Rhythm and song grace us with the ability to tune into ourselves and the universe around us. Listening to the sound of crashing waves, birds singing, or the voices of our loved ones can bring us a sense of peace, purpose and awe. Since ancient times, we have known of the benefits that sound and music can induce. To truly tap into the magic of music and sound in our day to day lives, it helps to understand why it is so important and sacred.
When exploring the world of sound, certain terms can be confusing. Words like “vibration” and “frequency” are used by mystics and scientists alike, which only goes to show how fascinating sound energy is to people from all walks of life.
Doctors and scientists measure these natural rhythms and vibrations to help to heal and balance the body. For example, MRI (magnetic-resonance imaging), ultrasound scanning and EKG/ECG (electrocardiograms) all work by measuring vibration, frequency, or natural electrical rhythms. In terms of physics, the atoms we are comprised of are pure vibrational energy. If we break down the atom, we find that 99.9999999999996% is empty space. You may feel like a solid creature, but you are in fact a vibrational energetic being comprised of a pulsing beat and constant fluctuating rhythms. Thinking about our bodies in this way can help to explain the feeling of euphoric oneness that we experience when at a concert, festival, or roaring sports event. It is as if the atoms of our body are syncing up with the energetic environment around us.
Physics aside, in the metaphysical world we understand and explore these rhythms in a different way, with the guidance of intuition, trust, and sacred ancient wisdom. Practices like deep meditation can help us “tune into” different frequencies and vibrations to induce different emotional states. Taking the time to mindfully listen to certain sounds connects us with our divine energetic nature, and allows us to unify our mind, body and spirit.
So, what sounds can you benefit from?
1. Standing bells and singing bowls
Found in temples and meditation halls across the globe, standing bells and singing bowls are known for their soulful sounds. These instruments originated from countries such as China, India, and Nepal, and have dated back to a little over 500BC. Used by sound healers and yoga practitioners all around the world, these beautiful instruments are said to purify and cleanse negative vibrations, and help up reach deep states of relaxation. I personally use my singing bowls before and after meditating, during reiki healing sessions and after smudging a space. I also love using them to cleanse my healing crystals.
2. Binaural beats
Binaural beats are streams of frequencies that are said to help induce specific brainwave states, encouraging different physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits. Tuning into these frequencies may help you reach deeper states of meditation, study more effectively, aid your sleep, reduce your stress levels, or even promote physical healing. You can find these beats on platforms like YouTube, Spotify or iTunes.
3. Classical Music
There is medical evidence to suggest that tuning into classical music has a huge range of benefits. A study held at Oxford University showed that people who listened to classical music after a stressful task had significantly lower levels of blood pressure compared to those who listened to other genres. Studies have also shown that classical or meditative music has proven effective for patients undergoing intensive medical care. Playing these tunes had greater effects on easing anxiety than midazolam (a sedative drug) for preoperative patients, and postoperative patients had significantly lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Classical music may not be your cup of tea, but if you’re skipping out on these soulful symphonies, you may be missing their grounding and healing benefits.
4. Chakra Chants
The chakra system is made up of 7 main energy centres. These energy centres play different roles in connecting and unifying our minds, bodies and spirits. Each chakra vibrates at a different frequency; below I have listed the different sounds associated with the different chakras. Connecting with these energy centres can help bring us contentment and promote overall healing. In a later blog post, I will go into more detail about each chakra and the role it plays, but for now I suggest that you allow your intuition to guide you to which chakras are needing attention. You may feel drawn to focusing on one particular area, or devoting time to connecting with each energy centre.
When chanting your desired chakra sound, I suggest you find a quiet place where you feel safe. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in, and start your chant on your exhale. Try to focus on the vibration of the chant, and ideally stretch the chant over your entire exhale. It may help you to connect with the chakra of your focus by picturing its colour while you chant. You may chant to your heart’s content, but I suggest you commit to at least 5 mindful expressions.
7. Root chakra [Survival and tribal]
Location: Base of the spine.
Physical connection: Feet, bones, immune system.
6. Sacral chakra [Relationships and sexuality]
Location: Lower abdomen to navel area.
Physical connection: Sexual organs, hips, pelvis, bladder, bowel.
5. Solar Plexus chakra [Personal power and confidence]
Location: Solar plexus.
Physical connection: Stomach, middle spine, liver, adrenals.
4. Heart chakra [Emotional power, love and forgiveness]
Location: Centre of the chest.
Physical connection: Heart, breasts, lungs, arms, hands, diaphragm, circulatory system.
3. Throat chakra [Expression and communication]
Physical connection: Throat, thyroid, esophagus, mouth, jaw, teeth.
2.Third Eye chakra [Wisdom and insight]
Location: Slightly above the center of the eyebrows, mid- forehead.
Physical connection: Brain, pineal gland, eyes, ears, nose, nervous system.
1. Crown chakra [Spiritual awareness and universal connection]
Sound: OM (or silence)
Colour: Violet or white
Location: Top of the head
Physical connection: Provides universal/life-force energy throughout the entire body.
Did this article benefit you? What therapeutic sounds do you use for your physical, mental or spiritual well-being? Feel free to comment below!