Last year, online searches for sound bath healing increased 285%, so what is it and what does it do for your wellbeing?
Here, Faye Gadbury, therapist at the illustrious Grayshott Spa in Surrey and specialist in sound healing, explains how she supports her clients’ health and wellbeing with the help of sound bowls and tuning forks…
How did you get into sound therapy?
I have been working at Grayshott for nearly 18 years. I started as a beauty therapist, but over time my interests changed and as I am working with people who have a lot of knowledge, I had opportunities to learn more skills such as massage, aromatherapy, Thai foot massage and reiki. As a result, I have lots of tools to work with, and I developed a strong interest in energy healing, which led me organically to sound bath therapy.
What exactly is sound bath healing?
It’s all about working on vibrations. Everything around us and within us, whether we hear it or not, is on a vibration. Sound baths take that idea and use music for healing with instruments such as Tibetan singing bowls. It’s an ancient practice, but people are really engaging with it again at the moment.
All instruments I play give beautiful harmonics and overtones, and match those in the body. The idea is that when our natural vibrations get out of tune, it is the root of illness. The instruments change the vibrations and get the body back into its own vibrational state.
What impact have you seen sound therapy have on clients?
I have seen fantastic things happen in sessions. At the start we always set an intention, and you can largely work on whatever you want, whether it’s deep relaxation or a pain issue. I do one-to-one sessions as well as classes. After one class I had a lady say to me that she had started the class thinking about the fact that she never felt good enough. She said that during the session she had a vision of her grandmother, who gave her an enormous hug, told her how much she loved her, and told her she was good enough. It was very powerful.
Another person had dreadful pain in her knees, and within a day of the sound healing, the pain had completely reduced and stayed minimal for three days. Similarly, a girl came to me with migraines, and after her session she didn’t have another one for nearly four months. We’ve had people feel they’re rising off their mats and going back to childhood. I think if you’re open enough, anything can happen.
What is a typical session like?
If I have a one-to-one session, we will have a chat about what the client wants to work on. Then I use little bells to clear the energy in the room and we use the voice (which is very powerful) to set an intention. Then we do a little breathing exercise with tingsha bells, and then I go off on my tangent. I usually start with a drum scan. It’s a continual beat, and when the beat goes heavy that’s where you know you’ve got an imbalance in the body. I might pick up crystal singing bowls, drums or this wonderful thunder shaker (which literally sounds like thunder), or Kabolonga nutshell shakers which sound like rain or a waterfall.
At the end I strike bells to show the session has finished, and I leave for five minutes, which is when most of the healing happens because the body has time to process what it’s been through.
Who is sound therapy good for?
Everybody, because it’s so variable. If you’re really highly stressed it’s such a lovely shut off. The number of people who fall asleep in sessions is fabulous. When I do it in a class it’s more generic, so it’s just about deep relaxation. Even then people have strong feelings in the areas that they need healing. One person with a thyroid issue found her throat got very sore during the session. Another lady said her legs were really painful in sessions so she went to the doctor and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her legs. It essentially helps you to get back in tune with the body.