Sound Therapy has long been practiced as a healing technique to manage a wide range of afflictions, whether in the Body, Mind or Spirit.
There is evidence that this practice dates all the way back to ancient Greece and ancient Egypt! The basis of Sound Therapy is the understanding that all forms of matter - including cells of our physical body - vibrate at different frequencies. There are many things we might come in contact with in our daily lives that negatively affect our natural frequency. These factors may be subtle, so we may not even recognise how they are making us feel unsettled and uneasy, or even make us physically sick! Common ailments such as stress, dis-ease or depression causes cells and organs within the body to vibrate at non-optimal frequencies. Therefore Sound Therapy seeks to restore the physical body’s natural frequency, as a starting point to address all sorts of different ailments.
At House of Ascend our bespoke Gong Therapy experience offers an oasis of calm in an otherwise busy world. It is an everyday retreat that is meant to strengthen your mind, boost your mood, relieve stress and maintain physical health.
But you might wonder, how does it even work?
During a Sound Healing session the instrument enhances a meditative experience via a phenomenon called “brainwave entrainment”. This refers to a method of stimulating the brain into entering a specific state necessary for release, relaxation and healing. In the case of Gong Therapy, the sound is changed frequently to avoid a fixed, monotonous rhythm. A pulsing sound is typically used to reach this state, but the same results can be achieved with light or an electromagnetic field. The sound pulses elicit the brain’s “frequency following” response, encouraging the brainwaves to align with the frequency of a given beat. This mechanism is useful for leading your mind into states that might otherwise be difficult to achieve, such as trance, enhanced focus, induced sleep or meditation.
The human brain is a complex network of wires connected by synapses, which produce an electromagnetic field when they fire up to pass signals from one to another. The speed in which our synapses fire up is called the brainwave frequency. Different brainwave frequencies are suited for different types of activity. Depending on what you’re doing, one frequency will be more active than the others, even though they are all detectable at all times. The brainwave frequencies are as follows:
BETA - between 12.5 and 30 Hz
This is the main frequency in adults that are awake, cognizant and alert. It is the “fastest” frequency and is important for logic, reasoning, problem-solving and focus. This frequency requires the most amount of energy and can manifest as fatigue and stress.
ALPHA - between 8 and 12 Hz
This is the dominant frequency when we are feeling relaxed, like after a warm shower or during meditation. Adolescents exhibit more Alpha brainwaves than adults as it stimulates memory, learning and imagination. Our subconscious beliefs are also formed while we’re in the Alpha state!
THETA - between 4 and 7 Hz
This frequency happens mainly when we are drifting off to sleep, waking up from deep sleep, or daydreaming. This state also occurs during deep meditation and hypnosis. When in Theta, our senses are withdrawn from the outside world and we start to dream and see vivid imagery.
DELTA - between 0.1 and 3.5 Hz
Delta brainwaves are the slowest and are generated during deep, dreamless sleep. When the brain is in Delta, our body is working on healing and restoration, which is why deep sleep is important to our overall health.
During a Gong Therapy experience the first brainwave state to be reached is Alpha, as you ease into relaxation. The outside world melts away and your material concerns are forgotten at that moment. Your monkey mind goes silent and you let go of everything that has been a source of worry. As the experience progresses, your brainwaves further slow down to Theta as you enter deep meditation. But apart from the effects on the brainwaves, sound healing can be beneficial to the physical body as well.
The sound of the Gong surpasses the intellectual part of the brain and travels to the core of your nervous system, activating the parasympathetic nervous system and prompting the body to heal and detoxify. The body’s functions are thus regulated: heart rate and blood pressure lowers, digestion and uptake of nutrients occur, and hormones are balanced. In the Theta state, you seem to linger between wakefulness and sleep; the body savours the restful stillness while the mind remains aware of the present moment. Here, you are free to just Be. Some people may experience breakthrough insights and find clarity on unresolved issues, while others emerge from Gong Therapy feeling as if they’ve just had a full night’s sleep. Whatever your unique experience, you will find yourself recharged and ready to take on the world again.
It is so important to realise that the body begins its self-healing mechanisms during rest. Just 20 minutes of meditation a day can greatly improve your overall health, recalibrate your mental well-being, and facilitate emotional release. Let the sound of the Gong lead you to healing.
Join us at House of Ascend for a Gong Therapy experience. Book your session here!
Written by Izzy Liyana, content creator & writer for HOA