If you follow Jasmine Hemsley on Instagram then you'll be well-acquainted with sound baths.
Never heard of them in your life? We've called on Carly Grace, an external practitioner at 42 Acres Shoreditch, to explain exactly what a sound bath is and how indulging in one can benefit your health. Plus, Stephanie Reynolds, the co-founder of House of Wisdom, shares her really simple guide to creating your own at home during isolation. Namaste.
What is a sound bath?
Sound baths are a form of sound therapy that involves laying on the floor while someone gently taps a gong against a bowl. The vibrations from the bowl will apparently envelope the body, clearing away blocked energy, releasing tension and re-aligning the body when it is ‘out of tune,’ the main cause of which is usually stress-induced. Basically, you get to lay on the floor for an hour and totally chill out - who wouldn't want to do that?
What happens at a sound bath?
"During a sound bath, you will be taken on a meditative journey through the healing power of sound," explains Carly. There is very little to do but to lie comfortably in a warm environment with a rug or throw wrapped around you. The evening may start with a short, guided meditation before leading into the sound bath. How lovely.
How did sound baths start?
Sound baths are no means a modern phenomenon. Pythagoras, said to be one of the greatest mathematicians and philosophers of all time, was also a keen musician and noticed the effects sound had on the emotions of his listeners; he came to call it ‘musical medicine.’
What are the benefits?
Sound baths allow the body to enter a state of deep relaxation. "The brain waves can shift into the ‘alpha state’ (relaxed consciousness), which are the brain wave frequencies associated with the meditative, clear and peaceful state of mind. These same frequencies help reduce stress, anxiety and insomnia. It can also help with people suffering from trauma or pain," explains Carly. Talk about multiple benefits!
Things to expect
Carly says that sound healing can be a highly emotive experience and, apparently, for some participants, these emotions can rise to the surface. "They can lead to tears and giggles all at once," she adds.
How to create your own at home
- Make yourself as comfortable as possible, get into some comfy clothes and start to create a space to cocoon yourself. Turn down the lights, set the mood, light a candle. Use what you have at hand, grab a blanket and some pillows, to create your ideal den.
- If you have some sage or palo santo at hand to burn, do this with the intention of clearing the space of stagnant energy making space for the new. If you have essential oils and a diffuser you can also create a relaxing scent such as lavender, or putting some drops on an eye mask.
- Wear headphones or use a speaker as the sound quality is better than through your device. Headphones also help you to not get distracted from external sounds, to relax and journey inwards. Have an open heart and willingness to receive.
- The sound will take you on a journey. Everyone’s experiences are different, if you find yourself getting distracted by thought, try not to get caught up on it, acknowledge it, and let it float away. If you feel things coming up for you, let yourself feel, sit with that emotion and then let it go.
- Once you are ready to begin, lie down and get cosy. Start to take long deep breaths down into your belly. Inhaling what you wish for, and exhaling to let go. Set an intention, something in your life you would like the sound to work on. Feeling the ground beneath you supporting you, trusting that you are safe to fully relax and let go, close your eyes and drift away.
- We are so intrinsically connected to sound, we all have that song that can make us feel happy. We use music for entertainment, but have forgotten the healing properties of sound. Sound has been used for centuries as a healing tool. Everything in the universe, including us, is vibrating at particular frequencies. We are energetic beings and in every atom of our body we find vibration. It can help you feel more relaxed, improve your mood, and get a good night sleep. The aim is to bring you back in alignment; to retune yourself.
Here's a sound bath you can use...
Ready to relax?
This originally appeared on GLAMOUR UK | Bianca London