Can Sound Baths Really Affect Your Health?

When you think of relaxation techniques, usually the most common that come to mind are yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and other similar activities. But sounds baths are gaining popularity, too. Perhaps you've been fortunate enough to have already experienced a sound bath or perhaps this is the first you're hearing of it. Whatever your situation may be, learning about this luxurious and very accessible practice may bring about some surprising revelations. Let's begin with the basics.

Sound baths have their roots in ancient sound healing (via HuffPost). Tibetans have been using singing bowls for centuries, along with many other ancient cultures. In modern times, a sound bath is an immersion experience in which you typically lay on your back in the fan-favorite savasana yoga pose and are bathed in the soothing sounds of various instruments played by a sound bath practitioner (via Verywell Mind). The most commonly played instruments include gongs, singing bowls, chimes and tuning forks and as you can imagine, listening to the varying sound waves moving around you while in a relaxed position boasts some pretty interesting health benefits.

The science behind sound bath healing

Researchers involved in one observational study published in 2016 in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine investigated the effects of Tibetan singing bowl meditations on participant's mood, fatigue, anxiety, and depression levels. Despite a small cohort of 62 participants, their results demonstrated a significant decrease in physical tension, anger, fatigue, confusion, anxiety, and depression. They also noted an increase in "spiritual well-being."

This study is not alone: In 2020, a systematic review of the current published literature on the topic, published in the journal, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, came to the consensus that Tibetan singing bowl meditations had a positive effect on people's mental and emotional health and well-being. They also found evidence that sound baths helped decrease people's blood pressure and heart rate, among other things.

If you think you need to go to a high-end boutique or travel to remote regions of the world to experience powerful and healing sound baths, think again! While you can book one-on-one sessions with sound bath practitioners in person or virtually, live and recorded sound baths are accessible for free online through various websites and apps like Insight Timer. So the next time you're feeling upset or unsettled, pop on a sound bath, lay down, and allow the relaxing sounds to take over.