Intro To Sound Work For Actualization And Healing
We’ve got a great topic today and one close to our hearts: sound work. This is just an introduction to what sound work is and an overview of some of the popular types. We’ll come back at a later date and talk about how to use sound work more specifically.
Several of the inner Skara team members use sound work a lot. We like that it can be relatively passive but become active as it kind of takes you over (in a good way). We also like that it’s so versatile. Different types can have very different effects. Some of us have a background in music and that makes us very auditory in general. Sound work is great for people like that because we’re very open to the sonic landscape.
But enough about us, let’s jump into some popular types of sound work or audio meditations.
About Sound Work: Binaural Beats
Before we start waxing poetic about how much we love binaural beats we want to tell you that the established scientific response about these is that there’s no research to suggest they work. That’s important to understand, but the anecdotal experience we’ve had using them is also hard to deny.
Also, it’s not exactly true that there’s no evidence. A 2018 study did identify a change in sleep patterns and behaviors associated with binaural beats. It’s more accurate to say that further study is needed.
Maybe this is a personal thing. Maybe it’s a placebo. But accept this section with a skeptical eye until you try them for yourself. We hope you will!
Binaural beats are a form of sound wave therapy. Two sustained tones are played and this creates an ‘auditory illusion’ in your mind so you perceive a third tone: the difference between the hertz of the two sounding tones. Sometimes these tones are played ‘neat’ or all by themselves. More often, however, they’re sort of hidden in the background of some already soothing music or nature sounds.
In this context, the term ‘beat’ is, “… an interference pattern between two sounds of slightly different frequencies, perceived as a periodic variation in volume whose rate is the difference of the two frequencies.” Thanks to our ole friend Wikipedia.
Types Of Binaural Beats
You’ll see binaural beats broken down into subcategories that describe what they ‘do’ or may affect.
- Delta beats or waves are in the 0.5–4 Hz frequency. They’re associated with dreamless sleep.
- Theta beats or waves exist in the 4–7 Hz frequency range. They may have a positive effect on REM sleep, creativity, and even meditation.
- Alpha beats or waves modulate in the 7–13 Hz range and are typically associated with relaxation.
Beta beats are between the frequency of 13–30 Hz. The lower range is safer and associated with concentration and alertness. These tones may induce anxiety at the upper register, however.
- Finally, we’ve got gamma beats in a range of 30–50 Hz. These beats are sometimes described as ‘consciousness arousal maintenance’ which may differ slightly from the focus beta beats provide by creating a more ‘present’ feeing.
People often turn to this kind of sound work because of anxiety, physical discomfort like migraines or menstrual cramps, and to improve their focus. However, you can specifically find beats that purport to help activate your third-eye, stimulate ascension, and even chakra cleansing.
About Sound Work: Guided Meditations
Guided meditations are a type of sound work in that they are auditory meditations lead by an individual who speaks to another and influences their thoughts to help them reach a certain meditative goal.
A guided meditation may happen live and in person or through a recorded medium like a video or audio recording.
There are endless types of guided meditations, from chakra cleansing to identifying your animal totem to even trauma work. They aren’t the same as hypnosis because no suggestions are implanted during the trance state. In fact, many participants never actually enter a trance state at all.
Guided meditations are a wonderful way to mix up your meditation practice. They’re also awesome if you want to learn some new affirmations or energetically work toward a goal like more abundance. They can be powerful healing tools as well, but we caution everyone to take care with this.
If you’re participating in a guided meditation alone and something triggers your trauma, it could put you in a space that’s not safe. So take care and work at the pace you’re comfortable with. You may want to work with a practitioner in person when it comes to guided meditations for healing.
About Sound Work: Solfeggio Frequencies
If you thought binaural beats sounded controversial, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Solfeggio frequencies are even more polarizing! Some people love them and others openly declare that anyone who buys this crap is nuts.
Not surprisingly, we fall somewhere near the middle leaning toward finding these a useful tool in our actualization arsenal.
The solfeggio frequencies exist on a 6 tone scale. Some consider them sacred. Ancient spiritual music like gregorian chants revolves around the solfeggio frequencies, although whether that’s coincidence or not is unknown. There’s some suggestion that the origin of these tones dates back to a tribute hymn to John The Baptist in the Bible.
We’re not asserting the validity of that nor are we denying it. We’re just passing that information on because it’s interesting, right?
Just like binaural beats, the frequency of the tone matters here. Unlike the beats, however, the solfeggio frequency is straight forward. Whatever the frequency is of the tone you’re hearing is the tone you’re working with.
Here’s your tone chart:
- 396 Hz – Liberating Guilt and Fear
- 417 Hz – Undoing Situations and Facilitating Change
- 528 Hz – Transformation and Miracles (DNA Repair)
- 639 Hz – Connecting/Relationships
- 741 Hz – Expression/Solutions
- 852 Hz – Returning to Spiritual Order
This segues nicely into the final type of sound work we’re talking about today: tools and instruments.
About Sound Work: Tuning Forks, Singing Bowls, And Chanting
A lot of sound work uses instruments or the human voice to convey phrases or sounds. These statements or tones help people relax, meditation or perhaps achieve certain states of consciousness.
You’ll largely find that these practices use either the solfeggio frequencies or the concept of binaural beats to produce their intended effect.
Tuning forks sound tones at certain pitches or frequencies to provoke a somatic or consciousness response from the participant. They’re pretty cool, especially in person. Sometimes you can feel them vibrate in your body somehow, which is wild.
Singing bowls might be brass or crystal and they create a tone when a wand is run over their surface. This is kind of like tracing a wet finger around the rim of a crystal glass. Each bowl creates a specific tone and these tones are used to generate the kinds of effects that the tuning forks are also used to promote.
And finally, there’s chanting. Chanting might be the Gregorian kind, may involve a Sanskrit word or phrase, or could be in any language. There may be a melody to the chant or it could be a single tone. Chanting is used both alone and in conjunction with physical practices like dancing, jumping, or even attempts to levitate.
Like with the forks and bowls, chants are often related to the solfeggio frequencies or some other concept of frequencies that promote certain states of being. For instance, Vedic texts reference the power of frequencies in a kind of ‘solfeggio-esque’ description.
It appears the fascination with the power of sound is cross-cultural.
That’s Sound Work In A Nutshell!
That was quite an intro, but if you’d like to know more about how to use sound work, stay tuned for a detailed article on each type of therapy.
We aren’t telling you that any of these practices ‘work,’ – we believe that’s for you to decide for yourself. There’s little harm in exploring them, however. You never know what’s out there that can enhance your human experience!