Sounds enhance every experience. Music can set the background for a good time. A honking horn in traffic can set off a fit of rage. The coo of a newborn can cause you to well up with tears of joy. This emotional response to noises is why sound healing, music therapy, and dance therapy are growing in popularity as natural mental health remedies.
What Is Sound Therapy?
Every noise creates a vibration. These vibrations enter our ear canal, stimulating various parts of the brain. Studies even show that inaudible high-frequency “sounds” can impact the human brain.
Vibrations are why music can make us happy and dance. In the same breath, the sound of a roaring crowd also provides a rush of endorphins for an artist.
Sound therapy has been used by our ancestors, as noted in the ancient text, The Vedas. Our ancestors would most notably use an “om” or “aum” hum to promote balance.
This type of sound healing is still prevalent in Ayurvedic practices. In fact, you can easily try this technique during your next meditation.
Try regulating your breathing in and out of your nose. Keep your mouth closed and push your tongue to the roof of your mouth. This technique will create a cave where your aum vibrations can bounce around. Ayurvedic practitioners believe the mouth and tongue placement promotes internal sound healing frequencies that support mental wellness.
With that little life hack out of the way, let’s discuss some different types of sound therapy that might be helpful for your well-being.
Types of Sound Therapy
There are many ways to incorporate sound therapy into your mental wellness routine. These are all fun options. So, feel free to mix and match these therapies or switch it up if one becomes dull!
While sound healing sounds similar to sound therapy, there is a difference in holistic circles. Sound healing is a term used to describe the use of vibrations to promote a relaxing feeling.
What Are Sound Healing Frequencies?
Experts on sound therapy follow the Solfeggio frequencies in their practices. Research suggests that different sound healing frequencies impact specific regions of the brain.
Solfeggio frequencies include:
- 40 Hz – Promotes Gamma Waves for Alzheimer’s Treatment
- 174 Hz- Used to Improve Pain Perception and Range of Motion
- 285 Hz – Allegedly Encourages Cell Regeneration for Wounds and Burns
- 396 Hz – Allegedly Helps with Fear and Guilt
- 417 Hz – Allegedly Removes Negative Energy
- 432 Hz – Allegedly Increases Mental Clarity
- 440 Hz – Reduces Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
- 528 Hz – Improves Stress in Endocrine System
- 639 Hz – Allegedly Supports Healthy Communication
- 832 Hz – Allegedly Helps with Anxious Thoughts
- 963 Hz – Allegedly Activates the Pineal Gland
As you may have noticed, some of these sound healing frequencies say “allegedly.” Studies on music therapy are still in infancy. However, practitioners have been doing sound therapy for years. So, these Solfeggio frequencies are compiled by years of first-hand accounts of those who received sound therapy treatments and centuries of Ayurvedic practices.
If you are having trouble sleeping, consider listening to musical tones. Studies show that 432 Hz or higher can improve brain waves associated with sleep.
Consider picking songs that have a tone of 963 Hz. That tone allegedly activates the pineal gland, which produces your sleep hormone melatonin. This frequency compliments a couple of sprays from Tranquility Labs’ Sleep Fast + perfectly!
What Are Sound Healing Tools?
The most common sound healing tools used by sound healers (or sounders) include:
- Singing Bowls
- Tuning Forks
- Tibetan Tingsha Cymbals
- Pan Flute
Many standard instruments, such as harps and drums, can also be used in various forms of sound healing. However, the most common are singing bowls and tuning forks.
Singing bowls come in different sizes that promote various healing sound frequencies. The bowls are filled with water and beaten with a mallet to create vibrations. Practitioners then work the mallet around the bowl to manipulate the sounds to create a relaxing experience.
Tuning forks have two tines that look like goal posts. The practitioner beats the top, creating a vibration between the two tines. They will then use these sound healing frequencies to help break up energy blockages in your body that might promote anxiety or depression.
Also, many people are starting to try Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). ASRM videos have grown in popularity on the internet. They involve a person making sounds very close to a microphone. Most popular ASMR videos include people eating, whispering, or playing with dough.
These noises promote high frequencies. People listening usually wear headphones. Viewers report that ASMR causes tingling in their brains that provides the listener mental satisfaction.
Music impacts us in many ways. It can drive a narrative on a television show, causing you to dislike a character you just met. Songs can also make you miss an ex or take you back to the moment they broke your heart.
That’s a powerful control to have over us. Thankfully, music therapy practitioners are using this power for good!
There are many types of music therapy. They involve different aspects of music and how it impacts our daily routines. Here are some of the most common types of music therapy.
