Some people recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) benefit from using alternative holistic therapies, including sound bath therapy. For some clients, complementary treatments like sound healing may decrease stress and increase the effectiveness of evidence-based therapies. Meanwhile, West Coast Recovery Centers uses sound bath therapy to reduce stress and help clients heal from the effects of mental health disorders.
What Is Sound Bath Therapy?
Sound healing has been used for centuries in cultures around the world. Modern sound bath therapy is built on the premise that sound vibrations affect the energy pathways of the body. The concept is similar to yoga or acupuncture. Manipulating energy within the body using sound vibrations may provide physical and mental health benefits. Many health professionals acknowledge sound baths as a legitimate alternative holistic form of therapy for symptoms like anxiety.
Some examples of instruments used in sound bath therapy include:
- Singing bowls
- Percussion instruments
- Tuning forks
No specific guidelines or best practices exist for sound bath therapy. Each treatment program chooses how best to implement sound healing. West Coast Recovery Centers collaborates closely with clients to determine what type of sound healing makes them feel most comfortable.
What Can You Expect During a Session?
During sound bath therapy, clients lie down or sit in a comfortable chair and relax while listening to various sounds, including gongs, sound bowls, or recordings. The exact instruments used and the sound produced depend on the preferences of the person conducting the therapy. No strict guidelines for sound baths exist, making it easy to adapt to the needs of each client.
Most people can expect to do the following during sound bath therapy:
- Settle into a relaxing pose
- Use breathwork to reduce tension in the body
- Listen mindfully to the sounds of various instruments
- Use guided meditation to deepen the relaxed state
- Focus on the sound waves being produced and the effects they have on the body, including physical sensations and emotional responses
According to the 2022 article titled “Sound bath benefits and how to try one” by Zawn Villines, “Just as a typical bath involves a person immersing themselves in water, a sound bath attempts to immerse a person in sound, so they feel enveloped in it.” Often, “[T]he bath involves singing bowls, which are small bell-like instruments that create a resonant tone when a person strikes them.” Any trained therapist or clinician can use sound bowls to provide additional relief to clients recovering from SUD and mental health disorders.
What Conditions Are Treated Using Sound Healing?
Many people with SUD have co-occurring mental health disorders affecting their stress levels and ability to focus on treatment. According to the 2022 research article titled “Sound Bathing as a Healing Modality” by Dhyani Bella Niedelman, listening to music during a sound bath releases dopamine and reduces tension in the body. Additionally, “Sound baths have . . . been successfully used with trauma patients,” making sound bath therapy a valuable modality for those seeking to heal from unresolved trauma.
A few other conditions treated using sound bath therapy include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Sound bath therapy is not a cure or a replacement for evidence-based treatment. Instead, it is meant as a complementary therapy that reduces stress and improves mental health.
What Are the Benefits of Sound Bath Therapy?
Complementary therapies don’t work for everyone, and the results are sometimes inconsistent. However, most people experience some form of emotional or physical relaxation during sound bath therapy. The positive effects of sound therapies may be cumulative, making them a valuable addition to aftercare treatment.
Singing bowls are among the most common instruments used in sound bath sessions. According to the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, one study “found significant beneficial effects of Tibetan singing bowl meditations on a number of markers related to well-being,” including:
- Lower blood pressure
- Decreased pain for individuals with chronic conditions
- Reduced stress levels
- Decreased anxiety
- Improved mood
Sound bath therapy has the potential to significantly reduce some symptoms related to SUD and mental health disorders. However, everyone responds differently to sound healing. Some people may feel energized, focused, and inspired, while others only experience mild relaxation or no effects. The care team works with clients to ensure they only receive treatment services relevant to their needs and preferences.
How Does Sound Bath Healing Support Long-Term Recovery?
People in treatment prepare for long-term recovery and independent sobriety by developing coping skills and healthy techniques for managing stressors. Sound bath therapy and other forms of sound healing help by increasing focus and mindfulness. Alternative holistic therapies are often part of aftercare planning for individuals in recovery. West Coast Recovery Centers offers sound bath therapy to clients participating in treatment and provides referrals to outside services for alumni who want to continue benefiting from sound healing after completing rehabilitation.
Sound bath therapy is an alternative medicine similar to acupuncture or yoga. Individuals recovering from substance abuse often benefit from complementary therapies that reduce stress and remove tension from the body. Sound healing treatments, including sound bath therapy, provide clients with a safe space to practice mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation. Clients often use sound bath therapy to center themselves and regain emotional calm before or after participating in individual or group therapy sessions. West Coast Recovery Centers uses sound bath therapy and other forms of alternative holistic treatment to help clients heal from the effects of substance abuse. To learn more about our programs and services, call us today at (760) 492-6509.