While sound baths have become more common, many people have yet to attend one themselves. I have so many people come to me for their first sound bath experience. I see it as an honor and privilege to introduce someone to this healing modality, which has been so powerful in my own life.
Most people have questions before their first sound bath-- or even if they've experienced sound healing before. I wanted to share some common questions, and answers, to help you decide if a sound bath is for you, and to feel relaxed and prepared for your own sound bath experience.
Ok, so what is a sound bath? Will I get wet?
I like to start off by explaining that a sound bath is a deeply meditative experience where the attendees hear (and if in person, also feel) the vibration of instruments tuned to healing frequencies. Crystal singing bowls are often used in a sound healing journey, along with drums, gongs, and other instruments.
Sound baths facilitate shifts in our brains and bodies through something called the law of entrainment, which says that two vibrating bodies tend to operate in tune with each other. So the tones you hear during a sound bath help to shift your vibration from a lower to a higher frequency. It’s science, but when you experience it, a sound bath feels like magic.
There isn't any actual water involved in a sound bath-- in this case, the word "bath" refers to the idea of being immersed in sonic vibrations.
What will I experience at a sound bath?
From a practical sense, you will most likely lie down for the majority of a sound bath and there won't be much you have to do or figure out. Your sound healing practitioner will guide you about when to lie down, how to relax your body, and may provide other insights to support your comfort. A lot of the experience will involve tuning in to the sound of the instruments. If anything, the biggest effort you need to make at a sound bath is to be present, let go, and allow yourself to be guided.
I attended my first sound bath in 2015 in Los Angeles, and had no idea what to expect. At the time, I was traveling extensively with my job, and the relentless pace and never-ending jet lag were taking a toll on my spiritual, emotional, and physical health. I was struggling with insomnia, anxiety, chronic shoulder pain and digestive issues. As the sound healing started, and I was sonically “bathed” in soothing frequencies, I was taken on the most powerful inward journey. I connected with a place of wisdom within my consciousness, and left feeling like I had received answers to questions that had been troubling me-- answers that seemed to come from the depths of my soul.
For many people, a sound bath can be a transcendental and transformational experience, like my first sound bath was. Some people visualize colors, shapes or symbols. Others remember experiences from childhood, or engage with memories from past lives or visions of their future. Some people experience sound healing in a physical way, noticing tightness and tension in their body easing. And for others, it's simply a relaxing experience which may even lead you to doze off. People often ask me if it's "wrong" to fall asleep during a sound bath, and my perspective is that whatever happens during a sound healing journey is exactly what you need. There is no right or wrong way to experience it!
Sound baths can help you release tension and stuck energy- they're very good if you feel like you're ready to let go of something you no longer need-- whether it's an old habit, a limiting way of thinking, or a belief that no longer serves you. A sound bath can also be useful if you want to tune into the energy of something you desire for your life, and feel the higher frequencies of new energy you'd like to manifest. If you're sharing a sound bath with friends or family, the experience can be a good way to feel more connected with each other.
How should I prepare for a sound bath, and what should I bring?
As with many things in life, you get the most out of your sound bath experience if you have an intention or idea for what you'd like to get from it. Take a little time to contemplate your life in the current moment, and if possible, share what you want from the experience with your practitioner. If you can, schedule your day so you don't have to rush to or from the sound bath-- it's nice to arrive in a somewhat relaxed state, and to be able to carry the relaxed energy from the sound bath experience without needing to hustle to your next appointment.
You'll likely be lying on the ground or floor, so bringing a yoga mat, blankets, and pillows can help you to feel comfortable, and something to support your knees or lower back is good if you know this can be a troublesome area for you. I also like to bring an eye mask so I can block out light and any other visual distractions. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes-- a sound bath is a great time to break out the sweats and yoga pants. And bring a blanket or extra layer to cover yourself with, as most people find their temperature drops when they lie still for the duration of a sound bath. If you're attending a sound bath with me, I'll provide some of these materials, but having extras is always great. And bring your water bottle, as you'll want to hydrate at the end of the experience.
I also recommend bringing an important item or items that you'd like to infuse with the good energy of the sound bath, or as a symbol of something you'd like to connect to. This could be a crystal or favorite rock, a piece of jewelry that means something to you, a favorite photo, or other talisman that holds meaning in your life.
What else do I need to know?
A sound bath is one of the most gentle, easy, and relaxing healing modalities. It's also an ancient practice, which has been used in rituals by cultures around the world. Each sound bath is unique, and even after attending sound baths for years and offering them to other people, I'm constantly surprised by new experiences that come up on the journey. Welcome to an amazing world!