As we ease in and out of lockdowns, there’s one thing that’s been a constant throughout this pandemic: Anxiety.
Some people have found ways to cope, with yoga, meditation, and aromatherapy being hot favourites for quieting inner demons. But just as anxiety manifests itself in different ways for different people, so does its relief.
For those who’ve tried everything but still struggle to find respite, let us introduce you to sound therapy, and how you can do it at home.
Until recently, sound therapy (or sound healing) has been generally regarded as an analog experience you could only experience at a special studio in an expensive neighbourhood. The transportive and acoustically-driven form of therapy typically involves an expert who plays singing bowls, gongs, and other instruments that have the ability to produce resonance — sounds you can not only hear, but also feel.
While sound waves usually bounce off the space around you — like furniture and walls — these vibrations also move through you, entraining brainwaves into a slower rhythm and bringing your mind and body into a state of deep relaxation.
Untethering the mind can bring about plenty of physiological changes, from stress reduction and decreased anxiety, to better memory, reduced blood pressure, and a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke. Many also use sound therapy to get relief from chronic headaches and migraines.
Ready to give this alternative treatment a shot? Here’s how you too can let go of your anxieties and reach a state of relaxation with sound, even at home.
Set the mood
Like meditation, you’ll want to ensure that you’re in a comfortable place for the whole duration. This means no distractions like phones, children, and television; instead, create a cozy environment with blankets, pillows, dimmed lights and — if you’re feeling fancy — aromatherapy. Candles also create a soothing space as you drift into a deep state of relaxation.
Have an open heart
Sound therapy might come across as baloney to the uninitiated, but having an open mind and heart is most important in getting the most out of your session. Allow yourself to be present and to surrender to all the thoughts and emotions that will flow through you. Like meditation, this will require a bit of practice before you’re able to fully immerse in the experience.
Don’t want to invest in all the tools? You can always find a sound bath with a learned practitioner online instead. These experts have a deep understanding of the intricacies of frequencies, brain states, and music, and curate their experiences with plenty of mindfulness and care. Alo Moves, Goop, and The Rebel Human offer free sound baths online, each with a unique feel and flavour so you can experiment to figure out what resonates with you best.
Because nothing beats feeling the resonance of the tools in real life, we’ve put together a quick shopping guide below to help you get the good vibrations going without any hassle.
If you’re streaming the experience, Bang & Olufsen’s latest Beoplay 28 is an immensely chic tool that also provides studio-grade sound which automatically adapts to any space that it’s in, thanks to the cutting-edge acoustical innovations within. Besides flawless audio quality at all times, the wireless speaker allows for seamless music streaming and a simple touch-user interface, so you won’t have to fumble with remotes or complicated switches before or during your session.
With high-fidelity audio, industry-leading Active Noise Cancellation, and adaptive EQ capabilities, the Apple AirPods Max over-ear headphones are one of the most comfortable options out there for an immersive sound therapy experience. The H1 chips within offer a seamless and fully-integrated pairing and device-switching experience for any Apple device that you already own, making it easy to connect no matter what you choose to use. An inverted knit mesh headband and ear cushions also distribute weight and reduce on-head pressure to ensure you never feel uncomfortable for the entire duration.
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Handcrafted in Los Angeles, this meditation pillow has been made from natural and organic vegan materials, and is generously stuffed with buckwheat hulls to provide essential support to your spine for extended periods of sitting during your wellness practices, such as meditation or sound therapy. The pillow is finished with an organic certified cotton cover, and has been made with a net-negative carbon footprint so you can fully immerse without guilt.