When they ask us what is sonotherapy? We give a clear and concise answer: it is the healing effect of sound and is based on the fact that any emotional or physical alteration is balanced through the vibration of different frequencies applied to the person who suffers it. It is also known as sound therapy reiki healing.
Quantum physics states that everything is in continuous motion, each particle emits a vibration that affects the others and these in turn affect the adjacent ones. If this is so, we have at our disposal the instruments to change our vibration and therefore, the world around us.
Since ancient times, in any corner of the planet, sound has been both a cultural manifestation and a healing medium. All traditions and philosophies, especially shamanic ones, are based on the healing capacity of sound and music. These traditions argue that sound can modify the state of all our systems, affecting us in different ways: healing on an organic level, achieving emotional well-being, or even getting sick from exposure to non-harmonic sounds.
In ancient Chinese culture, the voice was the expression of the deep self. According to the student’s intonation, the teacher knew if he deserved his teaching. The tone of a newborn’s voice was a good or bad omen for his future life. Also, depending on the timbre, it was known whether the person was healthy or sick, as a hoarse voice indicated a lung disorder or a shouty voice indicated a liver disease.
Later, the use of sound and traditional music led to structured musical works, which became what is currently known as music therapy. In the eighties, sound reappeared as a therapeutic tool and today it is gaining more importance as therapy in itself or as a complement to others.
The sound and the body
From a scientific point of view, sound stimuli not only impact the auditory system, but also our entire body; the vibration spreads through it, producing certain effects, such as biochemical changes, balance of neuronal activity or relaxation of the muscular system. These changes affect the entire body through the nervous and circulatory systems.
When we attend a concert, the sound vibrations emitted by the voice and the various musical instruments impact our body, they also bring back memories and at the same time the rhythm invites us to move. All of this gives us more or less pleasant sensations that modify and activate certain biochemical changes that will affect the entire organism.
But there’s more: if we expose ourselves to the vibration of an instrument that is very close or even in direct contact with our body, such as a bowl or a tuning fork, the physical effects of its vibration have an even greater impact on it.
From an energetic point of view, sound is the vibration that harmonizes our body, including emotional, mental and spiritual states. Sounds can help us go from sadness to joy, enter altered states of consciousness or stabilize our heart rate.
It is important to distinguish sound from another element that, although not essentially sound, also produces effects on our body. Noise is an undefined sound transmission, with irregular vibrations that disturb and alter the auditory nerve and therefore all the systems of our body.
Noise usually produces an unpleasant sensation and even causes illness. For example, noise pollution in cities causes states of anxiety or stress, which can lead to insomnia problems, while sound causes a harmonious sensation, which is why we work with it, to harmonize our systems and restore health, in that what sound therapy consists of. You can find more information in this book.
Sound transmission and reception
For a sound phenomenon to occur, three elements are necessary:
A flexible body that vibrates, like a musical instrument or the human throat.
An elastic medium that propagates vibrations, like air.
A receiver that interprets these vibrations, like the human ear.
In our body, one of the best ways of transmitting sound is the skeletal system, particularly the spine. The parts of the body that best “listen” and transmit sound vibration to the rest of the body are the bones of the skull and spine.
A sound is perceived simultaneously by the auditory system, skin, joints, muscles and bones. Thus, certain vibrations can be recognized through the skin, although the ear does not perceive them. Just because they cannot be heard does not mean that they do not exist, which is why people with hearing difficulties feel the music and receive the healing vibrations of sound. In these people, tactile vibration activates brain responses in the auditory area, just like someone with normal hearing. In this sense, you may be interested in this reading .
Sound propagates in solids and liquids more quickly than in gases. In sound therapy, we work with the three means of propagation according to needs.
Sound qualities and sonotherapy
Sound has qualities that define and identify it: tone, frequency, volume, intensity, rhythm, duration and timbre.
Traditional healing focuses its attention on the physical system, but in sound therapy the energetic system is essential, because its practice is based on it. Each tradition or philosophy has been responsible for investigating the human energy system from one aspect or another, as well as developing techniques that keep it in balance.
Instruments used in sound therapy
For sound therapy you can use quartz bowls, Tibetan bowls, tuning forks and your own voice. With practice we will know which instrument we feel best with, the most important thing is to be comfortable, because this will facilitate the energy to flow properly through our body and the results with ourselves or with other people will be better.
In the healing process, the frequency of the sound is as important as the intention of the therapist. Intention is the energy behind the sound. When producing sound, it is our consciousness that encodes it, travels with it and finally, it is received by the person who hears and perceives it. Therefore, it is the frequency added to the intention, which produces the healing effect.
With practice you will discover that sound is a magnificent tool to balance you and maintain good health. The sound vibration that we experience with these instruments can change our lives and that of our environment, producing a chain reaction that helps improve and harmonize the world around us.