Health Travel Magazine - Digest 2024

Everything you need to know about sound baths

A sound bath is a form of meditation which uses instruments to produce healing sound frequencies designed to promote relaxation, and although becoming increasingly popular, this trend is still new to many. As part of our new partnership with leading wellness specialists in the UK, we interviewed professional sound healer Elizabeth Broderick, founder of Anicca Sound. Read on to learn everything you need to know about sound bathing and hear about the experience from a professional.

What is a sound bath?

Sound baths are a form of meditation which involves immersing participants in relaxing soundwaves produced by a variety of healing instruments, gongs, and bowls. Participants are either seated comfortably or lying down as the sound healer induces a deep meditative state through calming sound frequencies. The sound bath experience can typically last between 45 and 90 minutes.

Sound baths have been around for thousands of years, practiced by cultures across the globe. Both the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians, and Australian aboriginal tribes tapped into the powers of sound vibrations, using them to heal the sick. Today, sound baths and their healing properties are widely used to aid relaxation and meditation.

How do sound baths work?

Studies have proven a correlation between sound and healing, showing that music can lower blood pressure, reduce pulse rate, and aid digestive and metabolic processes in the body. This works by using calming sounds to create different frequencies that vibrate in your body, causing it to relax and slow down.

Individuals may find that certain instruments and styles of sound baths work better for them – different sound healers may use gongs, bowls made from different crystals and gemstones, digeridoos and even their voice to produce different frequencies.

What are the benefits of sound baths?

Sound baths have many benefits, most notably a reduction in stress levels. The calming sound waves can release tension, both physical and emotional, improve quality of sleep, and help you to concentrate and relax. In addition to emotional benefits, the healing frequencies of sound bathing can have physiological effects including decreased blood pressure and heart rate, and improved digestion.

Sound bathing is also an excellent way of making meditation more accessible – no meditation experience is needed, and the soothing vibrations focus your attention away from the mind and body, allowing the sound to guide you into silence.

Sound bathing with Health Travel

Many of our luxury wellness hotels incorporate sound healing into your experience, from singing bowls in the shadow of vast desert landscapes at the mystical Habitas AlUla in Saudi Arabia, to immersive Sound Therapy halls at JOALI BEING in the Maldives and refreshing sound bathing in the rainforests of Costa Rica with El Silencio Lodge & Spa.

At your request, our travel specialists can also arrange for private sound baths with Elizabeth at our hotels, or at some of our favourite spots around London, as part of your bespoke wellness experience with Health Travel.

Interview with a professional sound healer

Health Travel are proud to partner with Anicca Sound as part of our collaboration with some of the UK’s leading wellness specialists. We interviewed the founder, Elizabeth Broderick, a professional sound healer, to gain some valuable insight into the world of sound bathing.

Introduce yourself

Hi my name is Elizabeth, and I am a sound healer. I work with a variety of instruments but I predominantly work with gongs and have a real passion and interest in our capacity to heal through vibration.

What is sound healing and how does it work?

Sound healing uses the frequencies and vibrations of musical instruments to help your brain reach deep relaxation by altering our brainwave states.

During a sound healing session, we are able to reach brainwave states of theta, a mystical dream-like state, high creativity or deep meditation. Some people experience delta brainwave states for deep sleep, deep repair and revitalisation, or even Gamma brainwaves, which is associated with seasoned meditators such a Buddhist monks, shamanic states and profound insight.

Using vibration to heal is an ancient wisdom, for example The Vedas used chanting techniques up to 10,000 BCE and the didgeridoo is said to be about 1,500 years old. Healing through sound was also used by the Egyptians and spoken about in Ancient Greek Philosophy . Sound healing tools have been used differently throughout different cultures in history and nobody actually knows where the first gong was made, but they think it was in Turkey.

How does sound healing benefit your health and wellbeing?

Sound healing has many benefits, including:

  • it helps make meditation accessible
  • releases tensions and emotional blockages like a form of therapy
  • dramatically improves quality of sleep
  • helps you manage and reduce stress levels
  • brings balance and alignment
  • grounding and a deep state of embodiment

Who would you recommend these experiences for?

For everyone and anyone! You need no prior meditation experience, all you need to do is lie back and let the sound do the work for you.

What tools do you use?

I use a variety of instruments such as chimes, crystal and Tibetan singing bowls, percussion, tuning forks, etc., but my main work is always focused around the gongs.

Do you prefer studio sessions or out in nature?

In nature, if you are in the forest, or by the ocean, you are also experiencing nature’s sound bath. So the added element of hearing the ocean or the birds is really special, and the setting is so beautiful. I think sound baths in nature really help you feel grounded and connected to earth. When I do them out in nature I really try to bring all the elements into the session.

Studio sessions are also just as wonderful, you are able to get very cosy, escape the chaos of your day to day life and really disconnect. Meditating in groups is powerful, and working in smaller intimate spaces you can really feel the vibration throughout your body, in some studios there is lots of reverb from the sounds of the gong, and I find in studios you can gain a deep and cosmic sound experience.

Are group sessions or private sessions better?

This is completely personal preference. Meditating in groups is powerful, but if you are someone that wants to have the session catered to you with the intimacy of a 1×1 session then privates are better for you.

If you’re interested in experiencing sound bathing for yourself, contact our travel specialists through our website or on WhatsApp to learn about incorporating it into your wellness retreat.