Sound Therapy for Anxiety

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Sound therapy is a non-invasive form that uses various sound frequencies to create a sense of relaxation and well-being. It is an effective way to alleviate anxiety symptoms without medication. Anxiety disorders are very common mental health conditions affecting millions of people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, approx 264 million people suffer from anxiety disorders.

Sound therapy is based on the concept that sound vibrations can profoundly affect our bodies and minds. The use of sound as a therapeutic purpose has been around for 1000 years and has been practiced in various cultures worldwide. It involves listening to various sound frequencies that can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and other emotional and physical ailments.

The use of sound therapy for anxiety has gained popularity in recent years. Many studies have shown that sound therapy can be an effective tool to reduce anxiety symptoms. In this article, we will explore how sound therapy can help alleviate anxiety symptoms and the various techniques used in sound therapy.

How does sound therapy work?

Sound therapy uses specific sound frequencies to stimulate the brain and nervous system, creating a sense of relaxation and calmness. Sound waves can affect the brain and nervous system by altering brainwave patterns, heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. The vibrations of the sound can also affect the body’s cells and tissues, helping to restore balance and harmony.

How can sound therapy help to reduce anxiety?

  1. It can reduce the physiological responses to stress, such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension.
  2. It can help induce relaxation, reduce anxiety, and promote a sense of calmness.
  3. It can help improve sleep quality, essential for managing anxiety symptoms.

Types of sound therapy

There are various types of sound therapy, including:

Binaural beats

Binaural beats are created by playing two tones in each ear, creating a third tone that the brain perceives as a beat. This beat can alter brainwave patterns, inducing relaxation and calmness. Binaural beats are effective in reducing anxiety symptoms and improving mood.

Isochronic tones

Isochronic tones are produced by playing a tone at a specific frequency and then rapidly turning it on and off, creating a rhythmic pulse that the brain perceives as a frequency. Isochronic tones have been shown to effectively reduce anxiety symptoms, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function.

Tibetan singing bowls

Tibetan singing bowls are metal bowls played by striking or stroking the rim with a mallet. The bowls produce a rich, deep sound that can induce relaxation and calmness. Traditional healing practices have used Tibetan singing bowls for centuries to promote well-being and balance.

Gong therapy

Gong therapy involves playing gongs of various sizes and tones to create a range of frequencies that can induce a state of relaxation and calmness. The vibrations of the gong can penetrate deep into the body’s tissues, promoting healing and balance. Gong therapy is effective in reducing anxiety symptoms and improving mood.


Chanting involves repeating a specific sound or phrase, such as “om” or “ah.” Chanting can help induce relaxation and calmness, reducing anxiety and stress. Chanting has been used in various spiritual and religious practices for centuries to promote well-being and harmony.

Music therapy 

Music therapy involves listening to or creating music to promote physical and emotional well-being. This type of therapy can be especially beneficial for individuals with anxiety who may benefit from the calming effects of music.

Singing bowl therapy 

 Singing bowl therapy involves using metal bowls to produce calming sounds and vibrations. This therapy is believed to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels in the body.

Gong therapy

Gong therapy involves using large gongs to produce deep, resonant sounds. This therapy is believed to promote relaxation and reduce tension in the body and mind.

Tuning fork therapy

 Tuning fork therapy involves tuning forks to produce specific frequencies that can promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.

White noise therapy

 White noise therapy involves listening to a consistent, low-level sound like a fan or rain. This therapy is believed to promote relaxation and reduce distractions contributing to anxiety.

How Does Sound Therapy Help With Anxiety?

Anxiety is a condition that can be difficult to manage, and many individuals with anxiety struggle to find effective treatment options. Sound therapy is becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for anxiety because it is non-invasive and has few side effects. Several ways sound therapy can help with anxiety, including:

  1. Reducing stress levels: One of the primary ways sound therapy can help with anxiety is by reducing stress levels. Listening to calming sounds, such as gentle music or a singing bowl, can help individuals feel more relaxed and calm. It can help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of well-being.
  2. Promoting relaxation: Sound therapy can also promote relaxation in the body and mind. Listening to calming sounds can help slow their breathing, reduce muscle tension, and promote a sense of calmness. It can be especially beneficial for individuals with anxiety who may struggle with physical symptoms, such as muscle tension and rapid breathing.
  3. Improving sleep quality: Many anxious individuals struggle with sleep disruption, such as insomnia or restless sleep. Sound therapy can help to improve sleep quality by promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels. Listening to calming sounds before bed can help individuals fall asleep more easily and stay asleep throughout the night.
  4. Enhancing mindfulness: Sound therapy can also help to enhance mindfulness and promote present-moment awareness. By focusing on the sounds around them, individuals can become more present in the moment and less focused on their worries and anxieties.
  5. Providing a sense of control: Finally, sound therapy can control individuals’ anxiety. By actively engaging in therapeutic activity, individuals can feel empowered to manage their symptoms and reduce their anxiety levels.

