Connect to Self and Others

Connect to Self and Others

Exploring the Relaxing Effects of Sound Healing

Mar 27, 2024 | Blog, Sound Healing, Workshop, Yoga | 0 comments

Stress seems to be an unwelcome companion for many and the search for relaxation methods has become increasingly vital. One such ancient practice gaining traction in modern times is sound healing.

Numerous studies have delved into the effects of sound on the brain and body, shedding light on its potential to induce relaxation and reduce stress levels.

Researchers have discovered that specific sound frequencies positively affect brainwave activity. For example, a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that sound therapy reduced anxiety levels, as evidenced by electroencephalography EEG scans. Another study from the University of California, Irvine, found that sound therapy sessions decreased cortisol levels, associated with stress.


 To understand better why we feel so relaxed after a sound healing, let’s explore the effect of sound on a physiological level. 

Stimulation of low brainwaves frequency

Our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors stem from the intricate electrochemical interactions among neurons in the brain. As masses of neurons communicate with each other, they generate synchronized electrical pulses, giving rise to brainwaves. These electrical impulses create oscillations that can be measured using specialized equipment such as electroencephalography (EEG). Brainwaves are categorized based on their frequency, which is measured in hertz (Hz). Each type of brainwave fulfills a distinct role, reflecting the brain’s function across various states of consciousness and mental activity.

When we’re in a relaxed state, our brain tends to produce more alpha waves, which are associated with calmness and relaxation. Conversely, high-stress situations produces an abundance of beta waves, indicating heightened alertness and agitation.

Sound healing techniques such as Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, and tuning forks  entrain the brain to enter a state of relaxation by synchronizing brainwave frequencies with the frequencies emitted by these instruments. This process, known as “brainwave entrainment,” has been studied in the field of neuroscience. Research conducted at the National Institutes of Health has shown that auditory stimulation can indeed modulate brainwave activity, leading to changes in mood and emotional states. 

sound healing

What are our brain wave states?

Delta Waves (0.5-4 Hz): Delta waves are the slowest brainwaves and are typically associated with deep sleep, unconsciousness, and unconscious bodily functions.

Theta Waves (4-8 Hz): Theta waves are present during light sleep, deep relaxation, meditation, and states of creativity and inspiration. They are also associated with memory formation and deep emotional processing.

Alpha Waves (8-12 Hz): Alpha waves are prominent during relaxed wakefulness, daydreaming, and light meditation. They are often associated with a calm and focused state of mind.

Beta Waves (12-30 Hz): Beta waves are characteristic of active, alert, and engaged mental activity. They are present during waking states, concentration, problem-solving, and stress.

Gamma Waves (30-100 Hz): Gamma waves are the fastest brainwaves and are associated with high-level cognitive functions, perception, learning, and information processing. They are also linked to states of heightened awareness and spiritual experiences.


Release of endorphins

Studies have demonstrated that exposure to certain frequencies of sound can stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” hormones. This phenomenon, known as the “auditory-induced endorphin release,” has been observed in various studies investigating the effects of music and sound therapy on physiological and psychological parameters.

One study conducted by researchers at McGill University found that listening to music with a slow tempo and low pitch led to increased endorphin release in participants. Similarly, a study published in the Journal of Music Therapy reported that sound-based interventions such as drumming and chanting elicited significant increases in endorphin levels in participants. 

The release of endorphins during sound healing sessions contributes to the overall sense of relaxation and stress reduction. As endorphins bind to opioid receptors in the brain, they dampen the perception of pain and promote a state of calmness and tranquility. This biochemical response not only alleviates physical discomfort but also fosters a positive emotional state. Sound healing appear to be  an effective tool for managing stress and contributing to feelings of relaxation and well-being. 

Positive impact on the autonomic nervous system

Research at Massachusetts General Hospital showed that sound therapy, including music therapy, singing bowl therapy, and guided meditation, significantly reduced “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system activity while increasing relaxation-promoting parasympathetic nervous system activity. Chronic stress has been shown to suppress immune function, making individuals more susceptible to infections and inflammatory diseases. By reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation, sound healing may help bolster the immune system’s response to pathogens and enhance overall resilience.

Curious to try ?

Experience the profound relaxation of sound healing for yourself and discover its transformative effects on both body and mind. We invite you to immerse yourself in the soothing vibrations of our sound and yoga classes available in both Qi Pilates Health & Yoga studios in Manly and Freshwater.

Sound healing therapy is highly recommended if you are seeking deep relaxation and our classes offer a variety of options to suit your preferences. For a purely meditative practice with no movement, we recommend Yoga Nidra or our Sound classes. If you prefer a blend of gentle stretching and harmonizing vibrations, Yin and Sound sessions are the perfect choice.

Step onto the mat and allow the healing power of sound to guide you towards inner peace and well-being and even better yet it is part of your membership here at Qi Pilates, Health & Yoga.


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