(Photo: Gianni Pucci / Indigitalimages.com)
Music can minister to minds diseased, pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, raze out the written troubles of the brain, and with its sweet oblivious antidote, cleanse the full bosom of all perilous stuff that weighs upon the heart.” —William Shakespeare
That music can have a powerful effect on your mood and spirit has always been clear, but sound itself—specifically the frequencies, tones, and vibrations—can also have a profound therapeutic aspect. While the practice of sound healing may trace its roots back to ancient Greece and Egypt, it still remains a fairly new concept for many nowadays. So what is it exactly? A healing method that uses vibrations bestowed by a variety of tools and instruments like drums, singing bowls, tuning forks, even the voice itself, to balance energy flow, provide relaxation, and help address issues of the mind and body.
“What I do when I work with people is provide an environment in which I introduce different sounds and vibrations to help the person’s body and mind shift what’s out of balance and help it move toward a state of homeostasis [being in balance],” says Nathan Martinez, a Brooklyn-based sound healer. “Sound healing gives you an opportunity to address issues like stress, various anxieties, sleep disorder, even PTSD. If there is some sort of energetic stagnation, sound waves have a way of getting to the core of what that is and helping it dissipate.” That can be something physical like a pain in your knee from running or mental like chronic nightmares, and sessions can be either passive or a more interactive experience where you come away with tools like breathing or vocal toning.
And, as of last month, Martinez has also started offering monthly group sound baths (for Palm Desert frequenters, it’s akin to the Integratron experience) at Brooklyn’s Zen Center. Attendees lie down under blankets on pillows and yoga mats in a darkened room, eyes closed (or obscured by an eye mask if, like me, you need extra impetus to keep them shut), while Martinez takes you on an hour-plus-long sound journey. Even the most overactive minds (of which there are a great many in New York) can reach an almost meditative state—some even fall fast asleep—as the different sounds wash over them. “People always say at the end that they feel more calm and grounded,” says Martinez. Who doesn’t want that?
To book an appointment with Martinez or for more information on sound baths, visitntmsoundhealing.com.
More from Style.com: