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Why sound healing is taking the health and wellness world by storm

Sound healing is fast becoming a treatment used to enhance physical and mental health and well-being. Picture: Unsplash

Sound healing is fast becoming a treatment used to enhance physical and mental health and well-being. Picture: Unsplash

Published Dec 29, 2022


Using elements of music, sound healing treatment enhances physical and mental health and well-being.

The patient participates in the treatment process with a qualified professional. Listening to music, singing along, dancing to the beat, meditating, and/or playing an instrument are all possible components of music therapy.

It is said that the use of sound for healing dates back to the time of ancient Greece, when mental illnesses were treated using music.

Music has been used throughout history to increase productivity and efficiency, cheer up military personnel, and even ward off bad spirits through chanting.

A recent study by paediatrician Joanne Loewy, “The Effects of Music Therapy on Vital Signs, Feeding, and Sleep in Preterm Infants” connected music to several health benefits, from enhancing immune function and reducing stress to improving the health of premature newborns.

There are a few kinds of sound treatment, although not all of them have received scientific backing.

In guided meditation, which is a type of sound healing, you meditate while listening to spoken instructions in an individual session or class, or using a video or an app. Chanting, repeating, or praying can be a part of meditation.

Meditation offers a number of health benefits, including stress reduction, decreased anxiety and depression, improved memory, reduced blood pressure, pain reduction, lower cholesterol, and a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke, according to research published in the US National Center for Biotechnology Information paper “Meditation: Process and effects” by Hari Sharma.

Music therapy can ease tension and encourage rest. “The Neurochemistry of Music”, an e-book by Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel Levitin, attests to the fact that it has been demonstrated to be more effective than prescription medication in lowering anxiety levels before surgery.

After spine surgery, a 30-minute music therapy session in addition to standard treatment decreased pain, according to a 2017 study, “Do Music Therapies Reduce Depressed Symptoms and Increase QOL (quality of life) in Older Persons with Chronic Disease?”

According to a study, “Neurologic Music Therapy Improves Executive Function and Emotional Adjustment in Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation”, by researchers at the Center for Biomedical Research in Music, Colorado State University, music therapy is beneficial for patients with brain damage, and helps with pain management and physical rehabilitation.

Singing bowls are used in sound healing therapy. Picture: Unsplash

The Bonny Method

The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM), which uses classical music and imagery to explore human development, consciousness, and transformation, is named after Helen Bonny.

“Health Outcomes of a Series of Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music Sessions: A systematic review” by Dr Cathy McKinney et al, published in the “Journal of Music Therapy” in 2017, provided encouraging evidence that a series of GIM sessions could enhance psychological and physical health in adults with medical and mental health needs.


Professional musicians who have successfully completed the two-year Nordoff-Robbins Master's degree administer this sound healing technique.

They play music that the patients are acquainted with, collaborate on new music, or prepare a performance.

​​The Nordoff-Robbins method is used to treat a variety of illnesses, including autism spectrum disorder, dementia, learning challenges, mental health problems, and developmental delays in children as well as their parents.

Tuning-fork treatment

Tuning-fork therapy applies vibrations to certain areas of the body using calibrated metal tuning forks. This can aid in releasing stress and energy while fostering emotional equilibrium.

It is said to be similar to acupuncture.

Research suggests that tuning-fork treatment may reduce muscular and bone pain, according to Daniele Masala et al in their work, “The Tuning Fork and Sound Therapy”, published by ResearchGate.

Brainwave entrainment

This technique, sometimes referred to as binaural beats, works by pulsing sound to urge your brain waves to match the frequency of the beat. It's intended to promote improved concentration, an entranced state, relaxation, and sleep. There is some evidence that audible brainwave entrainment decreases anxiety, pain, and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, and improves behavioural issues in children, according to a paper titled “A Comprehensive Review of the Psychological Effects of Brainwave Entrainment” by TL Huang and C Charyton.

However, more research is required to fully understand these effects.

Anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia, autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, behavioural and mental health problems, and even cancer are among the conditions that can be treated by music therapy.

Some of the alleged advantages of music therapy include lowering stress, reducing mood swings, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, teaching pain management, lowering the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke, and enhancing sleep.

Different sonic elements are used in music therapy to enhance your mental and physical health.

The approach being taken determines how it functions. Most music therapy sessions take place one-on-one with a qualified professional.

In a session, you might be asked to sit or lie down while listening to music or other sounds, or a tool, like a tuning fork, can be used to apply vibrations.

You could be asked to sing, dance, or even play an instrument.

Singing bowls, tuning-forks, pan flutes, harps, drums, and the voice are some of the instruments used in music therapy.

Music therapy is used in dementia treatment. Picture: Unsplash