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Does Your Body Need A Sound Bath? An Expert Explains Why It Does

Gear up for "full body restoration."

If you're an individual who places your spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being on a pedestal and believes in the power of self-healing, read on. A sound bath is a therapeutic bath of sound that surrounds and embraces you while cleansing your mind, without the bubbles and soothing water. That's right—it has absolutely nothing to do with soaking in a bathtub! Rather, the purpose of a sound healing bath is to soothe your entire being amidst the calming atmosphere of various instrumental sounds, each providing its own vibration, frequency, and ambiance.

This wonderful therapy creates an extraordinary type of meditation designed to relax and "center" your mind as you simply listen, relax, and heal. If you've never experienced this type of healing journey before, then gear up for a truly life-changing experience. We spoke with Shanila Sattar, founder of AlwaysPlay Studios—where she trains breath work facilitators, sound healers, and provides mentorship in the healing arts—about exactly what to expect at a sound bath. Read on to learn more, and next, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

If you've never been to a sound bath before, here's what you can expect

woman experiencing sound healing bath therapy

Sattar reveals exactly what you can expect when you sign up for a sound bath experience, or an "acoustic meditation journey," as she describes it, complete with gongs, crystal bowls, and a variety of instruments that will bring peace to the body and mind.

"During a sound bath, you could be sitting or laying comfortably, or even experience it virtually through headphones," Sattar explains. "You'll arrive in your space, get comfy, and the sound bath practitioner will play crystal bowls and perhaps guide you in a meditation. You might find you have a busy mind and you want to move your body around, and that's fine. This experience isn't to shut off the mind, but help center it." She notes it should take around 7 to 10 minutes to get "calibrated" to the surrounding sounds.

Overall, a sound bath is a truly emotional, healing, and spiritual experience, and Sattar points out, "You might even fall asleep!" She also stresses, "There is no 'typical' experience, and each time is different. You can feel heart energy moving through the body, tingly sensations, see colors, and get messages through visuals in this meditative experience."

Sound baths can really be experienced anywhere—even outside. Although Sattar does note that the sounds bounce differently in each space with walls. Most of the time, though, she notes that "sound baths are held in a dimly lit large room where people bring their yoga mats to lay on, sleeping bags, pillows, crystals, blankets, and other comfy items."

You can count on a typical sound bath session to last from 30 to 60 minutes.

Related: This Is What Listening to Music Does to Your Body, Say Experts

You'll experience emotional healing and "full body restoration"

man and woman relaxed at sound bath

Sattar points out the number one benefit of experiencing sound healing in person is the "full body restoration" the vibrations from the crystal bowls introduce to your body. She says, "Each instrument used has very specific frequencies that help your brain get into a theta state. In this state, your body kicks in the parasympathetic nervous system which signals to your body to rest and digest. Because we're often stressed and in high gear, sound healing helps you rest and activate the body's natural healing systems."

You'll also experience emotional healing. "Emotions are energy in motion and with the help of sound vibrations, can come to the surface. You might feel tears, extreme joy, and a cathartic release of stagnant emotions," Sattar tells us.

The best part is, you can reap the sound bath benefits after just one session! Sattar explains, "There's no right or wrong amount of sessions because it's very individual. It's best to integrate the experience by journaling, talking it out with friends, and noticing the subtle differences that come up in your daily life."

Here's what it takes to get certified as a sound healer

close-up woman holding bowl for sound healing

According to Sattar, "The beautiful art of sound alchemy is practiced by healers, therapists, doctors, musicians, and more. Practitioners curate an experience that weaves together the art of the entrainment journey of a sound—which has a beginning, middle, and an end." She continues to explain, "To train as a sound healer, [you will] learn with a trained practitioner about the science and physiology of sound, neuroacoustics, brainwaves, and the practicality of facilitating sound baths for your community."

Related: Here's How Acupuncture Can Improve Your Gut Health, Expert Says

The positive effects of music and sound are undeniable

woman peacefully listening to music on headphones on couch

The positive effects of music were studied as early as the days of Aristotle, who wrote in his book De Anima that one's soul can become pure by listening to the sound of flute music. In the 1700s, Diogel of Salpetriere Hospital actually invited musical performers right into his lab to study the beautiful effect their sounds had on the human body. Diogel found that the sound of music positively affects respiration rates, cardiac output, and blood pressure. Even the ancient Egyptians utilized music as a method for healing.

If you are intrigued, there are many sound bath providers all over the world—and they have come a long way since the days of Diogel's laboratory. Sattar says there are typically both small and large group classes to choose from, in addition to private sessions and one on ones. She also notes sound baths are quite popular for bridal showers, expecting moms, and company wellness experiences.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa