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Relaxation techniques can help you manage your mental health symptoms during your recovery journey. These techniques will help you control your thoughts and process your emotions in healthy and productive ways. Relaxation also promotes mindfulness; when you are relaxed, you are more aware of yourself and your surroundings. Some relaxation techniques include yoga, meditation, and sound bath therapy. While the effects of sound bath therapy have not been studied as much as mediation and yoga, people have reported that sound bath therapy relieves tension, clears the mind, and calms anxiety.

What Is Sound Bath Therapy?

While the term sound bath therapy may be modern, using sound to stimulate relaxation is not a new concept. Sound bath therapy is often combined with yoga or meditation to intensify the sense of relaxation. What separates sound bath therapy from other relaxation techniques is it uses instruments that create resonating vibrations. Some of these instruments include:

  • Tibetan singing bowls
  • Bells
  • Gongs
  • Tuning forks
  • Drums
  • Crystal bowls

These instruments produce ambient sounds and vibrations that encapsulate your body. The goal of sound bath therapy is to immerse yourself in vibrations and sounds that help your body and mind fall deeply into relaxation.

A Sound Therapy Session

During a session of sound therapy, an instructor or therapist will play instruments to produce ambient sound while you lie on a yoga mat or are in a comfortable reclining position. No extra equipment is necessary for attending a therapy sound session, but you can bring blankets, pillows, or anything that will help stimulate relaxation. Most sessions are about 60 to 90 minutes long. The instructor may also verbally guide you through meditative practices to further lure you into deep relaxation. When your session comes to an end, your instructor will guide you back to reality. So you can continue your day with restored energy.

Benefits of Sound Baths

Sound baths are believed to have positive effects on your mental and physical health. Any practice of relaxation can clear your mind to focus on mental health tools such as positive self-talk and mindfulness. Relaxation can also give you the space to understand and process your thoughts and emotions. Sound baths are believed to relieve:

  • Depression symptoms
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Physical tension
  • Pain

In doing so, the quiet power of a sound bath could increase your mood. Sound baths are a passive activity that allows you to absorb the senses of your environment and put you in touch with your body and mind. Theoretically, concentrating on the vibrations and sounds of these instruments frees you from your fight or flight response allowing you to sink deeper into relaxation. Relaxation techniques are also known to reduce stress, which lowers your risk for other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

Tibetan Bowl Singing

Tibetan singing bowls are commonly used in sound bath therapy because they elicit vibrations and ambient sounds. You could use a Tibetan singing bowl to simulate a song bath and see if you enjoy the vibrating sensation before committing to a whole session. Tibetan singing bowls come with a small ballot or striker that simulates the vibrations and sound that cause deep relaxation.

To use the Tibetan singing bowl, you would start in a relaxed seated position with the bowl gently resting in the palm of your hand. How you strike the bowl will change what sounds you create. For instance, if you strike the rim of the bowl with the mallet, you’ll hear a short ding. However, tracing the outside of the bowl with the mallet makes the bowl sing and causes the sound to continuously reverberate. During the time you spend with your Tibetan singing bowl, build a connection with the bowl to ground you in the present moment and set intentions for yourself.

The Mallet

The mallet will have two different textures; wood and suede. The wooden part of the mallet will create a higher pitch than the suede part of the mallet. When you use the mallet to make the bowl sing, it’s important to create a circular motion around the bowl with your entire arm so you don’t accidentally hit the inside of the bowl. To stop the bowl from singing, slowly bring the ballet to the center of the bowl.

Relaxation and Meditation

Attending a sound bath therapy session is a way to designate time for relaxation and self-meditation. Being in a space where everyone is focussing on relaxation will help you do the same. You won’t have the distractions of everyday life surrounding you, making it easier to focus on your self-growth and improvement.

Through ambient sounds and vibrations, sound baths can help you achieve a state of deep relaxation. Having relaxation tools — such as sound bath therapy — can help you destress and manage substance use symptoms. West Coast Recovery Centers provides a variety of modalities, allowing you to explore different relaxation techniques and find one that works for you. You won’t know if you like something unless you try it. We understand that some activities may provide some people with relaxation and others with discomfort, which is why we tailor our treatments to specifically meet your recovery needs. Our professionals can give you the tools you need to induce relaxation and better control over stressors and anxiety. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, call (760) 492-6509 to learn how we can help you rediscover life through sustainable recovery.