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Sound healing


Music can evoke memories, elicit certain feelings, and even have an impact on your mood. The kind of music that speaks to you depends on a lot of things…but most of us can definitely relate to feeling all the feels when we hear a song we love. So, you might already believe that music is healing for your soul (cue Prince singing, “purple rain, purrrrrple rain…”). But did you know it can support your physical healing, too? Sound healing (aka sound therapy) is a technique that uses rhythm and frequency to regulate the body and release trauma, stress, and emotions. Sort of a mash-up of art, psychology, and neuroscience, it’s being used to help people with cancer, mental illness, chronic conditions, pain, high blood pressure, and lots of other health issues. It’s a promising healing modality with zero side effects, and it’s potentially accessible to everyone! Sound healing can take many forms, including binaural beats, vibroacoustic therapy (check out the write-ups on those two in the WanaLibrary!), and music therapy, among others. If the idea that sound can affect your body seems far-fetched, consider this: Modern medicine uses sound waves in ultrasound (to give you a sneak peek of your baby in utero, for example) and lithotripsy (e.g., to break up kidney stones). So, how does sound healing work, exactly? Despite extensive research on the use of music to induce positive emotions and relaxation, scientists aren’t quite sure. But, they do have many theories. One is that sound therapy has an effect on nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes the blood vessels and increases blood flow. Researchers who explored the effect of singing bowls on lots of different types of people say they found many measurable effects—including pain management and stress reduction—but the process is unclear. Additionally, sound waves may have a positive effect on the body’s energy field. That sounds promising, but it’s kind of hard to measure.

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