Sound Healing Training | Sound Bath Training | Sound Therapy | Certification

Sound Healing For End Of Life Care

Mar 13, 2024
Sound Healing For End Of Life Care

End of life is a sacred time, however, it also comes with intense emotions.

Many times, fear and often resistance surround this transition, and the effect is felt by the dying as well as loved ones. 

In this blog, we explore how, through the intentional use of healing sounds, practitioners have found a powerful way to transform this space of unease into an environment that helps patients and their families find peace in the final moments of a person’s life on earth.

What Is End Of Life Care?

End of life care refers to health care provided in the time leading up to a person's death. This can be offered in the hours, days, or months before a person dies and encompasses care and support for a person's mental and emotional needs, physical comfort, spiritual needs, and practical tasks.

There is a growing need for sound healing practitioners interested in working in end of life care situations. Practitioners may offer in-home sessions, partner with a local hospice organization, or offer services to hospitals and nursing homes. 

During the final stages of one’s life, many are now turning to end of life doulas.

An end of life doula is a person who provides holistic support to individuals and their families to help support and guide them through the dying process. Having a partner in these final days helps relieve pressure on families while providing comfort and companionship to patients.  

“Being an end of life doula has allowed me to work with people and animals who are in the final stages of life and guide them to a place of comfort and peace. This peace extends beyond the individual in focus and includes family members and friends who are also a part of this process and connection. 

The addition of intentional healing sounds plays an important role and serves not just the dying but also provides comfort for all involved.” ~ Gretchen Bickert, End Of Life Doula

Introducing healing sounds into end of life care strengthens the benefits of this support for patients, their families, and even those facilitating the care.

The Benefits Of Using Healing Sounds In End Of Life Care

The Benefits For Patients

For those close to the end of life, there is often a mental struggle of some kind.

This can stem from not wanting to leave their family, a fear of what is to come, anger for not having enough time, anxiety from being in a hospital, or many other reasons. Regardless of the personal struggle, these pervasive thoughts cause resistance. To quiet these negative emotions, we can utilize healing sounds.

Sound healing techniques provide a way to balance emotions, release negative energy, welcome acceptance, and offer sounds that can facilitate relaxation. Healing sounds allow for slowed heart rate, more relaxed breathing, reduced pain levels, better sleep, and reduced anxiety at the end of a patient’s life.  

The Benefits For Families   

Families often carry many of the same emotions that patients experience in an end of life situation. 

By creating a space of peace with healing sounds, families can reduce their anxiety levels and connect with their loved ones on a deeper level. Family members can also be given sound tools and practical exercises that they can utilize to help them in the healing process before and after their loved one transitions. 

Being able to practice meditation with healing sounds is beneficial for the grieving process – even allowing for feelings of connection to those who have recently passed on.

The Benefits For Facilitators

In hospitals and nursing homes, the staff are exposed to death and sorrow. 

This is incredibly draining, and it is not something that doctors and nurses easily shut off when their shift ends. Using sounds to create a healing space allows facilitators to experience a place of wellness and find relief from the difficult parts of their work.

Healing sounds help us cope and connect with others without losing ourselves whilst providing us with support and cleansing our energy field and energetical body after working in difficult environments.

Creating A Space Of Peace With Sound Healing

To create a space of peace by introducing healing sounds, it is first important to identify which stage of the dying process a patient is in as part of their end of life care plan.

The Hospice Foundation Of America has a list of signs of approaching death that can help identify the state a patient is in during his/her final stages of life. While one stage may benefit from physical touch, working with sound healing instruments on the body could damage a patient in another stage.

We recommend speaking with a healthcare professional (such as a hospice doctor or nurse) when planning your sound healing sessions to avoid any potential problems moving forward.  

What does it look like to create a sacred space for peace? Your ultimate goal is to transform their room into a safe place. This means that it is your responsibility to see how your client reacts to different instruments that you use and avoid anything that generates a negative response.

