Sound baths: A new way to meditate

An ancient holistic approach, sound baths are increasingly helping people unwind from their stressful lives. So how do they work?

Sound bath sessions are rising in popularity thanks to their relaxing effects.

Whether you’re tuning in to the sounds of gongs, shamanic drums, singing bowls, rattles, shakers, bells or wind chimes, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of sound.

Here’s what you can expect from attending a sound bath session.

The benefits of sound bath meditation

Sound bath meditation can be an immersive and soothing experience, making you feel more relaxed as you listen in to the noises around you.

“The sounds will take you into a place of deep relaxation by slowing down the brainwaves so that you’re in the optimum state for the body’s natural healing ability to occur,” says Sally Hutchison, of Sound Healing Journeys.

Sally says when trauma occurs, the body’s natural vibrations change from their natural state.

Sound bath meditation is therefore believed to be able to help the body recognise and correct vibrational imbalances.

Before the sound bath session

You’ll be lying down on a mat, so make sure you’re wearing comfortable and warm clothes (including socks).

You want to be warmly dressed as your body temperature will drop as you relax, which is why a blanket is also recommended.

You might be asked to bring a pillow as well.

sound bath session

During the sound bath session

“The idea is to allow yourself to completely surrender to the sounds,” says Sally. “Put aside the cares of the day and be fully present.”

Just as in other types of meditation, if thoughts come, simply observe them and allow them to pass.

“We want to move from thinking awareness to body awareness,” says Sally.

“This means having an awareness of any sensations or energy that we can feel moving in the body during the session, in addition to any feelings, memories, images, colours or sudden insights.”

“At the same time though, we want to avoid getting into our analytical mind – that keeps us in a more alert state, rather than getting in touch with our bodies and emotions.”

After the sound bath session

If you’re driving, have a little walk around and shake out your legs and feet before you leave.

“It is essential to ensure that you are quite grounded before going off to do anything else, especially getting in the car to drive,” says Sally.

Drink water and keep your fluids up, avoiding alcohol for 24 hours after the sound bath meditation.

Take time to reflect on your session, noticing any changes or feelings that have come up as a result.

A regular sound bath practice can help sustain these feelings of wellbeing, so don’t leave it too long before sessions if you’re reaping the benefits.

Written by Samantha Allemann.