Sound therapy can be a useful tool for managing anxiety symptoms. While the scientific evidence is limited, anecdotal evidence suggests that it can be effective in inducing relaxation, reducing physical symptoms of anxiety, and managing emotional symptoms. However, it is important to use sound therapy as a supportive treatment in conjunction with other forms of professional treatment. Suppose you are interested in exploring sound therapy for anxiety. In that case, it is suggested that you consult with a qualified, sound therapist or mental health professional to determine if it is a safe and appropriate treatment option for you.

Here we discuss this with Sherry, a sound healer, and instructor, to get her thoughts on this topic.

NourishDoc: Hello, everyone, and happy Friday. Well, we will bring on Friday how to lower your anxiety not using yoga pranayama but sound therapy, sound healing, and that we have Sherry. She is joining me from Dubai, and she is a sound healer and instructor and has done fascinating work. So welcome, and thank you so much for joining Sherry.

Sound Healer Sherry: Thank you so much. Namaste to you. Just to correct you, I’m based in Istanbul, but right now, I’m on a retreat in Dubai, so that’s why I joined from Dubai. Otherwise, I live in Istanbul. Thank you so much for having me.

Role Of Sound Therapy in Healing Anxiety

NourishDoc: Thank you. So let’s understand using Sound Therapy to help with anxiety. We know we have been feeling some anxiety in the last two years with the world ending lockdown. So explain to us, please.

Sound Healer Sherry: Yeah, sure. I mean, the debate that I approach any mental or physical problem is from a holistic perspective. So let’s understand what anxiety is, and then we can understand how sound healing can help us. Anxiety is when a conflict within what we perceive in reality does not match what we think it should be.

So in most cases, there are some emotions involved that are not fulfilled. For example, we feel like we need to know what will happen in the future; we need to be certain that we need to have control over some aspects of our life. These are human needs, or some other aspects of our emotions are not fulfilled. Therefore, there is a conflict between what we see, what we perceive in reality, and what we feel inside. These conflicts usually are the source of, let’s say, stress and deeper levels of anxiety.

So, as you said, what we experienced in for the last two years was a kind of manifestation of the definition of anxiety holistically. So sound healing, to give you in one sentence, what sound healing can do for us is use the sound, the power of sound, the power of vibration, the energy of the vibration as a medium to tune back the body, understanding that the body, like any other physical object in this world, is made out of who is moving and vibrating.

Therefore, it has a certain kind of energy. Once because of the influence from within or from inside, from outside or from inside, these vibration changes and energy changes. It could be the brain’s biochemistry because of certain food habits; it could be certain emotions that we experience that have different energies. Once this balance changes, we experience something that is not pleasant and sound healing helps us tune the body back.

Therefore, when we listen to those healing frequencies that are very tuned with how the body’s natural frequency should be, we feel relaxed, as if that conflict inside of us suddenly subsides; it keeps quiet. So it helps us to relax, it helps us to calm down, and in this way, it helps us to get over what is scaring us, which is creating conflict within us that could be the source of anxiety.

So most of the people who are experiencing anxiety have difficulties relaxing, they have difficulties focusing, and they have difficulties to maybe sleeping at night because they worry so much. Sound healing can create a safe platform.

So whatever it is, just come back to the moment, come back to this body, and get back to your balance and rest because if you rest, if you are calm, if you relax, you can always find either a solution for things that can be changed or accept things that cannot be changed or perhaps try to find a better perspective to redefine them for yourself, to maybe come out of that emotion that is causing the anxiety.

Different Types Of Sounds That Helps Us Relax

NourishDoc: Yeah, I think that’s beautiful. So now, there are many different types of sounds, and we all know that. Talk to us briefly about the type of sound that will help us relax.

Sound Healer Sherry: I must tell you something about the music. Music, as a form of harmonic and rhythmic sound, has this quality that bypasses our cognition and penetrates our emotions, bypassing our cognitive. Therefore, when we listen to certain kinds of music, every one of us awakens the same kind of emotion to us.

So, I look at myself and ask myself how I feel. Yes? And based on the feeling that I experience at the moment, I choose the kind of music and the kind of sound that can be useful for me. Of course, sound healers, they are using different kinds of instruments to create a form of sound that can be healing. However, any form of rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic form of sound or music can help people return to that center to feel grounded and relaxed, which is sound healing.

