Sound baths can not only provide deep relaxation and the best night of sleep you've ever had, they can also help you feel more grounded and even help alleviate anxiety, PTSD and pain.
Using sound for healing may sound weird, but it's not actually new at all. Its history can be traced a back thousands of years to the ancient Egyptians, Australia's Aborigines and Greek philosopher Pythagoras, the "Father of Mathematics" who utilized sound to treat mind and body ailments. Historically, sound has been used in various cultures for healing and wellness, from music and chanting to drumming and gonging.
What to Expect When You Go to a Sound Bath
In a sound bath, participants typically lay in a comfortable position on the floor on a yoga mat, blankets, cushion, pillow or bolster. A sound healer typically plays gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, chimes, didgeridoo and other instruments. You can listen to some of New York City sound healer Sara Auster's All Good Sounds to get a sense of what it's like.
The experience is incredibly relaxing, and the sounds transport your mind and take it on a sensory journey, similar to the way a movie soundtrack does. Sound baths can be something of a way to force your brain into a meditative state, which can be incredibly helpful for people who have difficulty meditating.
Sound baths typically last about one hour. If you're going to a sound bath, you may want to bring your own blanket, mat and pillow to ensure that you're comfortable and warm. Some people find that their body temperature drops while they are laying on the floor.
As the sounds pour over you, you may drift off into a state like sleep or dreaming.
Where Can You Do a Sound Bath?
As Sound baths have become increasingly popular it is best to reserve a space in advance because they often sell out.
In Los Angeles, you can do a sound bath at Sound Space (a sound bath studio in Silverlake) with Jamie Bechtold. Or you can do a sound healing or Saturday Night Sound Bath with "gong master" Guy Douglas at Unplug Meditation in West Los Angeles. You can visit the Integratron out by Joshua Tree for their 60-minute sound bath that they describe as "kindergarten nap-time for grown ups in a sound sphere."
What Do YOU Think?
Would you try a sound bath, or have you already gone to one? What was your experience like? Leave a comment below and let us know.
About the Author
JESS BARRON is VP & GM for LIVESTRONG.COM, a leading healthy lifestyle website with over 29 million unique monthly viewers. Jess's passion is inspiring people to live healthier and better. In addition to LIVESTRONG, her writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune and MyDomaine. She has appeared on MSNBC, ABC News and XM Satellite Radio. Jess has been a keynote speaker on health topics at Health Further and a panelist at Create & Cultivate and Digital Hollywood. Follow Jess on Instagram at @jessbeegood and Twitter too.