriguing world of sound bath therapy. With an open mind, neither excited nor reserved, I prepared to immerse myself in this alternative self-care practice.


Upon arriving at the urban oasis, I slipped off my shoes and settled onto a cozy blanket, one of about 20 spots on the floor. Welcoming women, seasoned in sound bath rituals, shared their experiences, promising a refreshed and relaxed state awaited me. Some had been practicing sound therapy for a decade, piquing my curiosity.


As I adjusted my position, the "therapist" introduced the concept, explaining that the vibrations would emanate from crystal singing bowls, resonating at times with the Earth's 432 Hz frequency.


Guided by spoken words and melodic bowl tones, I eased into a meditative state. The soothing soundscape enveloped me, occasionally punctuated by a bird's tweet or a motorcycle's roar from the street. After about 20 minutes, my body completely relaxed, and I drifted into a light slumber, only awakening when my body temperature lowered – a puzzling yet intriguing sensation.


Refocusing on the meditative instructions, I released my worries, affirmed my self-worth, and rotated my body from side to side, fully immersed in the practice, enhanced by the gentle aromas of essential oils.


As the session concluded, we all lingered for a moment, stretching and regaining clarity, wishing we could simply lie back down and sleep for hours. The seasoned participants were correct – I felt rejuvenated. The experience lingered in my thoughts throughout the journey home, and that night, I experienced the most restful and peaceful sleep in quite some time.


Science Behind the Serenity


According to research conducted by Thoma et al. (2017), incorporating sound-based practices into your routine can bring a sense of calm and tranquility to even the busiest day. Dr. Ryan C. Warner, clinical psychologist and founder of RC Warner Consulting, explains:


"Sound has a profound impact on our nervous system, with certain frequencies and rhythms having the power to induce a relaxation response. For clients struggling with anxiety or chronic stress, incorporating sound-based practices into their daily routine can be incredibly beneficial in fostering a sense of calm and equilibrium."


Dorothy Tannahill-Moran, founder of Aurras, believes sound-based practices can be an inexpensive "refresh" to a busy day.


"Incorporating [sound] into our daily lives can be a game-changer," Tannahill-Moran says. "It doesn't have to be costly or complicated. A person can quickly darken a room, incorporate aromatherapy, put on earbuds, hit play on their sound bath for stress reduction, and close their eyes — even for 5 minutes."


As a sound healer, Tannahill-Moran finds the true reward in the shift in consciousness she witnesses in her clients, who come from all walks of life and have integrated sound baths into their self-care routines. Other reported benefits include improved sleep quality, reduced anxiety, and boosts in focus and productivity.


Tracking Your Harmonic Journey


As sound therapy emerges as a pathway to cultivate inner peace and inspiration, experts recommend monitoring your progress over time. Rikki Clark McCoy, licensed therapist and founder of Flourishing Minds, advises:


"Keep a journal, do regular self-check-ins, and note any mind-body shifts like better sleep or an energized state. Get clear on your goals - whether it's maximum relaxation, stress relief, or heightened focus and presence you're after. Consistency is key. Aim to make sound therapy a regular ritual, either daily or weekly."


McCoy's parting wisdom? "Stay open to exploring different sonic pathways. The technique that resonates most deeply may shift and evolve over time."


By embracing sound therapy as a transformative practice, you can embark on a journey of self-care and self-discovery, cultivating a harmonious balance between your inner world and overall well-being. Let the echoes of inspiration guide you towards a life lived with intentionality, authenticity, and profound clarity.

 

Ready to further your journey? Take our BYG! Self-Care Beyond Bubble Baths class. It is self-paced and features videos, handouts, and a personalized self-care toolkit. Just $99, the cost of a traditional massage or manicure/pedicure. Welcome to Emotional Freedom.



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