For example, listening to a mother telling stories to her children, listening to the sound of a drum being played in nature, or sometimes listening to waves crashing into the shore. These are all different forms of sound healing. It does not necessarily need to be something specific. But of course, like in the realm of sound healing, we are talking about different instruments, such as singing bowls, such as drums, such as different kinds of flutes, and different kinds of gongs; these instruments can create a form of sound that has a specific kind of qualities.

I don’t want to get too much into the technical details of the difference between this sound and, for example, a piano or a guitar sound. But tell you, in a nutshell, these kinds of instruments can be a form of a complex sound; when you listen to them, you hear different sounds. You hear a fundamental which is usually a very low tone, and then you can also hear the overtones separately.

Yeah? In this way, one instrument can resonate with different aspects of your body. In piano, for example, a guitar, or a violin, you might not be able to differentiate the overtones. That is their only difference; otherwise, they all do the same.

What Does A Sound Therapy Session Entail?

NourishDoc: Okay. So, talk to us about a session you would give a client. So, on a high level, what does it entail for someone suffering from anxiety? Do they come to you multiple times, or is it one time, like a 60-minute? Talk to us briefly about the detail because many people suffer from anxiety. What do you entail?

Sound Healer Sherry: Yeah, sure. I mean, when when you want to choose a sound healer, it’s also important to connect to that person because your therapists need to understand the source of your anxiety. Why is this important? Because as I told you before, the sound you’re going to listen to will directly penetrate the emotions you want to work with.

However, your awareness or your intention to want to connect to that emotion also is very important. Therefore, when you connect to your therapist and explain what you feel, your therapist will also be able to tune you into that emotion consciously, to open up to it in case it awakens during the session. So, you could find peace, become grounded, start to relax and tap into, let’s say, the kind of energy that is you of something that has always made you feel at home or safe.

Yeah? And then, after that, you start to work with that emotion because it becomes in this kind of environment, it becomes safe to work with this emotion. So a session looks like you come; you meet your therapist, explain your problem, and listen to practical recommendations on what to do. Do you understand the virtue of deep relaxation, how it will help your anxiety, and how it will help you overcome the anxiety in the future?

Because it’s not important that at this moment you feel good. But you should learn something; what would you do with it when it happens in the future? Then after that, typically in a sound healing session, the client usually lay down on a comfortable bed which is usually a little bit firm not to absorb the vibration but to transform the vibration into different parts of the body, and then you will see the sound healer to put a different kind of instrument around the body mostly around the head and then after guiding the client into a deep meditation to relax and to connect to the moment, the therapist will start to play this instrument according to the journey that he has created to make you feel, relax and deal with the emotion that you’re dealing with and then at the end, eventually bring you back to your ground and own body and your element of safety and peace and tranquility.

It may take around 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Of course, just like every spa experience, a good spa or a sound session must be repeated, especially if people have difficulties relaxing during the first session. Maybe they can repeat the same session, one time, two times, or three times for as long as they feel like they have learned what it means to relax and what is the virtue, what is the benefit of deep relaxation because our body is very intelligent.

It has all the information that it needs to heal itself. But when we don’t give a chance to the body by constantly staying in this anxious state of mind that is putting us into fight or flight mode. We don’t give a chance to the body to relax and take care of all the other organs, so perhaps anxiety alone cannot be dangerous.

However, it can create much backlog for the body because the body wants to take care of much work in the liver, much work in the immune system, much work in the digestive system, wants to clean the gut, and wants to take care of kidneys and muscles. However, the body, the central nervous system, is not letting the brain relax and care for those works. It’s constantly giving this, let’s say, command to the body that I’m in danger; something unknown might happen to me.

Therefore, let’s stay alert, and the prolonged state of being alert is very toxic because we all know what it does to us. We all have experienced it during this year. I have met people who told me they didn’t know what panic attacks meant. But during the lockdown, they experienced it for the first time. So it’s high time right now for us to understand how the body functions; our body needs to relax; after an active day, we need to slow down, calm down, rest, and sleep properly. If you don’t do that, you are deliberately damaging our immune system, making our body weak and prone to weaknesses.

NourishDoc: You beautifully explained many things that most of us have been feeling for the last couple of years and how some therapy can help all of us towards the healing process. This is a quick 10-minute session that we bring daily. To give an idea of what different therapies can help us, all kinds of health concerns range from anxiety to hormone health. Anything else you like to add, Sherry, before we wrap up the session today? Thank you so much. It’s been a very insightful and informational session there.

Sound Healer Sherry: I thank you. It was great also to connect with you. Your audience also benefits from this, and if they have any questions, they can always reach out to me on my website, Sound Therapycentre.org. I would happily answer any of the questions or connect with you on another level.

NourishDoc: Thank you, everyone, and continue to support us. Have a great weekend. That’s all I can say connect with nature and sound and start the healing process.


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