Although sound baths healing practice can serve as a transformative tool to help spa-goers relax, open up, and ease physical and emotional pain, there are a number of things you should keep in mind to help improve or amplify the results.
When offering a sound bath to spa-goers, it’s important to guide them through the process. To make a sound bath truly effective, Sara Auster, a New York City-based sound therapist and meditation teacher, recommends participants come with an open mind, be comfortable, and most importantly, listen. “There is a difference between hearing and listening, and it takes effort on the participant’s part to shift into listening mode,” says Auster. “Hearing is the simple act of perceiving sound through the ear. Listening, on the other hand, is a learned skill, something every one of us deliberately and consciously chooses to do.”
Joanna Roche, executive director of GSN Planet and a certified vibrational sound therapist specializing in integrative healing experiences, believes sound baths can be a profoundly relaxing experience. “I work to lay out a grid in the room so I can create heart coherence, meaning that I play bowls on people’s heart chakras, bringing them into harmony with the other humans in the room,” says Roche. “These techniques amplify the experience and enhance the results. Essentially, the brain waves drop into alpha or theta or sometimes delta states, allowing a deep and restorative meditation. People either fall asleep or enter what we know as a lucid dream state.”
To help facilitate the experience, Pam Lancaster, a master healer, spiritual guide, and intuitive healer at Miraval Arizona, and other practitioners at Miraval guide guests through an intention-setting process. They also offer multiple ways to help the body relax and release tension, such as providing bolsters, eye pillows, and blankets. “Sound baths can release subtle emotions nestled deep in the subconscious,” says Lancaster. “Just as we release tears—both of joy and pain—the body needs to release energy that has been stored from life events.” She recommends participants notice the emotions, memories, and physiological shifts they experience and bear witness as a neutral observer.
Encouraging participants to really listen and pay attention is key. “The sounds introduced during a sound bath are an invitation into a deeper state of consciousness, an opportunity to unplug from external stimuli and to gain perspective on what’s going on within,” says Auster, noting that the sound will take participants where they need to go.