Why You Should Try A Sound Bath—And Where To Find One
The Benefits Of Sound Bath Healing
I attended my first sound bath five years ago. I was deeply craving a communal and spiritually-energizing activity, so I started my search by going to Meetup.com and searching for “spiritual gatherings.” One of the first events that popped up was for a Sacred Sound Bath Meditation happening that Sunday evening. I asked my partner if he wanted to go and read him the description; he’d never experienced a sound bath either.
A couple of days later, we found ourselves walking into a large, dimly-lit room; the musky scent of incense and Palo Santo welcomed us. Others who were entering the room helped us feel a sense of ease with their warm smiles and contagious calmness. I was in awe of the energy and anxious for the experience that was about to unfold.
There were four facilitators set up around the room, creating a circle around us. Each had a variety of instruments, including Tibetan singing bowls, crystal singing bowls, chimes, and flutes. The four musicians worked together to compose an immersive sound journey. As we laid on our yoga mats, the sound washed over us like water in a bath. Our minds were at ease, and we felt completely relaxed by the various vibrations created by the instruments. The sound bath lasted for an hour, and then the facilitators brought us back into the present moment. After it was over, I felt a drowsy relaxation, like after getting a massage.
Since that first time, I have continued seeking out sound baths when in need of grounding and as a way to find community. They’re also a great sober weekend activity for when I want to get out of the house but not “go out.” Afterward, I always feel a sense of rejuvenation that quiets my mind and put me at ease in pursuits.
Whether you are a seasoned sound bath-goer or curious to learn more, below is everything you need to know about the benefits of sound healing, along with how to find gatherings in your area.
The History of Sound Baths
In ancient eastern beliefs, there are seven studied energy centers in the body, called chakras (chaa-krahs), the Sanskrit word for “wheel.” The belief is that these energy centers run along the central meridian of the body, ruling different aspects of our well-being. When they get off-balance or blocked, the physical body is affected in the form of anxiety, depression, and illness. For a simplified example, if you have chronic stomach pain, your solar plexus chakra (located above the belly) may be out-of-balance.
Many sound bath facilitators study frequencies, or Binaural Beats, aimed at opening up these energy centers to release blocked energy. For example, Jonathan Goldman, a musician and therapeutic sound expert, studies of how sound frequencies can be used for healing and opening our chakras.
And he’s not the only one. Sound frequencies have been studied for years, as music in all forms does fascinating things to the brain. Scientists have even examined how sound healing can improve anxiety, depression, and overall mood. In one study, they analyzed sound therapy as integrative medicine and showed how different frequencies from a variety of instruments, such as traditional Tibetan singing bowls, large bowls made from quartz, bells, and flutes, calmed participants’ nervous systems.
As our society continues to explore alternative medicine and eastern practices, sound baths are gaining in popularity as a way to find emotional and physical healing. The key is finding one near you.
How to Find a Sound Bath
The best place to start searching for a sound bath is local yoga studios. Start by looking at the studio’s schedule to see if they offer sound healing events. This is also a great place to learn about and follow facilitators. Often, they are independent musicians and host sound baths, too.
There are also online resources as well, such as Meetup.com and Facebook groups. The online platform Conscious City Guide is a wonderful resource for finding spiritual community gatherings in major cities around the world. If you live in Southern California, The Integration in Joshua Tree is a highly unique structure in the desert run by three sisters and is a destination for sound healing.
Tips for Your First Sound Bath
When attending your first sound bath, go with an open mind, and release your expectations. All sound baths are different, as are facilitators and their methods for creating a sound experience. It’s helpful to have your own meditation or breathing practice to help calm your mind during the sound bath.
Avoid caffeine or alcohol beforehand and wear comfortable clothes. You may want to journal to help ease your mind, either before or after the experience. Remember, it may take time for your body and mind to relax enough to let the sound work its magic.
We would love to hear your experiences with sound baths in the comments below! ✨
Courtney Jay Higgins is the Associate Editor at The Good Trade. She is also a Yoga Instructor, vegetarian, wellness and fashion enthusiast. Originally from Colorado, her soul found California when she came to get her degree in Visual Communications at the Fashion Institute Of Design & Merchandising. She has a background in telling a story through writing, creative direction and content creation. Check out her blog and Instagram for her unique perspective on the mergence of fashion and spirituality.