By design a Sound Bath IS self-care – except when it’s not.
Believe me, there are sounds, combinations of sounds and over-saturation of sounds that can create cellular chaos… in some bodies.
The question is, who’s body and how do we know if the sound is creating more distress than ease?
The body is always talking! Are we listening?
If we are listening, are we taking action?
Therein lies the rub!
Trending globally are countless versions of what is known as Sound Baths (a.k.a. sound meditations or sound journeys), and the instruments used are just as varied.
Where some facilitators use only the Classic White Frosted quartz singing bowls, others are exclusive users of the gemstone-infused Alchemy singing bowls (or a combination of both) and on occasion, the voice is introduced.
Still others pull out all the stops, bringing everything to their ‘performance’, including gongs, didgeridoos, Tibetan metal bowls, crystal singing bowls, chimes, tingshas, chants and crystal pyramids to insure a high-decibel sound saturation.
Every week, thousands (probably millions), gather in converted store fronts, yoga studios, private homes, churches, parks or gyms creating “sound sanctuaries” lined with intentions and faux candles flickering assurances of Well-Being.
Expectant sound ‘bathers’ ceremoniously place their Mexican blankets or yoga mats on the floor and submit themselves in anticipation of an ascendent sound experience.
No Snoring, Please!
Every practitioner brings their own level of sound stewardship to these events. Surprisingly, many don’t realize that a simple unconscious and continuous glide of the wand over the bowl’s rim builds and sustains a volume that can reach dangerous decibel levels, thus creating physical anxiety in the listener and possibly damaging the fine hair cells in the ear itself.
More sound is NOT always better!
For some, these sounds can traumatize or re-trigger a trauma response in all systems of the body. The listener is having an experience they can’t explain, so they dismiss it and endure.
When in these subtle stress states, many have developed habits of minimizing pain and fall back on self-blame and rationalizations, “I’m just over-reacting. Maybe I’m moving through some kind of block. I’ll be okay.”
Because we know how to cope, we do.
Unfortunately, we don’t get points in heaven for coping. In fact, the body experiences another trauma thread being programmed in the neural-network of the limbic brain.
Yet… HOLD ON!
Before we jump all over the sound practitioner, blaming them for playing too loud (or ourselves for staying put) as the cause for our head ache, the upset stomach, the tension throughout our body, we have to pause and take our own inventory.
NO ONE IS AT FAULT. Let’s start there.
This is a teaching moment. Did we, the listener, check this person out before we cast our supine bodies before them. When we had the slightest indication of discomfort, did we deny our own instincts? Did we dismiss our body alerts and push through the pain?
This is a great opportunity to learn something important about ourselves!
Sound is a mighty force.
It can change the bio-dynamics of every molecule in the body. It can destabilize and disassemble mass…or rebuild and restore natural states.
Sound can stimulate the non-dominant part of our brain exposing us to new realities. All of this, I’ve personally experienced. Yet, sound in the hands of those with cursory awareness of its power, well, that’s something they will have to account for.
That said, the responsibility lies with each of us to recognize that when we feel something is OFF we are the ones tasked with changing course.
Indeed, this IS personal!
If a Sound Bath moment is tweaking your physical or auditory systems, believe your body and leave…immediately! Don’t stop to analyze, minimize or question your choice. Let go of any guilt for leaving early. Your capacity to act in your own best interest matters most.
Trust your gut and move quickly to a sound safe environment.
Congratulations! You have changed the trajectory of what could have been a re-traumatizing moment. You took Self-Care seriously. Well done!
There is a personal imperative to recognize that it’s OUR JOB to care for ourselves…in every situation, at any time, and at every level.
One could say, from an energy perspective, the practitioner (and the event itself) is the catalytic event where we are able to discover something very important about ourselves.
It is no one else’s responsibility but our own to make us whole, keep us safe, love us unconditionally and live freely.
Here’s to a life of Harmony, for Harmony, in Harmony… all-ways.
I love you dearly,