Using sound to heal and balance the body has been used in various cultures for thousands of years. Today, there are numerous techniques that all share the same intention: to create balance within the body, mind, heart and soul.
Music or sound therapy has been used as a catalyst for healing for centuries heal. The ancient indigenous cultures all had a form of music to accomplish healing, whether it was songs, chants, specific vocal sounds or the use of instruments – percussion, wind, or string. Each indigenous tribe had their own distinct sound and style. Music and dance was an integral part of sacred ceremonies and initiations. Sound (through singing and dance) used for their historic story-telling. Let’s review the various origins of Sound Healing Therapy.
In certain parts of Australia, the Aborigines have used the didgeridoo as a healing tool for over 40,000 years, possibly making it the oldest musical instrument in the world. Using this harmonically rich wind instrument, they would heal broken bones, muscle tears and illnesses of every kind. The didgeridoo was also used in sacred ceremony as an accompaniment to the chants of the singers and dancers. Isn’t it interesting that the sounds and vibrations used by modern sound healing technology are in alignment with the sounds of the didgeridoo? Today, there are many sound therapy practitioners using the didgeridoo as part of their holistic healing practice.
In Egyptian culture there was a lengthy tradition of using chants of vowel sounds. These vowel sounds were considered sacred and carried a powerful significance when used. Egyptian priestesses used a type of musical rattle instrument known as a sistrum. A sistrum has small rings or loops of metal, which creates a pleasant jangling sound when shaken. The interesting thing about this instrument is that it generates copious amounts of ultrasonic frequencies. Today, many hospitals and clinics use focused ultrasound as an effective medical treatment such as the breaking up of kidney stones.
In ancient Greece the flute and lyre were used as primary healing instruments. Pythagoras (500 B.C.) considered music to be a great contributor to health, and if used the right way, it was called ‘musical medicine’. Often, healing music would be the singing of certain chants in unison. In the Greco-Roman period patients would be placed in a healing temple. The reverberant spaces inside the healing temple would enhance the music used to facilitate healing.
In ancient India the masters developed a musical system for healing and relaxing the human body. They discovered that by arranging sounds and combining them in a specific manner, they created a relaxing, healing, and harmonizing effect in balancing the energies of the body and influencing the DNA. This arrangement of the tones and how they affected the changing states of body chemistry, were at the center of study for the ancient Indian masters of sound and music. The Indian masters understood that the human body responds and resonates with music and sounds and undergoes changes of heart rhythm, breathing, blood chemistry, and the circulation of energy in various energy centers (Chakras) of the body.
Many eastern cultures developed variations of their chants for healing and spiritual ascension. The chants were focused on using the production of vocal sounds rather than words. The use of vowel sound chants creates an altered state of consciousness. This type of chanting has been used by the Tibetan monks for at least a thousand years.
The Native American Shamans use their voice in healing rituals to overcome illness and facilitate healing. Singing and drumming are also extremely powerful tools for restoring balance within the body, mind, and spirit. Today, there are a multitude of Shamanic songs, chants and meditation music available for purchase.
All of the above examples demonstrate that the indigenous of the planet intuitively knew about the magic that lies within music, sounds and chants. Sadly, for many years this intuitive knowledge was largely ignored by other cultures, especially the developing Western World. Thankfully the re-discovery of the ancient art of sound healing has seen a resurgence in the mid-1900s. Following the aftermath of World Wars I and II, music therapy began to be utilized in hospitals in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Numerous doctors and nurses witnessed the positive effect that music had on the soldiers that were suffering from war-related emotional and physical trauma. Since that time a remarkable amount of research has taken place. The ancient art of sound healing has developed into a new science, with a myriad of beneficial sounds, tones, vibrations, and frequencies, which caters to nearly every individual. The specific sounds or tones that will resonate with you the best depends on numerous factors, such as your culture and your Akashic inheritance (past lives). This means that the same music or tone may have vastly different results between two individuals. One person may experience a complete healing by the tone or sound, yet another will be irritated! In addition, the healing power of music, tones or sounds strongly correlates with the pure intent of the individual.
Today there is an extensive selection of different types of sound healing therapy that is available on the planet. It is beyond the scope of this article to include them all, but raising your awareness to the possibilities may help you with your next step: Intuitively finding what works for you. Listen to your heart, as you listen for your song, chant, music, or tone. How does it make you feel? Answering this question is the litmus test of knowing what resonates with you. Perhaps your heart-song is one that you create yourself with your own voice or tones? Next time you are in the shower or alone, why not sing a few notes of tone? Let the music within you ignite your soul and bring joy to your day.