The concept of a sound bath might seem quite strange if you’ve never heard of it. After all, we typically associate baths with tubs of warm water where we can soak and relax. In reality, a sound bath isn’t much different in terms of the goal – we just take away the tub and the water, and replace them with soothing instruments that are meant to help heal and calm your body.
A sound bath may appear to be quite a new age tactic, but the fact of the matter is that sound has been used to heal and soothe the body for thousands of years. It’s an ancient practice, and one that has been shown to be beneficial in a number of areas. Intrigued? Join us in this guide as we take you through everything you need to know about sound baths, how they work, why they work, and their benefits.
What is a Sound Bath?
A sound bath is defined as a meditative experience where the person receiving the treatment is bathed in sound waves. These sound waves are produced by a selection of traditional wind and percussion instruments, which are classed as being meditative. This can include:
- Singing bowls
- Tuning forks
- Human vocals
There isn’t the kind of melody that you would expect at a concert (whether modern or classical), choosing instead to be expressed as a wash of instrumentals and voice that contains resonance and overtones that are quite noticeable.
The participant of the sound bath spends the entire experience on their back, often lying on a comfortable mat with a cushion under their head to enhance those feelings of relaxation. It is the job of the sound healing practitioner to facilitate the experience, which can sometimes be combined with mantras, chants, or oms.
This guided experience can last anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour, depending on the session that you choose to attend as well as your personal needs.
What are the Benefits of a Sound Bath?
There are many benefits to taking part in a sound bath. However, before we get into the benefits of this practice, it is important to note that while a sound bath can be a great way to ease tension as well as physical pain, it should not be used to replace medical treatment.
Sound baths can be a wonderful complement to any treatment plan that you are currently undergoing, and they are also considered a safe additional treatment. As always, consult your doctor before you decide to embark on this experience to ensure it’s right for you.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the benefits that come with using a sound bath to help heal and relax your body.
It is possible for sound baths to help ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that the effects of sound baths, especially singing bowl meditation, have been able to:
- Boost your mood
- Stabilize your mood and reduce anxiety
- Ease feelings of stress or tension
- Improve your overall well-being (including relieving pain)
A more specific study looked at the effects of sound baths on those who were waiting to undergo surgery to see if it was able to help relieve their anxiety. The results showed that a sound bath was effective in doing this, helping patients to feel calmer and more relaxed before they went for their procedures.
Mental health isn’t the only area where sound baths have proved successful. There have also been studies to see how they affect pain levels in those who are suffering from various forms of physical pain. Generally speaking, participants ranked their pain as being lower after the sound bath than it was before.
The studies referenced above also showed that blood pressure and heart rate decreased during sound baths. Of course, it was also concluded that more scientific research is required to come to full conclusions about the effects.
However, what we have seen so far is very promising and does indicate that sound baths are an effective complementary treatment for physical pain as well as mental health concerns.
Is a Sound Bath the Same as Music Therapy?
A sound bath and music therapy might sound like they are the same, but they are actually very different in both the way they are carried out and their effects.
The way a sound bath works is that it is typically guided by yoga or meditation, and the instruments that are used are purposely chosen for the deep and overlapping vibrations that they provide. It is a way to ease the symptoms of mental health and also aid in the healing process for the central nervous system – helping to manage pain.
Music therapy is a form of standard therapy that uses music to work through issues and find resolutions. It is carried out by a qualified music therapist as opposed to a standard mental health professional. Typically, music therapy can involve:
- Playing a musical instrument
- Listening to music
- Using music to process emotions that are complex
Who Should Try a Sound Bath?
Most people are perfectly safe to try a sound bath, and there is nothing to worry about. They can be particularly beneficial to those who have had a hard time connecting with traditional forms of meditation as well as yoga, bringing a new perspective and form of relaxation to the table. It’s especially good for overthinkers or those who have a lot of excess thoughts.
Depending on the individual, sounds can have a very calming and impactful effect.
It doesn’t matter what stage of your life you’re at; the beauty of sound baths is that they are made for anyone and everyone who wants to try and explore new ways to ease their minds and help their bodies to heal. There are very few restrictions.
Who Should Not Try a Sound Bath?
There are some people who should not try sound baths. Most notably, they can be a risk for those with concussions or head injuries and so should never be used until the condition has cleared completely.
Additionally, those with epilepsy should avoid sound baths as the vibrations from singing bowls have been known to trigger seizures in people with the condition. It is rare that this happens, but it is enough of a risk to warrant caution and avoid it completely if possible.
The Bottom Line
Generally speaking, sound baths are a safe and effective way to help calm your mind and body so that you can feel a little more at peace. A sound bath could even help you find inner peace. It’s an ancient tradition, and one that we can learn from if we just let ourselves embrace the sounds and wash over us.
Despite the positives that come with sound baths, it is important to remember that it should never be used as a sole form of medical treatment. Additionally, you should always consult a doctor before you decide to go ahead with it.
We hope that your healing journey goes well and that you find sound baths to be an effective complementary treatment as you seek improved health and wellness in your life. If you’re looking for additional ways to take care of your health, consider a CircleDNA test. This at-home DNA test provides you with health-related DNA insights including your genetic health risks and genetic strengths and weaknesses, making it easier to look after your health and wellness.
NCBI, Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-being: An Observational Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871151/
NCBI, The human health effects of singing bowls: A systematic review: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32507429/
NCBI, Effects of Tibetan Music on Neuroendocrine and Autonomic Functions in Patients Waiting for Surgery: A Randomized, Controlled Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5859866/