Sound Healing & Homeostasis
How does the Sound helps in healing ? Sound healing works across many levels. Lets examine one core benefit of sound healing on our nervous system and how it triggers homeostasis (a balanced condition necessary for healing). We will focus only on homeostasis and autonomous nervous system impact of sound healing in this article to get clarity on how the healing is triggered by sound healing.
Healing Begins when you relax and achieve Homeostasis:
Lets understand what is Homeostasis and how it triggers self-healing. If you recall the wisdom from “Stress Management” article, during stress (i.e. when sympathetic nervous system is in control), the body’s self-maintenance and self-repair goes into a shut-down mode. The body – by design – is supposed to activate the stress response (and HPA axis) only on rare occasions when there is “real” danger. However, our modern life results in many instances during a typical day when we activate HPA axis due to negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, anger, frustration, resentment etc (and not real danger). In short, consistent trigger of HPA axis (stress response) causes imbalance in our body functions and sets the platform for the growth of disease.
Lets now understand what happens if we do not remain in “consistent” stress response mode. When we remain relaxed and positive, we tend to activate parasympathetic nervous system (which reduces the activation of HPA axis). This calms the mind, relaxes the body and fosters a sense of tranquility. Only in such a relaxed state (aka Homeostasis) that the body can activate the self-repair systems to initiate and continue the repair of what was out of “balance” in the body !
To summarise, we need to balance both the elements of autonomous nervous system to be able to reach homeostasis and this condition is necessary to trigger healing.
How does sound help in healing?
Sound waves trigger an entrainment with Brain Waves. In other words, the multiple harmonics of the sound wave result in changes in our brain waves. By attuning to the sound waves, the human brain activates alpha and theta waves and when this happens the mind becomes relaxed. When the mind is relaxed, we activate parasympathetic system which achieves deep relaxation resulting in a homeostasis.
Lets see the result of a 20 mins balancing therapy using 4 bowls that I worked with a 62-year old healthy male. Alfascan System was used (it uses R-R interval and additional algorithm to identify various parameters including the balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic tone) to measure the ANS system elements before and after the therapy. After the therapy, the individual’s parasympathetic tone increased from 30 to 35 (As shows in the diagram). A few such sessions over a duration of about 3 weeks can significantly reduce the tension and stress and sets the platform for self-healing (it is established that it takes about 21 days for neuro pathways to change in our mind-body system).
To summarise, the sound healing results in entrainment in brain waves which relaxes the mind and activates parasympathetic nervous system. This condition results in homeostasis and allows the self-healing mechanism of the body and mind to take over allowing healing to begin !
Equipment Courtesy: Mr Anil Sinha (Founder, Meditation Lab, Pyramid Valley International)
For more information on how sound healing works on heart rate variability, click here.