Healing with Sound and Music

By Val Silver

healing with sound and music

Ohm. Hum. Ding. Mankind has been healing with sound and enjoying music since ancient times. The vibrations and frequencies of sound waves offer natural modes of healing that touch us deep within. Some religions teach that the creators used sound to bring form to the world, so it is no wonder it affects us so deeply. As if puppets on a string, our hearts, minds and bodies respond immediately to nuances of sound frequencies. For example, try this quick exercise:

  • Imagine the sound of chalk scraping across a chalkboard. Does your whole body cringe?
  • Now think about the sound of ocean waves, singing birds or other sound you find relaxing. 
  • Hum a few bars of your favorite upbeat song. Is your body "dancing" to the beat?
  • Finally, imagine the cackling of a laughing baby. Did that just bring a smile to your face? 

 The vibrational energy of tones, music, chants, song, even the spoken word, move through your body and aura with ease. Your cells respond to these frequencies in a positive or negative way. 

Like other forms of vibrational healing, sound therapy is based on the principles of harmonic resonance. It is effective because it introduces relaxing and health-promoting frequencies to your mind and body. Your body responds to those sounds and entrains to that healthier frequency. 

Types of Vibrational Healing with Sound

The idea behind healing with sound is to provide your mind and body with frequencies that promote relaxation and health.

These frequencies pass through space and through your body at the speed of sound. As your body resonates with a needed frequency, it reminds the body's energy field of its original blueprint and helps restore harmony to the system.

At times, you can consciously feel this vibration. When the bass is turned up you hear the speakers vibrate and feel the vibration going through the floor and through you. A loud, piercing tone is made as you circle a crystal goblet with a moist finger. A nearby goblet or bowl may resonate with the sound and chime in. 

Research suggests a relationship between the atomic weight of elements and specific frequencies. This means that if a specific frequency is low in an individual, the corresponding element, such as selenium or zinc, is also low. Once the frequency of the mineral has been received by the body, it will resonate with this vibration and absorb the mineral.

To determine which frequencies are needed, sound healers might use a dowsing instrument like a pendulum, or more sophisticated equipment. They may record and listen to the voice to determine which tones are deficient.

If you listen carefully as people talk, you will notice their voice quality change as their emotional states change. It sometimes sounds as if their voices are being choked off, or that something is missing. Most of us would probably benefit from having a voice analysis so missing frequencies can be reintroduced into the field.

Healing with sound has achieved good results when the missing frequencies are played back at a low octave. They are played at cycles corresponding to brain wave frequencies. This stimulates the brain to promote healing. 

Sound Healing with Tibetan Singing Bowls

Singing bowls have long been a favorite tool to encourage healing with sound.

Both the quartz crystal singing bowl and metal Tibetan singing bowls are instruments of sound healing, meditation, ritual, prayer and trance induction. Depending on the size and composition of the bowls, they vibrate at specific frequencies and produce different tones.

Antique Tibetan singing bowls were made from several kinds of metal. This caused them to produce multiple harmonic overtones at the same time. You can feel these tones in your body. New bowls can produce these complex chords if they are made with high quality bronze.

When using Tibetan singing bowls for healing, one sound may be introduced or multiple bowls will be played to provide needed frequencies.  A bowl may be held near you or passed over the body. 

For meditation, focus on the tones as they are played. Another way to use the bowls in meditation is to produce the tone and then follow it until you no longer hear any sound at all. This brings you into a space of restorative relaxation and silence.

Meditate with the following video, "Meditation with 3 Giant antique Tibetan Singing Bowls" to experience 13 to 14 inch bowls. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and follow the tones. Notice how you and where you feel them in your body.

Sound Healing with Tuning Forks

Tuning forks were origionally used to tune instruments but a curious thing happened. The sound and vibration caused by the forks had an effect on the human body. Healers began to use the forks to diagnose disruptions in the energy field and bring it back into resonance, to induce a sense of calm and relaxation, and to bring healing to the mind and body. 

