Wellness Wednesday: Sound healing

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — In this week’s edition of Wellness Wednesday, we introduce you to the world of sound healing.

The practice itself is actually an ancient one, but thanks to current science and research studying the effects of sound on the body and mind, the healing modality is going mainstream.

We all instinctively know that certain sounds can put us on edge — like nails on a chalkboard or the sound of glass breaking. We also know that other sounds, like ocean waves hitting the shore, tend to have the opposite effect.

But do you know why? Well, it all comes down to science.

“We’re all made up of vibration, and so, these different frequencies touch us in different areas of our body,” said Elise Angell, a certified sound healer who offers sessions inside her Myrtle Beach yoga studio.

Angell is one of many practitioners across the country who are bringing ancient traditions into modern spaces.

“When I found out that there are healing properties within the [quartz and Himalayan singing] bowls and that this was another way to facilitate healing and just help raise awareness, I was in,” she said.

According to quantum physics, sound healing works because everything is made up of energy, and behind that energy lies vibration. Vibration is basically particles moving back and forth.

Different vibrations and different frequencies produce certain effects on the brain and body. The frequencies produced by things like quartz singing bowls or bass chimes work in three different ways.

The sounds can slow down the brain waves and increase relaxation in a very short period of time. The vibrations can entrain the body with the sound itself, meaning the two essentially “sync up” their frequencies.

Instruments used in sound healing also produce what are known as “cymatic effects,” where the sound waves literally travel through the air and impact the energy in our bodies like ripples in a cup of water that’s sitting on a loud speaker.

“We’re all energy, we’re all vibration and so that’s how we talk to each other,” Angell said. “We really don’t need words, it seems like we need words but we don’t always need them to communicate.”

Many hospitals around the world are already using sound therapy to help patients. That includes special relaxation and music sessions for those recovering from trauma.

Sound is also already being used in the operating room, doing everything from breaking up kidney stones to detecting cancer cells.

“Some of these sounds can actually feel very soothing and some of them maybe cause a disruption or some kind of angst in your body, but each of these sounds has a purpose for your body,” Angell said.

If you want to try out sound healing for yourself, Angell holds a group session each month at Living Yoga and Wellness on N. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach.

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