The Benefits of Sound Bathing
A sound bath is (almost) exactly what it sounds like; a meditative experience in which participants are being “bathed” in sound waves, which can result in actual health benefits. Read on to learn more about the history of sound as a healing tool, how a modern sound bath can address stress, and even how you can experience one yourself for free.
First, let’s elaborate a little on how a sound bath works. During a sound bathing session, participants lie on their back (a position known as the Savasana pose in yoga) and listen to sounds produced by instruments like singing bowls, tuning forks, gongs, and chimes. Unlike the music you'll likely find on the radio or your favorite Spotify playlist, these sounds don't have a catchy beat or rhythm your brain can hook onto. Instead, they've been specially arranged to feel like a calming wash that encourages your mind to let go of any thoughts.
While today sound baths are growing in popularity in meditation studios across the country, sound has been used as a healing tool by multiple cultures for hundreds of years. For example, Tibetan monks have long since used singing bowls to sink into their stress-relieving meditation practices, while the Ancient Greeks used flutes to improve digestion and promote sleep.
So exactly can a sound bath bring about such powerful healing? Firstly, sound bathing is a meditative experience that prompts participants to lay down, listen to the waves of sound, and let go of racing thoughts. In fact, many people find it easier to release their ideas, worries, and emotions while listening to sound than in the quiet environment of a traditional meditation session. We know that stress can affect everything from your sleep to your skin, so by addressing this anxiety, sound bathing can foster holistic health. Additionally, studies have shown that certain types of music can lower blood pressure and pulse rate, and assist the parasympathetic nervous system, which plays a role in your digestion.