7 Different Types of Sound Healing Techniques and the Benefits of Sound Therapy

The concept of sound healing as an alternative medicine might raise some eyebrows. After all, it is a little hard to understand how sound waves and vibration can help your body heal.

But this alternative method of healing indeed works. Let’s take musical sound, for example. Music has long been known to be therapeutic and has been used as a sound healing technique since ancient times. Greek philosophers have attested to its healing powers. The Bible also tells of the story of King Saul whose depression was cured by the soothing sounds David’s harp.

Aside from musical instruments, there are other types of sound that are used as sound healing techniques. One of these is the human voice which is also being used to heal several ailments. 

What are the benefits of sound healing?

Sound healing is believed to help in the treatment of stress, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep problems, and chronic pain. According to sound healing practitioners, through vibration, the cells in the body are being harmonized by sound, thus promoting healing.

There are several techniques that are being used in sound healing. Below are the most popular ones that are being used today:

 1. Tibetan Bowls

Tibetan Bowl for Sound Healing

Tibetan singing bowls are sometimes referred to as standing bells. Aside from being used as a musical instrument, usually for new age music, they are also widely used for religious practices like Buddhist meditation and chanting.

The most interesting role of Tibetan singing bowls, though, are its uses for sound healing. They are often used to restore the normal vibrational frequency of the body because of the wide range of sounds they produce.

According to Jevon Dangeli, a hypnotherapy expert, the healing process takes place through entraining our brainwaves to synchronize with the perfect resonance of the bowls. “Unique tones create the perfect state for deep meditation, creative thinking, and intuitive messages.”

It is said that the deep sounds coming from Tibetan bowls will help in healing several ailments including stress disorders, depression, and most forms of diseases.

“Happy people have higher frequencies, and for this reason, are less prone to disease,” says Chana of the Natural Health Zone.

2. Gong Bath

Gong Bath for Sound Healing

A gong bath or sound bath is a very ancient Asian sound healing technique. It is said to produce an amazing sense of well-being through the vibration of all the water within the body. It is called a “bath” because participants are going to bathe in sound waves.

Gong baths are like massages. So, it is a good alternative for people who are thrilled with the idea of a massage but don’t really want to be touched. 

RonaLynn of the Gong Bath Meditations says that the sounds generated during a gong bath meditation produce a wide range of harmonics that create vibrations. “Both ancient wisdom and modern science believe these vibrations bring your whole self into harmony, and that it is this harmonic state that allows for healing,” she says.

3. Tuning Fork

Tuning Fork for Sound Healing

Tuning forks have been used for centuries to determine if a musical instrument is in tune. But who would have thought that it can also help in healing the body?

A website called Experience Life said that tuning forks started as a tool by orthopedists to detect stress fractures in large bones. Later on, sound therapists begin using their vibrations to increase the amount of energy in parts of the body that they are trying to heal. These “good vibes” will then help in relaxation, balancing the nervous system, and increasing physical energy.

Now, how does healing take place? A Healthy Diet Base article details how it works:

“Once the fork is struck, its metal body starts to vibrate. When it does, the surrounding airspace vibrates with the same frequency of vibration too. The vibration in the space “alters” the body’s biochemistry. It restores the balance in the chakras, keeping the muscles, nervous system and organs in perfect harmony.” 

 4. Om Chanting

Om Chanting for Sound Healing

Probably most of us are familiar with chanting. One of the most popular chanting music that we know today includes Gregorian chant. When you listen to chanting, you will notice that you will be transported to a different universe.

Om chanting is different, however. It is actually a mantra or a sacred utterance which is usually chanted at the start and finish of yoga sessions.

An article called The Healing Power of Sound, chanting is the first step to meditation. And, it also helps in maintaining health and well-being.

“Research shows that chanting can stabilize heart rate, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, produce endorphins and aid the process of metabolism,” it says. “Chanting can also help the mind focus, which alleviates stress levels.”

5. Classical Music

classical music for sound healing

There is a reason why Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and all those great classical musical geniuses live in the hearts of people until today. When we listen to their music, we are somehow transported to this perfect world where good things take place.

Classical music is used to enhance learning and creativity, for pregnancy and child development, and is also a very important tool for sound healing. According to Experience Life, classical music can even help address physical ailments like high blood pressure and muscle tension.

There is actually a term called music therapy which is increasingly used as a sound healing technique to help patients who are suffering from different ailments. According to Frederick News Post, “those who practice music therapy are finding benefit in using music to help patients with depression, tension, anxiety, etc.”

In this article in Classical MPR, Cynthia Yager shares her story on how classical music helped to heal her mind after undergoing surgery.

6. Humming

humming for sound healing

Humming is one of our initial reactions when we are feeling happy. It is actually a very simple sound but it greatly reflects our emotion. And the great thing is, almost everyone has the capability of humming. 

Did you know that this simple act can actually help keep you healthy? Research says that humming can reduce stress, enhance sleep, promote calmness, and even produce powerful happy chemicals in the brain such as oxytocin.

An article in Psychology Today, says that humming can also improve airflow between the sinuses and the nasal cavity. “This may help protect the health of your sinuses.” 

Aside from this, the article also mentioned that humming also plays an important role in meditation and is often used in yoga. This helps calm the mind and relieve stress. 

7. Kirtan

Kirtan for Sound Healing

The practice of Kirtan is often used in sound healing. It is actually derived from Bhakti which is a path of Hinduism that emphasizes divine emotional attachment and love.

Kirtan is a form of music that narrates, recites, tells, and describes an idea of a story. In a kirtan practice, a leader or wallah will sing the mantra and the audience will sing it back. Through this exchange, the audience will be able to connect with everyone.

According to MindBodyGreen, kirtan gives you the ability to meditate, practice free expression, learn how to give and receive, and embrace vulnerability. As you absorb all of these abilities, you will receive inner healing.

Is Sound Healing The Answer For Wellness?

Sound healing has potential to make it in the mainstream although it is not as popular as other natural forms of alternative healing. In fact, it has been predicted that sound therapy or sound healing will be the medicine of the future. Read our article on Sound Therapy Healing and What Sound Therapy Is Used For to learn more about it.

As more studies are done for sound healing, more and more people are considering it as an acceptable treatment for a lot of ailments.

About the author

Dr. Gala Gorman is a licensed Acupuncturist, Naturopath, and Author who offers expert advice and programs to help people prevent disease. She uses advanced techniques that "reverse the clock" on aging. She founded the Delta Discovery Center with her partner, Charlie Frangos, to provide a place for self-discovery and healing on Hilton Head Island and beyond. Dr. Gala helps people learn to be their own health advocates.