Sound Wave Therapy for Seniors
Did you know that there are numerous methods of therapy that utilize sound as a healing element? While sound wave therapy has not become mainstream, many consider it an important tool for promoting balance and healing in both mind and body. If you’re considering alternative methods of healing and repair, sound might be a useful route. Let’s explore how sound wave therapy can be of use to senior health.
Healing the body and mind through sound is a time old tradition dating back to ancient Greece and has shown up through both scripture and oral tradition; culminating in modern day chanting, drum circles, sound baths, and binaural frequencies.
Seeing the body as an instrument can help make sense of sound healing. Sound frequencies are not only heard through the ears but travel through the body as vibrations, affecting both physicality and psyche in many ways. Our bodies are 70% water, give or take. Sound waves travel four times faster through water than air, and these frequencies are able to reach deeper parts of our body than other treatment modalities.
Stress, injury and illness can pull our bodies out of tune, creating disharmony amongst the workings of health. A body that is “out of tune” may experience insomnia, pain, allergies and anxiety. On the flipside, sound therapy methods can bring harmony and order to these frequencies, establishing a healthy stasis. Science has shown a multitude of health benefits linked to sound therapy.
Health Benefits of Sound Therapy
Listeners of sound therapy report reduced stress and anxiety combined with an increase of calm, comforting thoughts. Enhanced physical relaxation leads to better, deeper sleep and advocates of sound therapy report reductions in physical ailments and symptoms.
Additionally, music therapy has shown to positively impact PTSD, dementia, autism, cancer, depression and behavioral and psychiatric disorders. Studies have found sound therapy decreases mood swings, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, enhances pain tolerance and improves sleep quality.
Jonathan Goldman, one of the pioneers of sound healing, said “The basic principle of sound healing is that everything is in a state of vibration, including our organs, bones, tissues, etc. If these parts of the body become imbalanced they may be healed through projecting the proper and correct frequencies back into the body. This works for imbalances and over-or under-activity in the chakras and the energy fields.”
If this is all over your head, fear not, the sounds will work the same even if you don’t grasp the science behind it. At the end of the day, it’s best to give it a try and see how it works for you.
How to Engage in Sound Therapy
There are a number of modalities in sound therapy that can be tried and experienced. Ultimately, it comes down to what resonates with your body individually. When trying a new form of sound therapy, it is best to be in a relaxed, quiet setting with few interruptions. Try to relax and experience the sound while taking note of any changes in the body. It’s recommended to try any sound healing for at least 20 to 30 minutes as it takes a bit of time to begin noticing changes in your body.
Binaural beats are formed when two different frequencies are played into each ear and combine to form a new frequency in the brain. Research shows binaurals can improve focus, motivation, confidence and concentration, while lowering stress, anger, and anxiety. Binaural beats can easily be found on Youtube and are often tailored for specific ailments or areas of the body. Experts recommend using headphones and listening at a normal volume. Patients who played binaural beats before medical procedures reported less preoperative anxiety, and other studies have found patients report a higher quality of life.
Tuning Fork Therapy
In tuning fork therapy, patients utilize a calibrated metal tuning fork to apply vibrations to their body in specific locations. This non-invasive acoustic therapy is gentle and can help with energy flow. Similar to acupuncture, the fork’s sound frequencies travel through the body and help release tension and negative energy, promoting a healthy homeostasis.
Other Healing Instruments
There are many musical instruments that aid our health. Singing bowls, flutes, drums and the harp have all shown to have high resonance with the human body. Drumming and chanting is a practice that dates back to our ancestors, and many cultures believe healing is conducted through these actions, allowing the body to release previously stored negativity and illness. Sounds baths occur when an instrument is used to create multiple, overlapping vibrations. Known to shut off the fight-or-flight response, sound baths can bring you to deeper states of meditation and relaxation.
Finding What Works for You
Given there are a multitude of ways to create sound, you will have to explore what works for you. No two bodies are the same, and it’s important to spend time noting which has the highest impact on your own body. Youtube is a great website for many of these sound practices, and local venues or yoga studios often have sound bath and drumming gatherings for healing. Not only can this be a great way to help your body, but you can also find community around it as well.