Daniel Bernard Roumain, a young cross-genre violinist who is known as DBR, thinks one reason music is so powerful is that sound actually penetrates our bodies: "You know when someone says that a piece of music 'touched me' or 'moved me,' it's very literal. The sound of my voice enters your ear canal and it's moving your eardrum. That's a very intimate act. I am very literally touching you, and when you speak to me, you are literally touching me. And then we extend that principle to the sound of a violin."
- The Power of Music by Elena Mannes
The relationship we have with sound starts long before our lungs fill with oxygen for the first time. At seventeen weeks, the fetus begins developing an auditory system. Even when we don’t know the feel of another human being, we hear and are moved by this magnificent world of sound, of heartbeat and breath, of vibration and rhythm.
It’s no wonder why we feel so intimately connected with music, why we often describe our experience as being moved or touched by a specific song. No doubt, this human experience we share inspired Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to say, “Music is the universal language of mankind.”
Regardless of your creed, tongue or nation, we are all brought together by the sound of music. Even those who cannot physically hear get to experience this connection through vibration. So, if music can unite cultures and generations, if it can bring hope and happiness, it’s no wonder why many also use this art as a means of healing.
In the realm of healing techniques, sound work inhabits a curious space: It has been used for thousands of years—think of overtone chanting from Central Asia, for example—yet, it’s also on the frontiers of modern neuroscience.
- Kathryn Drury Wagner, Spirituality Health
The Healing Power of Sound Baths
A sound bath is all about becoming fully immersed in music. Megan and Oliver over at Sound Bath Healing describe the experience this way:
Most people lie down during a Sound Bath, some choose to sit in a comfortable chair. Eye pillows are often used to help you feel calm and heighten your other senses, especially hearing. the room is often darkened and everything is in place for a peaceful, relaxing time together.
I’ve recently experience sound baths for the first time, and it’s a truly remarkable experience. While it’s not something you can do everyday, setting aside time a few days a week is definitely worth the investment.
Generally people can expect to feel more calm, receptive, and balanced afterwards but sometimes the sound will activate what needs to be cleared out of the way in order to reach that state of peace. My intention is that each person receive what they need in order to live a more joyful, peaceful, and happy life.
- Jaime Ford, Sound Bath Practitioner
We all have daily irritations and struggles, but you don’t need to suffer in those emotional states without relief. There are many methods to healing, and sound is just one of many ways to increase your mindfulness.
“Sound healing is trending up. It’s like where yoga was 15 years ago. People are realizing that sound is a viable medium to address distress, enhance learning, even work with an autistic child.”
- The Power of Sound
I’d like to invite you to incorporate more positive, uplifting music and sounds into your day. It doesn’t need to be something formal, like a sound bath. Sometimes all you need to shift into a new headspace is an inspiring playlist on Spotify or YouTube. Find the method of music that works for you, and make a conscious effort to listen to it more.