Music and sound are powerful medicines. The use of sound for healing has a long and varied history.
Long before the discovery of modern medical equipment and drugs, ancient civilizations used different techniques to heal various ailments, and one of those techniques was the use of sound. In ancient Egypt, for example, around 4000 BC, high priests chanted the seven vowel sounds in their rituals, in order to lift the spirit and enhance the healing process.
In Greece, circa 500 BC, Pythagoras – the father of music therapy, built the Pythagoras Mystery School in the island of Crotona, in order to spread the use of flute and lyre as the primary healing instruments. And with the invention of his monochord—a single-stringed musical instrument that uses a fixed weight to provide tension—Pythagoras was able to unravel the mysteries of musical intervals and taught that healing could occur using sound and harmonic frequencies, performed to what he called “soul-adjustments”.
In Australia for the past 40,000 years, the country’s oldest known cultural group, the Aborigines, is believed to use an enigmatic musical instrument called the Didgeridoo (or Yidaki), in order to speed up the healing of broken bones, muscle tears and illnesses of every kind. Interestingly, the sounds emitted by the Didgeridoo are in alignment with modern sound healing technology.
In 1945, United States forces used sound healing to help with the healing of the soldiers of World War 2. This is often described as the ‘official’ dawn of music therapy.
What does science say, thus far?
Scientific research into the benefits and effects of sound healing is still relatively young, but interest is most definitely growing, especially given the ever-expanding range of positive results achieved by this method of therapy. The British Academy of Sound Healing, for example, seeks to be as well-grounded in science as possible and is constantly seeking to deepen and broaden their knowledge of sound healing for the purposes of improving health and wellbeing.
A recent study by Lyz Cooper, for example, looked into sound-induced altered states of consciousness (ASC) for these purposes. The study aimed to answer the question ‘What are the therapeutic benefits of sound-induced ASC?‘ The study’s findings demonstrated that those participants receiving live sound therapy experienced more sensations of positive mood enhancements, ‘floatiness’ (disembodiment), and significant muscle relaxation. At the same time, more of those experiencing pre-recorded sounds reported their overall experience as being ‘ineffable’ (lost for words to give an adequate description), and more of these participants also described achieving a sensation of relaxation in their muscles, with physical tension draining from their bodies.
Modern day methods of Sound Healing
In today’s world, there is a wide variety of different methods used for healing with sound and music. These include, but are not limited to, the Bonny Method, the Dalcroze Method, Mantras, Guided Meditations, Neurologic Music Therapy, the Nordoff-Robbins technique, Root Frequency Entrainment, Singing Bowl Therapy, Shamanic Sound Therapy, Sound Healing and Tuning Fork Therapy, among several others. In our The New World Consciousness Healing Centre we use a variety of these different therapies to help patienst who suffer from all kinds of (mental) health issues, such as severe depression, anxiety and panic disorders, substance abuse and all kinds of addiction problems, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, sleep disorders, burn out, and more. Our centre improves health and wellbeing through music therapy sessions, courses and ongoing research.
Feel welcome and let your heart be filled with the healing power of music!