Sound Bath, Take Me Away: How to Relieve Stress by Drenching Yourself in Music –
If you’re looking for a tranquil, holistic way to relax, get rid of stress, and find your inner zen, but traditional meditation isn’t your thing, you might want to try attending a sound bath.
A process of deconstructing music into pure sounds, this form of guided meditation has nothing to do with water or “bathing” as we’ve come to understand the word. Instead, sound baths (sometimes called gong baths) use instruments such as chimes, gongs, crystal bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, tuning forks, drums, percussion, synthesizers, and even singing to help wash your mind and body with music and submerge you into a place of comfortable rest.
The ancient practice, which has been around for thousands of years, has recently risen in popularity throughout the West and is slowly becoming a widespread and acceptable way to conquer daily stress and increase wellbeing. In addition to relieving stress and overwhelm, sound baths are also known to help slow down the heart and respiratory rates, ease anxiety and sleep issues, alleviate pain, and even aid in digestion and memory problems.
An exercise in true disconnection, a sound bath grants people the freedom to unplug and get away from modern day pressures and to simply exist and be still for a while.
Participants gather in a shared space, generally located outdoors in nature or within a large room such as a yoga studio, and either sit or lie down on a yoga mat or blanket, close their eyes, and then allow the musical sounds to wash over them. Doing so helps to promote a more peaceful mind and can lead to introspection and restoration, while at the same time opening up the body’s whole energetic system.
Sound baths are usually conducted by certified sound therapy practitioners, who specialize in using sound as a way to support deep relaxation and release stress. Using purposeful sounds, they attempt to take participants through a journey of brain wave states: from beta (alert and concentrating) to alpha (creative and relaxed), and then possibly into theta (meditative), or even delta (deep sleep).
In addition to all of the health and wellness benefits of a sound bath, one of the best qualities about them is how accessible they are.
You don’t need to be athletically inclined, a yogi, regular meditator, or own any specific gear to participate. And if you’re someone who understands the value of meditation and guided imagery, but you find the practices difficult, then a sound bath just might be the best way to reap the restorative benefits of them without the pressure of trying to clear your mind or control your thoughts.
While studios designed specifically for sound baths are starting to pop up across the U.S. and Canada, a more common place to locate sessions would be at yoga studios or festivals. For an additional cost, private sound baths are also available for those who prefer to enjoy the experience alone.
To acquire the most benefits from a sound bath, it’s best to participate in person, but if cost or time are factors, you can find videos on YouTube as well.