In ancient civilizations, certain instruments were used to inspire soldiers for battle and celebrate village-wide holidays. Today, therapists are also able to use instruments in an interesting way — to relax and destress their patients.
Vibrational sound therapy is the practice of using sounds and frequencies for therapeutic purposes. Therapists relax their patients by playing different sound therapy instruments, such as singing bowls, drums or turning forks, at specific frequencies. Therapists can also play certain sounds or types of music through speakers to create a calm environment while guiding patients through meditation techniques.
Sound therapy can be thought of as a combination of relaxation therapy tactics. Similar to a massage, it is said to relieve stress, improve mood, alleviate physical pain, lower blood pressure and increase blood flow. Sound therapy is also similar to meditation, as it can increase mindfulness and bring patients to a more peaceful state of mind after the session.
According to Jed Shlackman, a licensed mental health counselor and University of Miami alumnus, our bodies are made up of vibrational energy, and we all put out certain frequencies. When we are exposed to another frequency, our bodies naturally respond by trying to harmonize with it. “If you use a therapeutic type of sound, that form of sound wave gives the body something to use to help harmonize,” Shlackman said, which can help both the mind and the body relax over a period of time.
Some people experience immediate results, such as physical relaxation and instant stress relief, after an initial session with a sound therapist. However, depending on an individual’s goals, multiple sessions can be extremely effective in helping people become more mindful overall. “With repeated sessions, people tend to go deeper into the healing process,” Shlackman said. In this way, sound therapy can be compared to meditation, in that practicing it consistently can influence one’s overall mood and the way they deal with future stress.
The origin of sound therapy goes as far back as human civilization itself. “Sound therapy is not unique to one particular culture or one particular instrument,” Shlackman said. Although it’s widely believed to have originated in the autonomous region of Tibet, the practice of sound therapy can be found in multiple cultures across many different time periods. In ancient African civilizations, drumming was used for inspiring soldiers for battle. In ancient Australian civilizations, the didgeridoo was used for ceremonial dances.
From these early instruments, therapists now have modern methods of using sound to treat patients. “Sound affects everyone,” Shlackman said. It’s human nature to have some reaction to the sounds going on around us, so it would be unusual to find a culture that doesn’t use sound in some therapeutic or ritualistic way.
If you’re interested in trying vibrational sound therapy, check out these local venues.
Run by Jed Shlackman, PsychoEnergetic Healing provides therapeutic services with both singing bowls and tuning forks in individual and group sessions.
1111 Vibe offers group meditation using deep crystal sound healing the last Thursday of each month.
Bodhi Wellness is a wellness center that provides group sessions in Sound Bowl Healing Meditation to unblock energy and recharge the body.
Wellness Room Miami
Wellness Room Miami is a wellness center that offers individual and group sessions in areas including sound therapy, meditation and breath work.
Reiki, Chakra & Sound Therapy Meditation Miami Beach
Reiki, Chakra & Sound Therapy Meditation Miami Beach is a Reiki therapy center that offers Vibroacoustic Therapy and Voice Scalar Therapy for spiritual and mental healing.
This article was featured in Distraction’s winter 2019 issue.
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