SOUND HEALING AND TRAUMA

Everything in the universe is sound, including our physical and emotional bodies and spiritual selves. We all have different qualities of energy flowing through and around us, and these energies are vibratory. Every part of us has its own vibration, a resonant frequency at which it most naturally wants to vibrate.

As we live our lives, our health is affected by such factors as our experiences, our environments and our relationships with family and friends. As we respond to these factors, we often become blocked in some part of our energetic system, which can lead to pain, disease, imbalance or an emotional issue. In sound healing terms, this means that the blocked part of us is vibrating in an unhealthy way, at a vibration that is not its ideal.

Most of us have some kind of trauma in our history, whether small or large. This can be anything from a minor car accident to a major abuse history. We tend to carry around the energy or vibration of the trauma in our bodymind somewhere, and our lives can be impacted in significant ways. An accident might affect our ability to perform our normal work, or affect our overall confidence in our ability to function in daily life. This, in turn, might bring depression, anger or any number of emotions. It can be a challenge to unblock a trauma so that our energies vibrate and flow again in a healthy way. Sometimes our bodies adapt in such a way that we can carry on with daily life, but don’t always realize the effect the trauma has had on us, and we just go on living in a way that’s not ideal.

Sound can be a powerful tool for becoming more aware of our bodies, minds, and emotions, and for unwinding contracted energies with vibration. It can also be a tool for grounding and resilience in the face of our daily life stresses.

Sound can encourage the release of an emotion associated with a trauma. We can use our own voices to bring a natural and healthy vibration to our bodies and emotions. We can practice simple voice exercises to begin to be more aware of the blocked and painful areas in our bodies, and the emotions within and surrounding them. As we practice this kind of awareness, we can begin to tune into the kinds of sound, vibration, and music that will help us heal. This can be very empowering, as we begin to sense our own ability to heal.

There are two important ideas that help us understand how sound can heal us: “resonance” and “entrainment.” As mentioned above, everything in the universe has a vibration. Resonance is the frequency at which an object most naturally wants to vibrate. It can also refer to two objects vibrating at the same rate, where they are “in resonance.” Illness or imbalance changes the rate of vibration.

Entrainment is an aspect of resonance. It says that when you bring an object vibrating at a particular frequency close to an object vibrating at a different frequency, eventually one object (the less powerful vibration) will start to vibrate at the same rate as the more powerful one. So, if you bring an easing or healing or shifting vibration in proximity to an area that needs healing, that area will begin to vibrate differently.

Sound waves can affect our brains (change our brainwave frequency), respiratory rates (which can ease the physical effects of anxiety, depression, and trauma) and nervous systems (to help us relax). It can help release tension that causes pain.

When I work with individuals and groups on healing with voice, I introduce the idea that each of us has a powerful tool within us, our own voice. I bring in basic meditation, chant and toning practices that students can begin to use in class and at home, to cultivate awareness on an ongoing basis.

Please contact me for more information about sound healing sessions.

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  • Pamela Dalton
    Reply

    Hi there , I wondered if I could ask you a question.
    I work at an addiction rehab centre where I teach yoga.
    I have had many clients complain about back pain or intense sensations that have made them feel uncomfortable when having sound healing therapy at the clinic. Is this too intense for people in a state of early trauma and early stages of coming off opioids , drugs etc. In my training and a brief training in addiction we were taught to keep the client grounded and keep it simple . It worries me these practices are too intense for early stages but maybe beneficial for after care when in recovery . What are your thoughts ? I’d be grateful if you could enlighten me more .
    Best wishes
    Pamela

  • Susan Bensen
    Reply

    Dear Pamela,
    Thanks so much for reading my article, and for writing in. That’s a great question! While I haven’t dealt with patients in this particular situation, I do agree that with any kind of trauma, it’s important to take it slowly and keep the client grounded. I always gear an energy and sound treatment to where the client is in his/her healing process. I’ve had great results with healing sound and voice helping people unwind tension and trauma, and helping them to become more aware of what’s going on physically and emotionally, which is key with any healing. Sound vibration, itself, can have an immediate and powerful effect on the body. But when I’ve had clients express any kind of discomfort with singing bowls, tuning forks or another kind of sound, I always back off, and work with something gentler, perhaps just hands-on energy work. Sometimes varying the amount or type of sound offered can make a difference. One of my clients was able to work with a singing bowl but not yet with her voice. Or it can be a matter of where on the body it’s used. Sound is a powerful healing tool, and like any other therapeutic tool, must be geared to what the client can handle and where s/he is in the healing process. If sound brings intense pain to a client, then it can be counterproductive in unwinding the tension or trauma. I’m sure, as well, that with addictions, there are physiological considerations, and sound interacts with whatever is going on for the patient. So, yes, I would be careful in using sound, and use it when a client can absorb it in a healthy way. I hope this answers your question. Thanks again for writing in!

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