With reported fans such as Meghan Markle and Robert Downey Jr, could Sound Therapy be the next wellness craze?
The Sound Therapist, Farzana Ali, tells us how this wellness technique could soothe our stresses
There’s nothing quite like a pandemic to make us all re-evaluate our relationship with our health. But, while our focus quite naturally turns to our physical wellbeing, with diet and exercise taking centre stage, it’s just as important to take control of what’s going on in our heads, too.
It will come as no surprise that a recent Office for National Statistics survey showed more than 25 million people in the UK have battled feelings of high anxiety since lockdown began, while Anxiety UK reports that calls to their national helpline have jumped by more than 300%, with figures across the globe much the same.
If feelings of angst or mental fog are exacerbated by the lockdown, plus economic uncertainty and fear for loved ones, merged with the challenges of navigating a new world, then sound therapy could be the lifeline you need.
How does sound therapy work?
From Australian aboriginal tribes to ancient Greeks and shamanic practices of yesteryear, music has been used to heal, motivate and inspire for millennia. And this ancient method is gaining new traction with modern celebrities, with actors such as Robert Downey Jr and Charlize Theron reported to be fans. The Duchess of Sussex is even thought to have introduced her husband Prince Harry to the technique.
Sessions – known as sound baths because the sound is said to wash over you – involve lying under a blanket with your eyes closed, as a practitioner uses pure sound (as opposed to just music) to take you into a calmer, alpha-dominant brain state. Instruments such as crystal singing bowls, Himalayan singing bowls, drums and gongs are used to create these therapeutic sounds. They work by using a process called auditory driving and sympathetic resonance – which basically means that your brainwaves change to match the sound and, in doing so, take you into that dreamy state where rest and relaxation happens.
This also means that, unlike other popular meditation or mindfulness methods, you don’t have to do a thing. In fact, it requires very little effort on your part should you choose this method to switch off.
Sound therapy isn’t just an excellent stress reducer. It’s in this restorative alpha state (as opposed to the dominant beta state of being awake, concentrating and alert), that your brain is also able to recharge and reorder your thoughts. The result? More mental clarity and even increased productivity.
A skilled practitioner can even help you fall into a deeper theta-dominant brainwave state, meaning that this shortcut to zen can also help lower blood pressure and improve sleep quality as well.
Relax, recharge or refocus?
Whatever your needs, now is the best time to try out digital offerings but, to get maximum results, bespoke is best. I include reflective practice at the start of my sessions to help clients – including company CEOs and celebrity agents who are traditionally time poor – to resolve any deeper concerns. Sessions can be as short or as long as you want and all you need is a pair of headphones and a spot to lie down. What could be easier than that?
For more information or to book a session visit thesoundtherapist.com