Sound Healing Toolkit - Self Care for AnxietyJun 05, 2021
Over the next few months we will be looking at how sound healing can alleviate symptoms of anxiety in the body.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an emotional response, normally excessive worrying, that is often persistent even when external stressors are not present.
Headspace refers to it as "a cognitive state connected to an inability to regulate emotions" but states that a "consistent meditation practice reprograms neural pathways in the brain and, therefore, improves our ability to regulate emotions."
How is it anxiety different to stress?
Anxiety differs from stress in that, day to day stress is often caused by a trigger, work deadlines, arguments etc, and can ease when that trigger or event has passed. Of course stress can build up over time into something more chronic, however as mentioned above anxiety is when the emotional response persists after the stressor has dissipated or can present as a sense of overwhelm about future perceived stressors that may not happen.
What do we mean by a "Sound Healing Toolkit"?
A "Sound Healing Toolkit" is the set of instruments you have at home that you can use day to day to enjoy the benefits of sound healing at home.
What instruments in our sound healing toolkit can help regulate our emotions and ease symptoms of anxiety?
As we know meditation can help reprogram neural pathways but, meditation can be overwhelming for those who suffer from anxiety as it requires discipline to sit in stillness. Sound however can act as an anchor to help us with this and shift our focus away from our thoughts.
Tuning forks specifically, can help regulate our emotions by entraining our brainwaves quickly by creating binaural beats and so are a great choice of instrument to alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
What is a Binaural Beat?
Binaural beats are an auditory illusion caused by listening to two tones of slightly different frequency, one in each ear.
The difference between those two frequencies is the binaural beat—a pulse in your brain that your conscious mind is unaware of. For example, if your left ear receives a frequency of 20Hz and your right ear receives 10Hz, your brain perceives a binaural beat of 10 Hz, (Alpha brain waves).
How can these changes in brain wave states help us?
Electroencephalography (EEG) technology has been used to identify various states of consciousness namely Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta.
Beta (12–35 Hz) : Active, busy or anxious thinking and active concentration, arousal, cognition
Alpha (8–12 Hz) : Relaxation (while awake), pre-sleep and pre-wake drowsiness
Theta (4–8 Hz) : Dreams, deep meditation, REM sleep
Delta (0.5–4 Hz) : Deep dreamless sleep, loss of body awareness
The Brain Tuners set are specifically designed to directly influence brain wave states through binaural beats.
Using the Brain Tuners set we can help entrain our brain into these other states allowing us to come out of an anxious state quickly and effectively. This highlights just how effective sound healing can be for alleviating symptoms of anxiety.
How do I use my Tuning forks to entrain my brain state?
Associate teacher Morag Wylie demonstrates the technique.
When the Fundamental Brain Tuner tuning fork is sounded with any of the 4 Brain tuning forks, the difference between the two tuning forks creates a binaural beat effect which can be heard as a pulsation.
The Brain Tuners are tapped on an activator at the same time (or one quickly after the other with a mallet) and each one is held while its vibrating/sounding out close to each of the 2 ears.
Forks should be brought in close to the ears from a wider distance (e.g. half a metre) and settle at a distance that is comfortable for the person who is listening – this distance is normally 10-20cms.
To aid deep relaxation begin with the Beta fork and the fundamental brain tuner. Work down through Alpha, Theta and Delta always using the fundamental tuner alongside the named tuner. The brain joins the 2 sounds to create a third, different sound giving a binaural beat effect easing your symptoms of anxiety helping you feel calmer and focused throughout your day, and to sleep better at night.
Would you like to work with tuning forks, but don’t own any of your own?
They are available at our Sound Therapy Shop.
Interested in learning more about the benefits of tuning forks?
Join one of our online courses here
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