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A few months ago, I was gallivanting around a mall in Gurugram, when I came across a poster that read ‘sound bath healing’. I was quite intrigued, and once home, all I did was to research on Google about what a sound bath really meant! To my surprise, this meditation technique is popular the world over, and both Bollywood and Hollywood celebs have been going gaga over its benefits. That’s when I decided, it’s time for me to give sound bath a shot!
Decoding a sound bath
The very mention of a sound bath fills your mind with images of a bubble-soaked bath, and some jazz music for company. Sorry ladies, but that’s not what it means—you don’t literally take a bath!
Instead, it is a deeply immersive meditative experience that uses sounds to invite gentle and restorative processes to nourish the mind and body. Although sound baths have lately become popular, they’ve been around for over 40,000 years. Legend goes that ancient Greeks and Tibetans used singing bowls to soothe the mind.
And if you’re someone who is perpetually stressed, you’ll feel energised like never before.
“Sound is said to be the medicine of the future, and that future is now. Sound heals and heals at the cellular level, and a sound bath heals while giving each cell in your body a vibrational wash. The cells have a spa,” shares Preeta Pradhan, a wholeness coach and sound healer.
Here’s what to expect during a sound bath
Most sound bath programs range from 45 to 60 minutes, and are led by a sound bath practitioner, who is trained in using different instruments—gongs, tuning forks and singing bowls—to heal a participant through sound waves.
Participants are generally asked to lie down on a yoga mat, put on an eye mask, and make themselves fully comfortable. The sound healer then begins with a humming exercise, that starts at a low pitch and goes on to the highest.
Each session begins by setting an intention or goal, like gratitude and self-care, so that participants can focus on it throughout the session. The sound healer then plays different sounds and you can literally feel the waves wash over you. No wonder, it’s called a sound bath!
People experience all kinds of physical and mental sensations, but most commonly, their body and mind feels completely relaxed. In fact, I caught a few winks during the session, as I kept my attention focused on the sound.
“Relaxation and meditation are spontaneous and effortless, healing is intentional. Sound frequencies expand the vibrations of the intention and allow manifestation,” says Preeta.
These are the benefits of a sound bath
There’s a reason why sound baths have become so popular in the last few years:
1. Reduces stress and anxiety
The sounds created by different instruments used during a sound bath are believed to activate alpha and theta waves in the brain that are associated with deep meditative states. When one is able to access these states, there’s great scope for healing the body and mind. That’s exactly why a sound bath helps to lower stress and anxiety!
2. Impacts the human nervous system and decreases blood pressure
According to a paper by J.M. Landry titled ‘Physiological and psychological effects of a Himalayan singing bowl in meditation practice’, Himalayan singing bowls are believed to impact the human nervous system and reduce blood pressure. In some cases, listening to these vibrations during a sound bath can also reduce respiratory issues.
3. Improves mental well-being
A study from 2016 found that those who experienced a sound bath reported less tension, anger, fatigue, and depression. Feelings of spiritual well-being also increased, and this was most visible in those who tried this meditative practice for the first time. In fact, it also helped with an improved sleep pattern!
“The use of sound is believed to do many things, including ‘realigning our chakras’ and ‘mind expansion’. Seven minutes of sound makes the cells entrain, 20 minutes create manifestation, and changes the composition of blood cells. And 45 minutes transports you to a different realm,” shares Preeta.
So what are you waiting for? Try a sound bath session today to feel relaxed like never before!