Tuning forks act like sonar as they pass through the field. Both the therapist and the client can perceive the dissonance caused in areas of the biofield with stagnant and disrupted energy flows. When a vibrating fork is held over these areas, their coherence can reset the body's rhythm and bring order back to the system. For this reason, individuals with pacemakers should not use tuning forks. Pregnant women and those with cancer may want to use them only on targeted areas such as tight shoulders or for short periods of time to avoid a strong detox reaction. Otherwise, they can get exhausted and the energy can get stuck.

There are two types of tuning forks. Weighted forks work better on the body or near the ears. When placed on the body,  they help release tension in the body and help it release nitric oxide gas which reduces inflammation. Near the ears, they induce the alpha brainwave state. This aids meditation, feelings of peace, and focus. 

A highly recommended weighted tuner is the Otto 128. Otto means its sound vibrates the bones. This fork used to help the bones relax and align and to improve the health of surrounding nerves, lymph, and tissue. To balance the ANS, activate the fork by lightly tapping the top of the weighted end on a hockey puck or your knee. Place the stem end on the sacrum. The sternum or hip bones works, too.  Do this point once or twice no more than twice a day otherwise you may decrease the nitric oxide.  You can place the fork anywhere your intuition guides you to put it.

Unweighted body tuners work best near the ears and around the body. They help to quiet the mind and balance the nervous system. If you have the C and G note forks and ring them together you create what is called in musical terms the perfect fifth. They have also been called Shiva and Shakti or Yin and Yang because they represent the fusing of opposites, balance and harmony. The Otto 128 does the same thing by itself. Strike the fork about a third f the way down a prong or strike them together if you have two. 

These three forks make a great  set for beginners learning the art of healing with sound. 

Music and Healing with Sound

One of the many gifts of music is that it stimulates whole brain functioning. When right and left hemispheres are in sync, you have access to heightened levels of awareness, improved imagination, and the ability to see multiple perspectives when making decisions. 

Music is processed in the older, deep parts of the brain where it profoundly affects emotion and thought. Music activates the amygdala, the part of the brain that stores emotional memories and tells us how we feel about incoming information. Emotional and cognitive memories are stored and retrieved in parallel. This is why emotions are tied to old memories and music associated with those memories can instantly affect us emotionally and transport us mentally to another time and place. It can induce primal feelings or spiritual states of mind. Our bodies naturally move to the rhythm.

Health can also be affected by music as its frequencies vibrate in the water of our bodies. Studies show that plants do not like heavy metal music and will move away from it, if possible. On the other hand, classical music and soothing music draws them closer. 

A number of professional musicians create healing music. Eric Berglund creates beautiful healing melodies on his harp. Steven Halpern has several albums for healing with sound. His famous Chakra Suite focuses on specific frequencies related to your seven energy centers.  

The following video, "Healing Your Chakras with Sound and Color by Steven Halpern" gives you a sample to experience.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki (Kanduri et al., 2015) discovered a connection between emotionally evocative music and gene expression. All 48 people in the study listened to Mozart's third violin concerto in G major. Depending on their musical aptitude, between 45 and 97 genes were turned on.

Genes affected by Mozart's concerto support the health of neural networks, transmission of signals in the brain, and learning and memory. One strongly affected gene was SNCA. This gene is involved in the secretion and transport of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Have you ever noticed how certain music motivates you to get moving or make better choices? That's dopamine at work. 

Enjoy this video, "Mozart - Violin Concerto No. 3 in G, K. 216 [complete]". Mozart composed this piece when he was 19 years old.

Spiritual Sound Healing

Whether or not you ascribe to particular religious beliefs, the principles of healing with sound can be used to enhance spiritual well-being.  Spiritual music enriches spiritual experiences regardless of religion or culture. It raises your vibration and fosters connection with Source energy. 

The sacred and mystical sound of Indian religions is "Aum" or "Om". The syllable is elongated and toned in prayer and meditation.

There is a theory that ancient languages like Greek, Sanskrit and Latin, contain sounds and tonal vibrations affect your neurology.  When chanted, the vibration of the word itself has the same frequency as what is being spoken of at the deepest level of the chant. This expands neurology by making new connections in the brain that attune it to spirit and expand consciousness.

