A Holistic Approach to Anxiety: Sound Healing
By Kirsten Antony R.N. ~
Sound healing has been making quite the noise lately. From yoga studios to sound baths to resonant chambers, ancient techniques known as sound healing are assisting in relieving stress and anxiety worldwide. Through the use of music, instruments and through the power of our own voice, sound can be healing and transformative. Ancient and primitive cultures have been using sound in rituals throughout history. We may often overlook the healing abilities of music and sound, but for many of us it has been present from the very beginning of our lives with beautiful lullabies that soothed us to sleep.
As with other holistic healing modalities, sound is healing through the movement of energy that can bring the body back into balance, or homeostasis. Anxiety and stress can be viewed as an emotional frequency of imbalance to optimal health. On the sub-atomic level, matter is composed of energy and this energy is full of information. Sound healing can help bring changes by bringing balance to these patterns of information that run through our physical, emotional and subtle energy bodies. Sound also can affect our brain waves and bring us from a state of Beta (normal state of consciousness) to one of Theta where we can find ourselves in a state of deep relaxation.
Our subtle energy body can hold emotional patterns of imbalance such as fear, anxiety and anger. We are all dynamic beings made of energy and light and our emotional state fluctuates. It can be challenging to feel at ease and in balance all of the time. The key is awareness. Become aware of your emotional mood state and where you feel the energy being stored. These are energy centers of the subtle body known as chakras. Chakra means “wheel of light” in Sanskrit. These energy centers hold patterns of information that can affect our physical and emotional body.
To move the body’s energy into a more harmonious state, many sound healing tools are available. Drums, flutes, bells, gongs and singing bowls are all instruments that can be used to bring about a state of well-being. A sound healer often uses some or all of these instruments in what is known as a sound bath. The frequencies of these tools can bring about a state of deep relaxation. When the body becomes relaxed, it can shift out of the “fight-or-flight” response of the sympathetic nervous system and shift into the parasympathetic nervous system response which can bring us into a healing state.
A participatory sound healing technique is known as toning. This is a powerful technique and one that we carry with us all the time- our voice. We create and manifest with our words and sounds that we produce. Singing, laughing, humming, chanting, sighing and groaning are all sounds we make that can easily shift our energy. Sounds are very fun to experiment with and discover where they resonant in our energy centers.
There are seven main chakras that run through the core of our body. From the root chakra to the crown chakra, there are seed or vowel sounds and mantras that correlate with each specific chakra. These specific vibrations and tones can bring balance to the energy center. These sounds can be found in ancient spiritual practices and traditions in the form of mantras, chanting and prayers. Some sounds overlap in different traditions such as the sound “AH”. This sound is associated with creation in the sound of “AHM”/”OM” and the crown chakra and also the word “AMEN”. The “AH” sound is connected with the heart chakra and can bring balance to issues of grief and help transform the energy into compassion.
For optimal health, we would like to have balance in all the chakras. In working with anxiety, we could tone to balance any and all of them to bring balance to the whole. For example, the root chakra is located at the base of the spine. It is associated with feelings of security and being grounded in the body. The correlating color is red and the seed sound is “UH”. Visualizing and setting an intention for healing also assists in the movement of energy. Please note that there are sound frequencies and tones that can create dissonance. It is important to always trust your intuition and find what resonates with you and brings music to your own soul.
We can learn to harness our abilities to heal. Our bodies want to be in homeostasis and harmony and stay out of a state of “dis-ease”. We are challenged right now individually and collectively to find balance and compassion for ourselves and each other. Sound healing can help us find equilibrium and joy. There are incredible holistic healing modalities and also strength in allopathic treatments. We can reach a point when our bodies need more assistance than we can heal on our own. If you feel overwhelmed and your stress levels and anxiety have reached a point of disorder, please find medical assistance. During these times of great change, the power lies in the balance.
This content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition.
Kirsten Antony is a Registered Nurse who holds many certifications in the Healing Arts and practices as a holistic nurse. For more information, please visit: www.kirstenantony.com or www.facebook.com/soultosoleholistichealthcare or call 303-668-8992.