The Use of Therapeutic Sound for PTSD and Stress

The Use of Therapeutic Sound for PTSD and Stress

Sound Meditation, Sound Baths and Sound Energy Healing

I have been a musician since I was in grade school. I know that music has been therapy for me throughout the years with all the challenges I experienced in my childhood and adult life. To sing a song and strum the guitar, would be a soothing and healing balm. I, too, as I have mentioned previously, have PTSD from various traumas in my life.

We often think of trauma as an event in our lives as in “a traumatic event”. However, it is useful to think of trauma not as an event but rather as a response. It is a way of responding to a challenging event with all its long term consequences.

“Trauma is not what happens to us. It is what happens inside us” – Gabor Maté

And yes, there are “traumatic events” as such (a car crash, the death of a loved one, sexual violation, a natural disaster, etc.), but to better understand trauma and what it does to us, it can be helpful to focus on the response.

If a situation provides us with more stimulation or distress than our body can deal with, the overload creates a traumatic response which, in turn, impacts psycho-somatic unity. Trauma disrupts the wholeness and coherence of the mind-body system. That is to say that during and after a traumatic response, our body, and our mind split and create fragmentation in the individual. This happens because the normal cycle of arousal of our nervous system is interrupted by insufficient individual resources to deal with a certain situation.

This can lead to symptoms such as: extreme anxiety, chronic pain, lack of vitality and depression, confused states, trouble focusing or concentrating, a tendency to hold the breath, etc.

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When functioning properly, our nervous system is a wonderful regulator of all the functions in our body based on how we interpret the sensorial information that it provides us with.

In real life, the traumatic response of the nervous system can show itself, for example, when someone shuts down when confronted with someone else’s (or even their own) anger. Or when someone starts feeling very anxious in the presence of groups of people. Or when someone finds it difficult to trust friends and relatives.

The freeze response locks up an enormous amount of energy in our bodies. That can cause the kind of tiredness that just does not get better, and in many cases can be the underlying root cause of chronic pain conditions.

All these things happen at a very deep level, and we have very little conscious control over them. Thinking and analyzing these issues normally does not bring effective healing or change. The healing needs to happen through the body, at a somatic level.

How can Sound Healing (also known as Sound Therapy) help with trauma?

When we hold on to the strong emotional charge that a traumatic response elicits, we create areas in the body where the charge is “stored”. That stored charge can create contraction, pain, mood swings, restless sleep, nightmares and many more seemingly unrelated symptoms.

The therapeutic application of sound vibration, as it travels through bones, muscles, and fascia, can help to bring movement to these stagnating or contracted areas, therefore helping the stuck energy to circulate again. Instruments such as tuning forks and Tibetan singing bowls are particularly indicated for this purpose.

If we think of our bodies as made of vibrating energy, we can picture how every cell has its own signature vibration, like a specific musical note. Many cells together will be like the many keys of a piano, each one contributing a note, therefore creating a sort of biological music. If a section of the piano is out of tune, the whole instrument will not function properly. In this metaphor, the piano is the individual and the introduction of an external, therapeutic sound vibration can have a similar effect to the tuning of an instrument.

The use of one’s own voice can be particularly powerful when it comes to bringing wholeness and unity as it is one of the most effective tools we have to align and bring together the mind and the body.

A very important point is that nervous systems learn from each other. It is vital for any practitioner to have a centered, relaxed nervous system when working with people. Sound Healing not only teaches you how to work with others but creates a stable foundation to bring coherence and wholeness to your own nervous system.

Health for the Mind and the Body through Sound

Sound Healing is a very gentle, yet powerful modality to treat the body and the mind and restore inner balance and health.

It works with the nervous system, the tissues, and the more subtle energies of the body. It is deeply relaxing and restoring and it can offer long-term benefits.

The nervous system is our interface with the outside world, an incredibly sophisticated and wonderful instrument that deserves good tuning as often as possible!

One-on-One Sound Healing Sessions

Sound Healing provides a beautiful and nurturing way of helping you to feel more whole, centered and at peace. After your session, your body will remember what true, deep relaxation is and your nervous system will be nourished and invigorated.

In my practice with Peaceful Wellness, I use Crystal and Tibetan Singing Bowls, gongs, chimes and other instruments to initiate the relaxation response.

Sound Healing is particularly indicated for:

  • Burnout and Stress management
  • Accompanying spiritual processes and life changes
  • Recovering from physical trauma
  • It can also help with a variety of issues such as:
  • Chronic pain
  • Exhaustion
  • Hypersensitive nervous system
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Anxiety
  • Physical and mental tension
  • Headaches
  • Pain caused by physical trauma
  • Insomnia or low-quality sleep
  • Joints problems
  • Cramps
  • Digestive problems

Besides being a deeply effective form of treatment itself, Sound Therapy can also be a powerful support to integrate other healing modalities such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic, and psychotherapy. Sound’s ability to interact with the more subtle structures of our beings can assist the shifting of stuck energies at many levels.

Sound Healing is an ancient tool. We have been using the power of sound to change mental and physical states for many years in human history.

Some passages from Simone Vitale, The Sound Healer

If you are interested in Sound Healing, Meditation or Sound Baths, contact me for a private session or join my online or in person sessions.

Watch the Introduction to Sound Meditation talk and enjoy a session of sound meditation below.

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