Sound Bath Therapy and Addiction Recovery
The best approach to addiction recovery is always the most holistic one. Someone with a strong program tackles all elements of recovery. This often includes going to meetings, staying connected with sober friends, having fun and taking time for self care. Looking after yourself can take on many forms. You might go for a massage, do some yoga, or you might even do a little sound bath therapy!
How sound bath therapy can help with addiction recovery
In recent years, sound healers have begun exploring the potential of using the healing modality to help people who have addiction. In the past, sound healing sessions were usually held in traditional spiritual spaces. Now, sound healing has begun making its way into other areas, such as into addiction rehabilitation centre treatment programs.
Sound healing reduces rates of relapse by helping to release blocked emotions and trauma within the body. Trauma plays a role in forming addiction, and people who have been through addiction often develop more trauma when they are in addictive addiction.
The origins of sound bath therapy
While sound baths have only recently become popular in the West, they have been used worldwide for much longer. The first recorded usage dates back thousands of years.
Sound bath therapy often includes:
One of the first recorded examples of sound healing technology is the Tibetan bowls, or singing bowls. These bowls were first made from pure copper and originated in Mesopotamia over 5000 years ago. The use of these bowl then spread to the Tibet, Nepal and India regions.
The didgeridoo originated in Australia, and its history dates back thousands of years. It was initially used for ceremonial purposes and is now sometimes used in the West as an aid to meditation and to help release blocked energy within the body.
Chanting is often used in sound bath therapy. To do this, you do not need an instrument, merely the sound of your voice. You recieve healing just by listening to people who are chanting, but the benefits are even more powerful when you get involved in the chanting yourself. The vibrations from your voice spread through your body and release trapped energy. Sound healing is particularly powerful for opening the throat chakra, which is responsible for communication and self-expression.
Another ancient sound healing instrument is the gong, which consists of a large metal plate made of bronze or brass. The instrument is played, by rubbing its surface. This, then produces a distinctive sound that is pleasant and healing. Healing gongs probably originated in Iran, some 6000 years ago. Furthermore, there is evidence that they were used by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Mongols, and Uigher, dating back thousands of years.
Drums are perhaps the oldest instruments to be used as a form of therapy. They are often used in some sound bath therapy sessions. Drums have roots in Ancient Greece, Africa and the Middle East, and in the North American tribes. The Native Americans used the drums to send away evil as they soothed the participants and restoring their ability to heal. Moreover, drums have also been proven to promote soothing and healing brain waves. They can also be used to enhance a persons spiritual connection.
What Happens in Sound Bath Therapy
In the West, the most common instrument used in a sound bath is the Tibetan bowls. Typically, participants in a sound healing session involving the Tibetan bowls lie down on the outside of a dimly-lit room, with their heads facing the inside of the room.
The Tibetan bowls are usually played in the middle of a room. Sometimes, the person playing the bowls will lift them up and play them while holding them over certain parts of a participant's bodies. This action can expedite the healing process. Sessions usually last for around an hour.
Sometimes, people play multiple instruments through the course of a sound bath therapy session. These instruments can complement each other, creating a more pleasant sound and increasing the healing potential.
What to Expect From Sound Bath Therapy
When you participate in one of these sessions, you might not feel anything for the first 10 or 15 minutes, this is normal. The first sensation you have may be a slight feeling of uncomfortably as energy begins to move in your body. The feelings you may experience can intensify for a while, then dissipate as the emotions are released. People often report feeling very relaxed following sound healing sessions, and many sleep well afterwards.
At the start of a sound bath therapy session, consider setting an intention for what you would like to happen. When we set intentions, we tell our body and mind what we would like them to do. For example, you may set an intention to release tension in the body, or you might set an intention to get rid of blocked emotions that are not serving you.
If you begin to feel overwhelmed at any point during the sound healing session, it is fine to leave. You can always come back in when you feel calmer. People who have severe trauma should be particularly aware of this.
How sound bath therapy works on brain waves
Sound bath therapy works by changing brain wave activity. When the brain is active and alert, it is in beta wave state. This state is good for working and when you need to pay attention to something. Unfortunately, sometimes people can get stuck in this state of hyper-arousal, meaning that they are unable to get proper rest.
Sound healing encourages your brain to go into alpha or theta states, which are often encountered when someone gets into a meditative state. This allows for deep healing and relaxation.
