Ask Alice: The Healing Power of Music + Sound
November 16, 2021 @ 11:00am
Music is healing. Period. You don’t need research studies to tell you what you already know in your body and soul.
We all have songs and playlists that get us hyped up. Songs we listen to when we are sad. Music that transports us back to a memory.
Music Therapy is offered by many hospitals as a supplement and support for patients, but you don’t know much about it unless you or someone in your life has been sick. What isn’t talked about as much is how we can use music in our everyday lives for incremental healing and wellness.
I remember my first sound bath, four years ago. My friends invited me to a random apartment and didn’t tell me much about what to expect from the experience. I was simply told, “It’s going to be super relaxing. Join us.”
I didn’t ask any question before I laid down and listened to a woman play and strike Tibetan singing bowls (alloy bowls made from various metals) for nearly 90 minutes. Lots of thoughts raced through my head and I wondered, “Is this working? Am I doing this right?”
For days after the sound bath, I felt calm. My mind was quieter. I felt like I was almost floating. The frequencies of the bowls truly changed me. I had not meditated much before that experience but after, I understood the power of meditation and sound as a profound facilitator.
I now lead sound baths because they’ve had such a profound effect on my life. When you first start meditating, it can be frustrating. Sound baths make the experience a lot easier. It’s almost like a shortcut into really experiencing what the hype is about with meditation.
Continue reading to learn more about the healing power of sound.
What are binaural beats? How do they work?
According to the Sleep Foundation, binaural beats are a perception of sound created by your brain. If you listen to two tones, each at a different frequency and each in a different ear, your brain creates an additional tone you can hear. This third tone is called a binaural beat. You hear it at the frequency difference between the two tones.
These beats are at different frequencies and brainwave states have their own hertz range. Listening to different frequencies results in different benefits like increased creativity, falling asleep faster, more focus or less stress.
From Psychology Today:
“Beta waves (13-16 Hz) occur when we are awake and alert.”
“Alpha waves (8-12 Hz) happen when we are relaxed with eyes closed, as in meditation.”
“Theta waves (4-7 Hz) are common in the lighter stages of sleep or the transition from waking to sleeping”.
“Delta waves (0.5-4 Hz) signify a state of deep sleep.”
When you listen to these frequencies, entrainment happens. Your brainwaves start to match the frequency you are listening to which shifts you into a different brain state. The result: You can change your mood by listening to the corresponding frequency.
How can I start using music as a healing tool? How should I incorporate it into my life?
One of the first things you can do is evaluate the music you currently listen to. Read the lyrics. Then, ask yourself if your values align with what is being shared in the music. Oftentimes we don’t realize what we are actually listening to. Bringing awareness to what our music choices and preferences are is the first step.
Pay attention to which sounds resonate most with you. Some songs may not feel good in the body and you should pay attention to what’s coming up and be curious about what your body is communicating with you. Remember, intuition likes to use the body to communicate.
When I first moved back from China, I had to drive again, and it was very stressful. I started playing calming music while driving (and attempting to parallel park) to calm my nervous system and my mind. Some music gets your heart rate up and I definitely didn’t need that in a stressful situation. Today, I still listen to relaxing music and sound bath tracks when I’m feeling a bit anxious or winding down for bed.
The key is discovering what works for you.
As additional resources, yours truly also has sound baths on YouTube and a few tracks on my podcast, Into the Woo.
Ask Alice is a column by Alice Hu of Woo Woo Company. Get all your spirituality and woo-woo questions answered. Or ask any question to get a spiritual answer back. Alice Hu is the founder of Woo Woo Company, a guide to all things woo, spiritual, and holistic health. Connect with her via 202-918-3414 (to join in on abundance meditation challenges), “Into the Woo” podcast, or [email protected]. Alice works with clients 1:1 to help them discover their purpose and navigate their Saturn Return to live a life beyond their wildest dreams. She also offers Career Clarity Readings.
woowoocompany.com // @woowooco
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