Organic instruments (such as drums and flutes) or deep instruments (such as gongs or low tone Tibetan singing bowls) are a good place to start.

Pay attention to your client’s face and chest as you play your instruments. 

  • Are they relaxing their muscles or tensing up?
  • Is their breathing increasing or decreasing?
  • Do they seem agitated?
  • Do they express audible signs (sighs, spoken word, groaning)? 

The first part of every sound healing session is learning what your clients respond to best and creating an experience that most resonates with them. Depending on the stage in your client's dying process, you may also experiment with on-body techniques and the proximity of instruments. 

When using multiple instruments, find gentle tones that blend with each other – you want to create resonance and not dissonance. It can even be helpful to distribute several instruments around the room, including family members or medical staff.  

Introducing chanting and toning can also be a valuable tool in this situation. Encourage your client (if possible) to gently tone with your instruments or voice. For chanting, keep in mind your client's spiritual and personal views. 

For example, if your client is of Christian or Jewish faith, it would be comforting to introduce Bible verses or Psalms into your vocalizations. If your client has tribal heritage, focusing on grounding instruments, flutes, and/or hand drums is very calming. 

“When volunteering for hospice, I worked with a man of Cherokee Native American descent.  He responded very well to the sound of the flute, so I focused on playing sweet, gentle melodies while paying attention to his physical response to the music. His sister and I worked together to create a sacred space for him where she laid crystals on his chest, and I played a flute song that was deeply meaningful to the Cherokee people. This greatly eased his transition, and he passed away later that day.” ~ Gareth Laffely, Hospice Volunteer

A good way to get started in setting up a space for peace is to follow our checklist below:

  • What stage of the dying process is my client in?
  • What instruments most resonate with my client?
  • What objects or items would make my client feel more comfortable?
  • Are there any special requests from my client or my client’s family?
  • What recommendations does a medical professional or caregiver have for working with my client?
  • What about my client’s views or background could I utilize to help him/her feel more at peace?

How To Get Involved

Working with healing sounds in end of life care can be a very rewarding process.

You will be able to offer peace to those struggling with their own transition or the transition of their loved ones. Applying these techniques with someone you love will strengthen your connection with him/her and allow you to experience greater acceptance of your own grieving process.  

To learn more about the techniques you can use in end of life care, we recommend taking one of our Level 2 Practitioner Diploma Sound Healing Courses 

These courses not only prepare you for your work but also provide you with a certification that allows you to work with clients professionally. Once confident in your abilities, we suggest contacting local hospice organizations. Hospice organizations will pair you with patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and in-home care while providing additional training and resources.  

The Sound Healing Academy will host a Live Webinar for Level 2 Students on Saturday 11th of May at 9 pm UK time (GMT). We will discuss incorporating some of the sound healing techniques from our Level 2 Sound Healing Courses into palliative/hospice care situations. This will include self-care, creating space, and some tips and ideas for rituals and ceremonies that use healing sounds. 

We hope to see you there!


Crane P.J and Ward S.F (2016) Self-Healing and Self-Care for Nurses. AORN Journal. Volume 104, Issue 5. Pages 386-400,

Dietrich C, Teut M, Samwel KL, Narayanasamy S, Rathapillil T, Thathews G (2015) Treating Palliative Care Patients with Pain with the Body Tambura: A Prospective Case Study at St. Joseph's Hospice for Dying destitute in Dindigul South India. Indian Journal of Palliative Care. 21(2):236-41

Seetharaman R, Avhad S, Rane J (2023) Exploring the healing power of singing bowls: An overview of key findings and potential benefits. 



Would You Like To Introduce Sound Healing Into Your Practice?

Join one of our Online Sound Healing Courses or In-Person Training Courses!



Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our newsletter for exclusive insights, tips, and updates on the latest news in sound healing to enhance your wellbeing!

SPAM is a NO-NO! We will never sell your information, for any reason.