How sound bath therapy can be used as a complementary therapy for stress
Everyone encounters stress today.We are constantly bombarded with tasks within the modern world. If left unchecked, stress can overwhelm us. People in recovery often feel this stress more acutely than others. If you are in recovery, it is vital that you learn effective ways of managing your stress levels. Maintaining stress in recovery can, unfortunately, lead to relapse.
Sound healing is a powerful healing modality that can have massive benefits for reducing stress. If this is something you suffer from you may find attending sound sessions particularly beneficial. Sound healing not only lowers your stress levels for the duration of the session but can have a positive impact for days or weeks afterwards.
If a sound healing session is able to unlock and release your trauma, your level of stress can be permanently lowered.
Sound bath therapy can:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Lower anger and blood pressure
- Increases blood flow
- Promote deep relaxation and pain relief
- Balance chakras
- Increase mental and emotional clarity
- Balances hemispheres of the brain
- Help with insomnia and sleep disorders
- Promote stillness and well being
- Stimulate the immune system
- Inspire deep meditative states
- Deepen spiritual work
Sound bath therapy can increase your wellbeing in addiction recovery
Sound healing can play a crucial part in a program of recovery. People who have been through addiction often have mental, physical and spiritual ailments. Sound healing can play a part in addressing all of these.
With all these benefits, it is essential to remember that sound healing should only be considered a small element of a recovery program. You can think of recovery as being like a structure that is supported by pillars. If your structure is only supported by one or two pillars, it could easily collapse. If many pillars support it, it is much more robust.
Recovery from addiction has many elements, and they are all important. Focusing on each of them ensures that you will be content in your recovery, and will minimise the risk of relapse.
Sound bath therapy, chakras and addiction
Chakras are the energy centers of the body. You are probably aware of the idea of "unblocking" the chakras. When a chakra or energy centre is unblocked, energy is able to flow through freely. This results in better brain and body functioning.
One of the ways of looking at sound bath therapy is that the various instruments that are used in it can open up and unblock these chakras. You can also help your chakras to function better by doing chakra healing meditations and practicing yoga outside of sound healing sessions.
Here's a list of the various chakras, with information on why they might be out of balance or need unblocking:
The root chakra is locked at the base of the spine. It serves as a foundation and helps us stay grounded. It relates to security, survival, and financial matters. An underactive root chakra can make us feel insecure, depressed, and anxious. When it is overactive, people can begin to feel fearless, getting themselves into dangerous situations.
This chakra is on the lower abdomen, roughly 2 inches above the navel. It deals with our emotions, creativity, and sexual energy. If your sacral chakra is underactive, you may experience hormonal issues or low libido. An overactive sacral chakra can lead to increased levels of addictions like sex addiction.
Solar plexus chakra
Located from the navel to the ribcage, the solar plexus chakra impacts on the digestion in the body. A blocked solar plexus chakra can lead to low self-esteem and difficulty making decisions. An overactive one can make us egotistical. As with the other chakras, this one can be balanced during sound bath therapy.
The heart chakra can be found at the center of the chest. When this chakra is balanced, love flows though the body freely. An underactive heart chakra might make it difficult for us to give and receive love. An overactive heart chakra can make us too loving. When our heart chakra is overactive, we may experience co-dependency. This is something people with substance abuse problems often suffer with.
A well-functioning throat chakra allows us to listen and to speak our truth with clarity and conviction. If this chakra is underactive, people find it difficult to speak up about how they feel. The flip side of this, when the chakra is working too much, people can become judgemental, overly talkative and domineering during conversation.
This chakra is located between your eyebrows, and governs your intuition. If the five chakras before this one are not functioning well, your third eye is unlikely to work well either. An underactive third-eye chakra leads to a tendency to intellectualize things. An overactive third-eye chakra can cause you to have an overactive imagination.
The crown chakra, which is located at the top of the head, governs our connection to our higher selves and to God. An under-active crown chakra results in feeling disconnected and numb. An over-active one can cause you to have a burning desire for material belongings.
Is sound bath therapy for you?
Sound bath therapy can play an important role in your program of recovery. It can assist by helping to alleviate stress, boost the functioning of the body and the mind, and even reduce addictive behaviours.
To get the best out of this holistic practice, ensure that you complement it with a wide variety of other methods that keep you sober and living the good life in recovery.
You can access many proven holistic means of increasing your wellbeing in addiction recovery by subscribing to our wellness hub. Here, you will find a myriad of professionally led treatments, including Yoga, breath work, nutrition, sedition, exercise and more. All of these things can help to compliment and enhance a healthy recovery from addiction.