I’ve walked up and down Telluride’s Main street 100 times or more by now. I’ve passed Mangala Yoga (https://www.mangalayogatelluride.com) on the way to something: brunch, the office, the pharmacy. Last week their chalkboard sidewalk sign lured me inside.
Sound healing. What is sound healing?
I had no idea. “Should I try it?” I heard part of myself ask the rest of myself. “Yes,” came the wise mind answer.
I’ve lived long enough to need healing from the aftermath of my own choices. Sure, let’s try a sound bath. I went to my office, navigated the online registration and paid my $35 of a one-time class for the next Wednesday night.
Just like always once I become aware of something I see it all over. With the help of the algorithms I’ve started seeing posts about sound healing. It turns out that I have friends who put on these events. I asked a favorite fellow traveller about sound healing. Her review was good. “Okay. I’m gonna do this,” I thought.
Last Wednesday night came quickly. I resisted my resistance which arose in me at about 6:30 PM 30 minutes before class. I put on a workout outfit, grabbed a previously unused yoga mat from the closet, and started out my door. I got down to the studio in just enough time to get checked in and grab a spot near the back of a filling shotgun room. The temperature was high and the floor was crowded.
There were about 25 of us lying down inches apart waiting for the sound to begin. Steven began by welcoming all of us and introducing us to his big 38” gong. It was toned to middle C Steven said – the frequency of our hearts.
Steven went on to say that it was sound healing and the sounds from this particular gong that helped him find sleep when weed, alcohol, and prescription drugs couldn’t help. Sound healing helped Steven recover from traumatic brain injury. There’s physics to back up all the frequency talk our leader went on to say. Mercifully he spared us the science details and gave us our meditation instructions.
“Lie back. Move when you need to. This is not something to endure. Breathe in through your nose and out through slightly parted lips. When your mind wanders come back to your breath.”
Over the next hour I did just that. I’m decent at focusing on my breath from years and mindfulness practice in therapy and months of Tantra work. So as the sound started to wash over me and the other white people I slid easily into a dreamy headspace.
Thrice a claustrophobic impulse grabbed my heart. I resisted the urges to run each time and indeed came back to my breath.
Later I had a vision of a golden version of me in a pleasing form. “Is that me? Is that my soul/spirit self?” I wondered with a smile. Then he faded away.
I remember feeling my hips tight and then opening. “What emotions are trapped there?” I thought.
There was no torrent of emotion for me. I didn’t expect one and maybe I’m not open to it. Perhaps though I will have that experience in this Wednesday’s class because I will be back in that narrow, hot, crowded room tuning my heart to middle C.
In writing this story I did a little bit of research into my experience. From what I’ve found so far sound healing is a meditation practice that incorporates sound at specific frequencies that correspond to particular emotions. Some believe that blocked emotion in the body can cause physical problems like illness, injury, and chronic pain. I think I’m part of that “some people.” At least I’m warming to the idea that sound therapy can move the emotion or energy that’s trapped in our bodies and is hurting us.
Does it work? I just can’t help myself. I just did a quick search for outcome studies on sound healing, found one, and read it. Here’s the link of you want to check it out https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871151/
According to that study it works. I’m right at the mean age of the 62 subjects. I guess I’m at the perfect midlife spot to get good stuff out of sound healing.
I’ll keep updating my experiences here and welcome you to reach out if you have any questions.
Christopher Brown is a psychotherapist and licensed sex therapist with decades of experience. He teaches people at every age how to connect to their sexuality and rethink eroticism. This conversation is fantastic and will make you rethink our conditioning and sex “education”…or lack thereof. Listen for: How to find a new sexual template for every decade of your life What sex in your 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and beyond can look like Explicit and implicit shame One of the causes of premature ejaculation How women can still have a full sex life after menopause Sex isn’t defined by penetration How EVERY parent is a sex educator Normalizing early negative sex messaging The difference between sexuality and eroticism Find out more about Christopher at SapientTherapy.com and follow him on Instagram @xopherbrown!