Chanting opens the heart. Perhaps this is why Catholics feel reverent and connected to God during the Latin Mass even though they consciously understood little of it. The Solfeggio frequencies of Gregorian chants are beloved for their spiritual overtones. When sung in harmony, it is believed that they bring transformation and blessings. The six different tones are associated with different benefits. For example, UT at 396 Hz is believed to liberate guilt and fear. SOL at 741 Hz is credited with awakening intuition. 

Sunlight shining through stained glass windows brings light and sound therapy together for even more benefit.

How to Use Music and Sound for Well-being

We can use music and sound in an intentional way for healing and well-being. Your body - its organs and cells are very receptive to sound frequencies carried in your bodily fluids. You can choose specific frequencies to energize, relax, get in a meditative state, or to enhance your creative flow. 

Music impacts the autonomic nervous system which affects blood pressure, brain function, emotions, and heartbeats. Healing with sounds and music relieves stress and boosts your gene expression, happiness, health and sense of relaxation. To realize these benefits, it is most important is to choose tones and rhythms you like and those that support your purpose for listening. 

Notice how you feel when different types of music are played. For example, listen to the music videos below. Both the Mozart piece and Halpern's music elicit  physical and mental responses, but they are quite different. 

If you dislike certain beats, tones, or types of music, you will feel irritated instead of uplifted. What irritates you during the day or while you are trying to concentrate or have a conversation may be enjoyable when you want to dance or energize yourself. Experiment with a variety of music for different purposes. 

8 tips for benefitting from sound healing

  • Touch your spirit with music that opens your heart and makes you feel good. Listen to the violin to engender compassion. Chant, sing or tone sacred words and sounds that are meaningful and take you to a higher place. As you feel inspired, make up your own words and tunes. Listening to the digeridoo may also help to stimulate expanded states of consciousness.
  • To feel positive and energized, choose uplifting music, faster music. Music with 150 beats or more per minute energizes your body, increases alertness, and uplifts your mood. A fun way to get going while cleaning house is to listen to primal drumming or songs with a steady, quick drum beat. Want to know the BPMs of your favorite song? Search the name of the song plus BPM.
  • For relaxation, choose music that is slower and calming, but not melancholic. Ambient music and nature sounds like ocean waves or rain are soothing because you can just listen without singing or following the beat. Slow, relaxing songs have 100 beats per minute or less. Soundscapes of natural environments have been shown to helps to calm the ANS and promote relaxation. Wind and string instruments also promote feelings of peace and calm.
  • Lull yourself to sleep with soothing sounds. Try slow chants or ambient music playing softly in the background. 
  • For emotional healing with sound, notice which music and songs bring you down. Instead of going to that dark place and staying there, use the songs as a healing opportunity. You don't consciously have to understand the connection. From my own experience, I enjoy the benefits of a technique dubbed Tapping with Tunes. One morning, while driving to work, I decided to do EFT tapping to songs that made get emotional. After a few times, I found myself happily singing along to these same songs instead of crying. 
  • Make your own music. Playing a musical instrument or actively engaging with played music activates the whole brain. So sing along and dance to your favorite tunes. Whole brain activity is linked with more happiness and calmness. 
  • Visit a sound healer. Professional sound healers may use tuning forks, singing bowls, or specialized equipment that measures which sound frequencies you specifically need before delivering those sound waves to you body. 


Sound affects you positively or negatively on every level of your being as its vibrational frequencies move through your body. Take a cue from the plant kingdom - for health and well-being, choose classical music and uplifting easy listening. Rock and heavy metal music are not good choices for healing. 

Enjoy the healing benefits of sound while you work, play, eat, and wind down for the night.  Explore different styles of music to see how they make you feel. Let your intuition and the mental state you want to evoke guide you. There are chants, tuning forks, Tibetan singing bowls, your own voice, drums, a variety of instruments, audio devices, binaural beats, and so much more to choose from.  For an immersive experience, treat yourself to a sound bath or session with a trained sound healer. 

Healing with sound is a form of vibrational energy healing that is good for mind, body and spirit.

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For Educational Purposes Only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult with your health provider before using natural remedies and/or complementary therapies if you are pregnant, nursing, or you are being treated for a medical condition. Be aware that certain herbs and supplements interact with medications.

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