The Science Behind Sound Therapy - What’s Really Happening in your Energy and Sound Session with me?
June 28, 2018
Here's a little about the science behind sound healing and the psychological function happening within my sound and energy healing sessions and workshops.
Entering the Chilled Zone
The act of listening to sound which has no language is an accelerated way to enter a relaxed state, a state of alpha, or hopefully theta, which differs for each person, depending on how much they can deeply relax. These brain states have a lower cognitive function, and the brain is moving at fewer cycles per second, (basically it’s doing less work)!
Most people generally operate in a state of beta, this is a "switched on state", where the mind can process lots of information throughout the day, and this helps when we are managing many tasks, being busy through daily tasks to get things done. The left hemisphere of the brain is largely in focus here, and is the realm of thought, logic, analysis, language, practicality, routine, and intelligence based on mental reasoning.
Sound healing focuses on sound without words, which is important, because by the removal of “words” , which although relaxing, still encourages some left brain processing, we can enter more deeply into a different part of the brain.
Unlike songs which utilise language to tell a story, sound therapy brings about sounds from instruments, such as singing bowls, pipes, gongs, drums etc and voice, (which emanates feeling via emotional projection and identification, not from words). The vibrations from the repetitive sounds also allow the brain to focus, and as a type of meditation, your body can relax, and even attune it's physiological make-up to the same resonance as the instrument. You are then also maneuvered into the right brain hemisphere. The function here is concerned more with the visual arena, and opens to feeling, intuition, imagination and holistic awareness. It’s where the “creative” dominates.
Time for Restoration
As suggested above, because of the relaxing and repetitive sounds being made, the reticular activating system, which is like the brains primal executive, can relax, (this is the mechanism also constantly surveying your environment for danger, arising from the left hemisphere). Once in a more relaxed state, we move deeply into Alpha, or theta and the visual journey is opened up.
Promotion of Peaceful "Para"dise
This then leads to a positive affect on the nervous system. Triggering a parasympathetic response, which is your body’s way of letting go, restoring and unwinding, after moments, or even prolonged periods in the sympathetic nervous system response.
The sympathetic response is the mechanism for activity, and can be useful at times to protect us, or to problem solve, yet the fight, flight or freeze nature which accompanies this bodily over stimulation results in further stress, body damage and mental and emotional difficulties.
By having a slower brain state, and entering the healing part of your nervous system, you can enter into the zone you most need. It's necessary down time we all need.
The act of receiving sound can set your feelings free, we project our own emotions onto the sounds, which has a releasing effect. For example, the sound of a friction mallet on a gong, may sound like a voice, or a women crying, it may also sound like a sound from deep space to someone else, these sounds conjure up pictures in the mind, leading you toward a break from your normal rigorous mental regime. You could enter a dream-like visual from the sound of a particular drum beat, perhaps it may unleash some unprocessed anger, or maybe the excitement you hadn’t made contact with for a while may pop into awareness. Whatever happens for you is highly personal, and this is also why, sound healing is not only about pleasant sounds, a mixture of alien sounds can also be helpful as a trigger for negatively stored material.
In this space you are also beckoned to attend to your yin side, so often is the case that both men and women neglect their female side, and struggle with receptivity, as society promotes the domination of the male, productive and, rational sphere.
Promotion of Nurture and Learning Better Self-Soothing Tools
Therefore your ability to self-nourish and “fill-up” your well of life, (because the female is, of course the life giver), is generally stunted.
In my sessions I’m deliberately aware of your need for this receptivity, and your inner child is welcomed to receive, be heard and connect.
There’s no analysis needed, just a place for visions, imagination, and feeling.
The connection that we have to another person, especially when close, or by physical touch, which is part of the energy healing method, allows us to release certain useful hormones such as Oxytocin, (known as the cuddle hormone). This in turn, further promotes homeostasis for our system.
This sound immersion, along with energy healing practices, creates a pocket of peace which can have more profound affects on your body than you can imagine.
It’s a brief entry into the unconscious realm where deep healing can arise and the potential to develop a more supportive relationship with yourself is offered.