I first experienced the power of sound as a child. I come from a home where music was played all the time. We had instruments everywhere; an organ, a tuba (that nobody played), and my mom’s voice singing nearly all the time. My dad loved every type of music and he had an amazing audio setup. We actually had a pair of 8 foot tall home speakers.
Classical, jazz, my mom playing the flute, my dad playing the drums… sound was my constant. I suppose that’s why it has such meaning to me. I suppose that’s how I’ve known in my soul how healing it can be. About five or six years ago, I was invited to join the teaching team at a studio that hadn’t yet opened. The focus of the studio was sound and vibration. This studio was a door to a new world. The world where music, nay sound, can be used for its therapeutic potential. I immersed myself in sound study but as I began to grow, so did my desire for more. I wanted to learn to use it in tandem with traditional Western medicine.
Because we exist in such a deeply stressful world, we often find ourselves succumbing to the effects of chronic stress and trauma.
What makes sound so magical is its effect on our nervous system. You see, our nervous system influences all of our organs using the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve, found in the brain, is connected to every organ in our body. It sends parasympathetic messages to each organ when properly toned. However, because we exist in such a deeply stressful world, we often find ourselves succumbing to the effects of chronic stress and trauma. Long term, this can result in stress related physical and emotional diseases. However, meditation, breathwork, yoga, and sound are just a few treatment options to combat the effects of chronic stress. Using instruments like the gong, chimes, the sansula, the drum, and others, we can soothe our nervous systems and release stress. Because sound meditation requires stillness, during a sound experience, you’re placed in a comfortable position, usually lying down, and invited to listen and allow. Allow your mind to go wherever it does, while listening to the sounds around you. You are encouraged to remain as present as possible with what you hear, but without forcing yourself. You may feel calm, a release of emotion, lightness, joy, and even a loosening of tension. Many people find themselves returning to these experiences over and over again, because of the lasting positive feelings they experience.
There’s so much to sound meditations. They are a beautiful way to increase vagal tone, build emotional resilience, and strengthen the parasympathetic nervous system, all ways of combating chronic or compounded stress. My love of sound runs incredibly deep, and to this day it has helped me to be at ease with the day to day challenges we all face. I invite you to honor yourself with the gift of self-care through sound. You may be in awe of how you flourish from the richness of this experience.