Sound can set a mood. The soundtrack in aerobics class gets us moving, for example, while the one in yoga promotes quiet concentration. Sound also has a powerful effect on how we feel throughout the day. Our bodies and minds react differently to the unrelenting noise of a jackhammer than to a trickle of water in a creek.
In other words, some sounds simply make us feel better than others. Whether our conscious minds are paying attention or not, our bodies take their cues from these sounds and rhythms, knowing when to get energized and when to slow down.
Now, a growing body of research suggests that when used in a directed way, sound can also help us reduce stress, create a deep sense of well-being and even promote healing. From playing Bach in the nursery to yogic chanting in the oncologist’s office, sound therapy is gaining popularity as both a preventative medicine and as a complement to more traditional treatments. Good for both the mind and the body, it has been shown to help lift depression, clear sinuses and help cancer patients recover more quickly from chemotherapy.
With the various sonic equipment and recordings that are now available which create specific sounds, there may be people who will be sounding or listening to a particular frequency all day long. Depending upon the individual and their needs, this may be fine, or it may not necessarily be healthful. More is not necessarily better and with sound, too much can possibly be debilitating to the nervous system or other systems of the physical and etheric bodies. Balance is an extraordinarily important aspect of any transformative or healing work and principles of balance should be applied to sound.
Many people believe that only New Age Music is healing, or whatever type of music you want to substitute for “New Age.” This gets into the same conundrum I experienced many years ago when I first began this sojourn into sound. Everybody wanted me to talk about how rock’n’roll was the devil’s music and bad. I wouldn’t. It is my belief that any music, depending upon the time, the place, and the need of the individual can have therapeutic effects. It is not that any music have therapeutic effects, but that it if it is correct for the individual.
Realizing that every type of music has the ability to resonate with us on many different levels, it is possible that any type of music can have positive results; we should be open minded about all music and the possible transformative and therapeutic results that can occur from it.
Music can reach into aspects of our psyche that we may not have a clue even exist. There are people working solely with classical music, or “sacred” music, or New Age music. The reality is that all forms of music, from rock to country to jazz to all the world musics that are now available to us, may have the potential of reaching further into our bodies, minds, and souls to initiate healing and transformation. Be open to all possibilities. You can never know what may transpire until you have tried.