What is Sound Healing Meditation? There are many who would agree that Sound Healing Meditation sounds nice, but aren’t quite sure what it is. The simple answer is that it is a wonderfully relaxing practice that requires no physical effort from its participants, yet offers many restorative physical and spiritual benefits for those who enjoy this particular meditative experience.
At Challenge to Change, we feel very blessed to offer Sound Healing Meditation with Rachel Harwood on Sunday evenings. To encourage you to try this practice, we’d like to give you more information about its history, is many benefits, and what you can expect from a practice with the lovely Miss Rachel.
Sound has been used for healing and meditation by humans for thousands of years. The aboriginals of Australia used the didgeridoo to promote therapeutic healing amongst their people, and the ancient Greeks believed that sound vibrations created by musical instruments could aid digestion and calm the mind. Ancient Tibetan monks used crystal singing bowls during their spiritual ceremonies to improve mental focus and encourage feelings of peace and tranquility. Today, you can find the practice of music and instrumental sounds being used for meditation in yoga studios around the world.
A sound healing, or sound bath, meditation immerses you in a variety of repetitive sounds played at different frequencies by an instructor. These sounds are intended to keep your attention through focused awareness, meaning that your mind stays grounded to the rhythms being played while your daily thoughts hopefully fade into the background.
The vibrations from the instruments are also intended to be physically felt throughout the body to bring ease and relief to your limbs and muscles. Science has found that rhythmic sounds, as opposed to melody, can help relieve physical pain. Different instruments and their tones will be felt in varying degrees throughout the body during a sound healing session. It’s quite pleasant and interesting to observe which parts of your body respond to different sounds during a sound bath.
For her Sound Healing Meditation sessions, Miss Rachel incorporates a variety of different instruments, but is preferential towards crystal singing bowls for their pleasant sounds and beautiful, calming effects on the body. She also likes to use a hand gong and a hand drum as their sounds promote a more grounding experience for the listener. Other instruments she brings in to her practice are Tibetan bowls, bells, a rattle, and a rainstick. Each of these instruments has a unique sound that brings its own unique benefits to the sound meditation experience.
After attending several workshops where drums and gongs were used to facilitate a meditative experience, Rachel was inspired to pursue formal training in Sound Healing through the UK’s Academy of Sound Healing. At these initial workshops, Rachel could feel the energy moving and shifting inside herself in a profound manner, and this led her to want to better understand the powerful influence of sound and how she could learn to use these same tools effectively herself. Since these first experiences, Rachel has earned her Level I and Level II Sound Healing certifications, and has attended additional trainings in how to use Tibetan bowls and tuning forks for healing purposes.
Rachel leads Sound Healing Meditation with the hope that she can help her participants relieve stress and provide them with a quiet space for them to restore their mental and physical energy. According to Rachel, more than 85% of all illnesses and disease result from the stress we carry in our bodies on a daily basis. Engaging in an effective Sound Healing Meditation can help you recognize where your body is storing stress and where your energy is blocked. By being open to the sounds you hear and focusing on taking deep, healthy breaths, you can effectively calm your body and balance the energy moving throughout your body.
For those who worry about being able to effectively engage in meditation, Rachel is enthusiastic about how accessible Sound Healing can make this experience. Having sounds that you can anchor your attention to can be far less intimidating than trying to sit in absolute silence. Rachel’s delivery of a Sound Healing Meditation is gentle and welcoming; she strives to create a harmonious environment that helps people feel calm and balanced in their physical, mental, and emotional selves.
When beginning a session of Sound Healing Meditation, Rachel invites her participants to lie down or find a space where they can sit comfortably. From there, “I like to explain to people who are trying sound meditation for the first time to begin with an intention for themselves-what is their reason for practicing today? Then I ask them to become aware of how their physical body feels, what is happening within their mind, as well as with their emotions. These are all clues to what is truly happening within us.”
Rachel also prepares her participants for the sounds they will hear during the meditation. She feels this helps them to be more open to the entire experience. “I tell my listeners that while most of the sounds they will hear will be very relaxing and soothing, there might be some sounds that aren’t as pleasurable. Sometimes the sounds clash, and there is good reason for that. Those tones are designed to help break up energy that is stuck within us. If you’re feeling any unrest within your body, or even tingling, itching, the need to cough and so on, these sounds are helping to move things within you… so pay attention! Move as your body needs to move. Cry if you need to cry. Cough if you need to cough. After there is any kind of energy shift inside yourself, you should feel more at ease with the sounds being played. You end up restoring that calm and balance within you.”
We are offering Sound Healing Meditation with Rachel every Sunday evening from 7:00-8:00pm. We hope that if you have not joined us before, you choose to attend and benefit from a future class. We promise you won’t regret it! While we have once again opened up the studio for live sessions with Miss Rachel, we are also continuing to offer access to these sessions through our Facebook page through live video streaming. While the sound quality and benefits of a live Sound Healing Meditation cannot be replicated 100% through technology, we encourage you to view one of her sessions online from the comfort of your home if that feels better for you.
Regardless of you how you choose to enjoy a Sound Healing Meditation experience with Rachel, we know you will walk away feeling restored and renewed!