The Reason Why Some People Don't Enjoy Sound Baths


Sound baths are intended to facilitate healing and relaxation. However, each experience is unique to the individual. “The way sound is processed in the auditory cortex of the brain is universal, but we each bring something different to the emotional experience, including our individually unique physiology, psychology, and the prior experiences and memories we have,” says Sara Auster, a New York City-based sound therapist and meditation teacher. According to her, it is possible to feel a sense of calm one minute and then a feeling of unease in the next. “No matter what feelings start to arise, there is no need to be alarmed or concerned,” she says. “These emotions are surfacing because the environment is promoting a release within.” You can prepare participants for such feelings by providing an explanation of how and why vibrational sound therapy works and gently guiding their attention back to the sounds in the present moment and the rhythm of their breath. “Even when therapy and restoration are uncomfortable, that discomfort usually has a purpose,” says Auster. “It’s information that brings [people] closer to a resolution and personal growth.”

While every journey is unique, some may involve the release of uncomfortable feelings. “I feel it is important to be around people with positive energy in a sound bath experience, as people’s chakras open up so much, and participants can absorb other people’s energies and negative emotions,” says Kim Kessler, founder of KIPR Global. “I have had to have my healer Jeannette von Johnsbach clear me several times after group sound baths, as I’ve definitely absorbed energies and negative emotions from others as the energy swirls around in the room. If you are very open, you can take it in.”

According to Johnsbach, sound baths can provide the body with a reset, but it’s important to keep in mind that the experience is based largely on the type of release the participant has and the environment the practitioner creates. “The human experience is multidimensional,” says Johnsbach. “As blockages are released, it is possible to experience the release as unpleasant. In this sense, the uncomfortable feeling is not a negative but part of the integration process and will subside.” She recommends participants drink extra water for the following three days to support the body as it detoxes and not analyze the sensations. Instead, it’s better to observe the sensations to encourage the process of letting go. Helping participants understand the factors that may contribute to a negative experience can help ensure they have a more positive experience. “People can access uncomfortable emotions while engaging in a sound bath, but that doesn’t mean that the exercise itself is a negative experience,” says Johnsbach. “Sound baths are a form of meditation as well as an opportunity to flush the body as people connect to their inner selves. They allow the body to come into a place of balance.”


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