In the last year, the world has undergone immense collective trauma. Individually, lives changed dramatically as political strife and a global health crisis prompted us all to look inward for calm strength. Everyone’s healing path is unique, and it is important to know your individual methods of treating both physical and emotional strife, but one ancient method is sound healing.

What is sound healing?

Sound healing occurs through meditation while listening to music, droning ambient sound, or chanting. Sound healing calms the nervous system, allowing an auditory experience to meld with a spiritual and physical experience. When you slow your thoughts, and focus on your breath and sound alone, you give your body and experience space to just exist. Sound healing has been studied to reduce the impacts of physical pain in the body, in addition to the impact of meditation on emotional pain and trauma. There are numerous scientific theories as to how exactly sound heals the body and mind. When we balance our vibrations, and actively seek connection between ourselves and sound – whether external or coming from ourselves in the form of chanting – you give your body the chance to realign itself. Our bodies constantly rebuild on a cellular level, and giving yourself even a brief moment to sink into sound can have immense benefits on pain which many people have to live with daily – including arthritis, menstrual cramps, and post-operation pain to name a few.

What is the history of sound healing?

Sound has always been a way to connect and express, and many cultures have been appreciating sound as a healing method for centuries. Sound healing dates back to Aboriginal didgeridoos 40,000 years ago, as well as ancient Tibetan and Himalayan bowl ceremonies. Indigenous cultures continue these practices today.

How do I participate in sound healing?

There are many ways to participate in sound healing, including sound baths, lying down in shavasana and allowing the sound to encompass you. Sound healing practioners also offer private sessions in addition to group sound baths. But one of the wonderful things about sound is that it is everywhere, and one is never without it. You can practice sound healing on your own, through videos and audio, or by creating your own sounds through chanting or your own instrumentation. Look up your own favorite musicians who create sound, and allow your body to relax. Get comfortable, get present. Breathe and give yourself this moment to let your body heal.