I wanted to put together some thoughts about making the most of a sound therapy session – be it a community sound bath, smaller circle celebration or private integral sound healing session.
We cannot control life, so I always welcome you to come as you are and bring that to the sound. That said, doing a little preparation or making a conscious transition into and out of your sound journey will always help you get more from it. Of course we can just top up at our sound therapy session and dash off afterwards (and sometimes that is all that is humanly possible – fine). But if you can start to build in some preparation and integration, I’m sure you will feel the results more deeply.
Before a sound bath
Make a sacred transition
Before the sound I guide you to centre and relax but it is helpful to create a threshold from your everyday busy-ness into this space for stillness and silence. Take your time to travel to the session – I always build in time for people to arrive a few minutes early so they can settle in. As I generally like to listen to music in the car I find driving in silence can be really insightful. Switch off from technology in advance so you have a chance to feel into where you are.
Set an intention
I recommend thinking about what intention you are bringing to this particular session; something personal, present and conducive to your health and healing. Intention is often thought of as words or a positive statement but you might prefer to focus on a symbol, image, feeling or sound as well. To come up with your intention doesn’t mean raking the mind for something profound. I like to ask myself what I need before or after a session and see what arises, it can be very simple and even surprising.
Come as you are
People often think they have to be ‘in a good place’ to come to a sound healing (a bit like the old phrase ‘ I’m not flexible enough to do yoga’). I would always say ‘come as you are’; bring any challenges to the sound and use it as an opportunity to explore them, maybe even gaining some insight or release. Know that you are held in a safe and sacred space. I always feel that being authentic and vulnerable with ourselves is the doorway to healing.
Check what you will need to bring
What you need to bring depends upon the venue so please check before arriving. Comfort is everything when it comes to making the most of your experience, if your feet are cold and your lower back is achey it is more work than it needs to be to drop into a meditative state. You will need to wear warm layers and socks, have something to lay on, a blanket to cover the body, a cushion or spare blanket for under your head and ideally a bolster or extra cushions for under your knees to support the lower back. Some people like to use an eye pillow or scarf to shade and relax their eyes.
If you know that laying on the floor is difficult please speak to me in advance or bring extra padding like a camping roll. Some people bring a camping chair if they can’t be on the floor and at some venues a chair can be provided, please get in touch before booking if you’re unsure.
Nourish your body
Please leave time to digest between food and a sound bath so that you are less likely to feel uncomfortable or sleepy when laying down. Eating fresh, vibrant foods and avoiding too much sugar and caffeine will help your mind and body settle and relax.
After a sound session…
Water works wonders
Drink plenty of water after a sound session. There is a cleansing process happening long after the last gong is struck; you may feel dehydrated as the body’s systems cleanse and the cells reorganise. Taking a bath or shower with some natural salts and herbs is also very cleansing and does wonders to bring you back into the body and cleanse the energy field.
Allow space and silence
It’s very normal that thoughts, memories, emotions can come to the surface during or after the sound. Trust that this is ok and try to give them space to move. Try to keep your day / evening flexible and let people know you might need some quiet time or rest.
Be in nature
The sounds and shapes of nature are harmonic and healing (just like a sound bath). Depending on the time of day / year it’s optimal to walk in nature if you can to just listen and feel. The added sensitivity of the sound healing can help you feel connected and nature will help you ground and digest, particularly walking barefoot.
Journal, free write or draw
If you’re not much of a journaling fan, free writing a few words of insight can be lovely, and drawing is a great way to express without getting bogged down in thought. Don’t be deterred by feeling ‘I’m not an artist/writer’, this is simply about remembering, expressing and processing – we are all creative beings in our own ways.
The sounds continue to resonate within us long after we can no longer hear them. Be curious as to what / how your mind and body has experienced and notice any after effects. Every single time we receive sound will be a unique experience, no two journeys are the same, so curiousity is a wonderful companion to bring along.
I hope these thoughts are helpful you and welcome any suggestions or sharing as to how you prepare for and integrate a sound session.
I look forward to sharing the sound space with you soon.