Active Music Listening
Also known as reactive music therapy, this practice utilizes different music types to alter the person’s current state of mind. Music is chosen to see how the person reacts. Then, the reaction is analyzed.
The intended goal is to have the patient talk through their thoughts. Crying, dancing, and other forms of release are also encouraged.
Some practitioners might use light therapy, word association, or pictures to enhance the experience. This type of music therapy is a collaborative effort and will look (and sound different for anyone).
For instance, a power ballad might hold a dear place in your heart. Yet, that tune might not have the same influence on somebody who loves hip hop or electronic music. Be sure to experiment with different genres to bring some suppressed thoughts to the surface.
Many people with anxiety let that energy fester. It can linger inside of a person, causing even more anxiety triggers. This type of music therapy helps you channel that energy productively.
Improvisational music therapy is great for artists and children. It allows people to explore their creative side, get some of their inner tumults out, and create something that makes them proud.
The artist will use different instruments and their voices to create music. Therapists then interpret the person’s work, body language, and emotional response. They then discuss these feelings, emotions, and insights to help improve the person’s disposition and awareness.
This type of music therapy relies more on talking between the therapist and patient. They will break down the meaning behind an artist’s lyrics.
The songs can be pertinent to the person’s life. You might read the lyrics of songs that make you sad or happy. These lyrical choices can also be new to the patient. Perhaps the therapist will choose lyrics that center around similar experiences the person is going through.
For instance, interpreting “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor can help someone find strength in the face of a divorce. On a less obvious level, “Hello” by Adele can bring out someone’s fear of communicating on the phone.
We are all unique, and our experiences are nuanced. Working on our little “ticks” will help us live happier and healthier lives. Sometimes it takes reading another person’s experience to bring your own to light!
Songwriting is a lot like journaling. It allows a person to put their thoughts on paper. However, this task has a creative spin. Writing a song seems more fun than coming face-to-face with your worries in a journal.
This type of song therapy is also a unique experience. Some people might listen to different kinds of music or beats beforehand. Others might read poetry, meditate, and then come up with lyrics.
At the end of your session, the therapist will interpret the patient’s lyrics. The two will discuss the patient’s process, looking for clues on how to improve their mental wellness.
They say to “dance like nobody’s watching.” In dance therapy, someone will watch you.
According to the American Dance Therapy Association, dance therapy is “the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance to support intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of the body.”
Instructors in dance therapy are certified by the American Dance Therapy Association. They use dance to meld a person’s mind and body into one task.
This hyperfocus can help quell a person’s racing thoughts. The patients are too busy focusing on the task-at-hand to worry about other stressors. Essentially, dance therapy teaches people to live more in-the-moment.
Also, dancing is an excellent form of exercise. Whenever you burn calories with physical activity, your body rewards you with endorphins. That’s why people feel exhilarated after dance therapy.
Dance therapy also incorporates music therapy. As I discussed, vibrations promote an emotional connection. So, you’re doing a fun activity that boosts weight loss and produces endorphins while listening to music that stimulates neurons!
Lastly, dancing helps create a connection. If you are a couple looking to strengthen your bond, consider entering dance therapy together.
One study looked at students who danced in groups of three at 130 beats per minute. Some groups synchronized their dance moves while others freestyled. Additionally, some groups were asked to dance really fast, while others were told to keep it slow.
No matter what type of dancing they did, there was a unanimous outcome. Everybody was in a better mood. Plus, they reported feeling closer to the person they were dancing with.
Additionally, synchronizing the movements didn’t have too much of an impact on how the person felt about their dance partner. Therefore, you both can do your own thing together and still feel closer at the end of your dance therapy session. So, if learning the foxtrot with your spouse isn’t your jam, the two of you can try your hands (and booties) to a breakdance class.
Trying Sound Therapy for the First Time
Trying new experiences can be daunting, especially if you have anxiety. Going into a session with that mindset might make feeling the benefits of sound therapy challenging.
I highly recommend entering your first session after using Tranquility Labs’ Tranquilene. This all-natural formula contains a spectrum of ingredients that help calm neurons in the brain.
Additionally, this formula is fortified to amplify serotonin and GABA production. Serotonin is responsible for our mood and plays a role in motor functions.
Having adequate serotonin before playing an instrument can help you immerse in the experience. If you are already an accomplished player, Tranquilene can help you work on your musical nuances and up your game!
GABA promotes calm throughout the body. That way, you can handle the talk therapy portion of your sound healing session. With proper GABA levels, your inhibitions will come down, and you will get the most out of your experience.
- Sound therapy promotes vibrational sound healing frequencies that stimulate your mind
- Music therapy includes listening to, creating, writing, and analyzing music
- Dance therapy uses movement to create emotional connections and improve physical health