Sound Therapy

Updated: Jun 10

Playing Mozart and Beethoven to unborn babies. Running to electronic dance music. Putting on that lofi-rain playlist on loop while drafting that work e-mail.


Sound and music are such a big part of our daily lives, attesting to their effect on how our brain works and our mood towards performing tasks.


Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash



Today, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many external aggressors loom over our emotional and mental wellbeing. it comes as no wonder then that more are prioritising self care and looking to varied, creative means to achieve holistic health—from meditation to art therapy (which we explored in a previous journal piece) to sound therapy.


A Fitbit research team analysed aggregated data from millions of Fitbit users aged 18 to 80 from 1 March to 31 August 2020, compared with the same period last year. Notably, participation in meditation among Fitbit users soared by an astonishing 6,128 per cent in Singapore.


Similarly, The Golden Space, a meditation space that also offers sound therapy sessions, experienced a 25 per cent increase in clients between May and November 2020.


Be it meditation or sound therapy, what these activities have in common is that they engage the senses and capabilities of the participant while incorporating elements of self-reflection.


How does sound therapy use sound towards helping us feel better emotionally, mentally and physically?


First things first.



What is Sound Therapy?


Sound therapy employs sound, music and specialist instruments played in therapeutic ways, combined with deep self-reflection techniques to improve health and wellbeing.



A professional sound therapist is trained in these techniques that are employed in a sound therapy session. The various specialist instruments that can be used during a sound therapy session include singing bowls, crystal bowls, tuning forks and koshi (wind chimes).


According to certified sound therapist, Ms Michele Chong, these instruments work to create sounds to "calm overactive brain waves" which have proven helpful for those with insomnia and frequent migraines due to high levels of stress.


She asserts that our organs carry different frequencies and energies, and a professional like herself is trained to understand and use the tone and frequency of various sound tools to gain insights into the function of our organs towards rehabilitating them.

"Every single vibration and tone facilitated by the therapist carries a healing effect to our mind and body. Using varying pitches, these vibrations and sounds can help people to trigger trapped emotions such as anger and sadness and towards calming or releasing them."

— Ms Michele Chong, certified sound therapist and Managing Director of The Golden Space.


She shares that she has had numerous experiences where she discovered an irregular heartbeat and even cysts in her clients' womb before they had approached their doctor for a medical examination.



A Look Into A Sound Therapy Workshop


As part of the Co.'s regular wellbeing programming, we connected with Heealy and Ms Michele Chong herself to bring a sound therapy workshop to our Co.mmunity members.


As the Community Associate at the Co., I had the chance to attend this live offline-online hybrid event. Ms Chong brought along with her an impressive array of specialist instruments for the sound therapy session. When a fellow participant commented on the sheer size of the vessel she carried them in, she smiled and said that she'd grown used to ferrying them around for workshops around the country.



As the programme began, Ms Chong spoke about the fundamentals of sound therapy, including how sound can impact our brainwaves. This gave me a better idea of what to expect of the sound therapy session proper that was to come.


She shared that our body works in tandem with our emotions, thus explaining the physical symptoms we might experience in times of emotional distress and anxiety. This called to mind the time I broke out in hives during a stressful experience, and how in situations of burnout we develop sudden fevers or flus. She also reiterated the power of sounds—their tones and vibrations—to investigate the state of our internal organs.


If there is any tension or illness of the physical body, a professional sound therapist will be able to detect or feel it through vibration and frequency.

— Ms Michele Chong, certified sound therapist and Managing Director of The Golden Space.


From Ms Chong's sharing, I gleaned that sound therapy therefore works on several levels:

  1. To uncover negative emotions and physical ailments

  2. To quell negative emotions and alleviate physical ailments



She also took questions from participants about our concerns about our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing and how sound therapy can play a part in alleviating stresses. Another participant asked about the changes one might see after undergoing sound therapy. In response, Ms Chong shared that after a session with a child with autism, the child exhibited small behavioural changes that were remarkable to his parents. He was able to sit still for longer than 15 minutes, which was something he had never been able to do, and sported a generally calmer disposition.


During the demonstration, we were asked to place a towel or mat on a comfortable spot on the ground. We lay down on the towel or mat, and Ms Chong asked that we shut our eyes.



Ms Chong then guided us in several minutes of meditation, before introducing sounds of varying tones and frequencies with the specialist instruments that she had laid out in front of her by skilfully flourishing koshi (wind chimes) and circling the singing bowls of various widths and heights with a wooden wand.


After 30 minutes, she asked that participants take our time to open our eyes and return to a seated position. She went into greater detail about the ailments that she had observed in each participant—from sore shoulders to upset stomachs. She also gave realistic and applicable advice on how to alleviate their respective symptoms before bringing the session to a close. The other participants, including our members, shared that they'd felt more at ease after the session. It was heartening to see that the participants had something helpful and practical to take away from the session.



Final Notes


At the Co., we see the importance of holistic health and strive to make mental and emotional wellbeing more accessible for our Co.mmunity and in our treasured Duxton neighbourhood.


Interested in participating in our wellbeing programmes?

Check out our curated programming at www.jointhe.co/programmes.


Want to find out more about Ms Michele Chong and The Golden Space?

Head on over to their website at www.thegoldenspace.com.



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