Good Vibrations

May 15, 2009 | May 2009, Mind & Body

Using sound therapy to soothe the soul

By Janis Turk

Ever walk into a clothing store at the mall only to be bombarded with the boom of loud obnoxious music, say rap at The Gap, or disco at a department store? You may want to run away screaming. I can’t stand to stay in those stores long enough try things on or stand at the register, and I often wonder if the music that lures younger people into such stores really keeps them there, longer, or makes them rush through in a nervous frenzy, too, as it does me? The point is, if music (or what’s passing for it these days) can disturb my soul so, it only makes sense that music can soothe the savage beast, too.

Many mind and body experts these days agree with this idea and are employing different kinds of sound therapy to help us relax and open up paths to a more pure form of energy and relaxation.

It’s not a new concept by any means — we’ve all heard how classical music can stimulate a baby’s brain, and we know how certain songs we love can take us back in time to better days. Music can trigger sweet memories of our youth, and it can pep us up when we are blue–or make us even bluer if we want to wallow in sadness for a while. Jazz may mellow me out or drive you insane, country may calm you or make me want to go for my gun — but, either way, music and yes, simply sound, clearly has a part in affecting our moods.

Spas today are employing music to soothe the soul during massages. Some ashrams and even some churches have long used chanting to bring the spirit, mind and body, and even groups, in harmony. Schools have used chants and cheers to develop a sense of community and encourage teams on to victory. So it’s nothing new to use sound therapy to work wonders in the mind and body.

But it isn’t just music that experts are turning to. According to Mary Lopiccalo, lead resonance therapist at Mii Amo, a destination spa at Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona, in a story on sound vibrations on www.Active.Com, “Sound therapy relies on the fact that from the smallest atom to the largest galaxy, everything has a specific frequency of vibration.” The article goes on to say that, “Movement is vibration, and vibration is sound,” quoting Robert MacDonald, director of healing at Exhale spas. He says in the article that, “Your heartbeat, nervous system and other systems all vibrate at different frequencies, creating various sounds. In a sense, the body is like an orchestra. In terms of sound therapy, when we experience mental, emotional or physical problems, our healthy vibrations in one or more areas are disrupted, and we are “out of tune.”

Sound therapy, as used in these and other spas, can help unblock impediments to energy flow and help us to relax in ways that we might not otherwise be able to experience.

So go with the flow, let the music take you, get into all the good vibrations that sound therapy can bring.

South Texas Fitness & Health