In this guide we will be looking at the best sound healing instruments used in meditation and how sound healing therapy works.
As a meditation teacher and lifelong musician, I love meditations that use sound [for instance, meditating on a singing bowl].
I have witnessed firsthand how the best sound healing instruments can cure people. Indeed, there is even scientific research that shows that you can use sound healing for cancer .
According to research from Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel J. Levitin [Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec] the best sound therapy instruments are more effective than meditation. Plus, they can reduce pain when combined with traditional care according to Jenny Quach [RN. Garden Grove Hospital] and Jung-Ah Lee [associate professor, Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing at the University of California–Irvine].
Sound meditations are among the best meditations for healing. But just how exactly does sound healing therapy work, and what are the best sound healing instruments? Let’s take a look.
Best Sound Healing Instruments for Therapy
1: Hammered Dulcimer
The Hammered Dulcimer is a lot like an open piano or a harp, except that it is played with a drum, making it a percussion instrument.
The Hammered Dulcimer sounds absolutely stunning. And is one of the most popular sound therapy instruments for relaxation and for relieving the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Definitely one of the best sound healing instruments.
Meditation gongs are one of the oldest sound healing instruments. They are a key tool for the sound meditations of Buddhism. They create a rich and resonant sound that we can meditate on. Plus, you can get chakra gong sets that will open your seven chakras.
Why not try a gong-bath meditation.
3: Wind Chimes / Koshi
Wind Chimes are perhaps the best sound instrument today, and certainly one of the most popular. Millions of people hang wind chimes outside the home because they find the sound soothing.
The traditional type of wind chime used in sound healing is called a Koshi. These are specifically tuned instruments that are used in sound healing.
4: Pan Flute
The Pan Flute is synonymous with South America, where it has been used for over 6000 years.
These sound healing instruments produce a sweet sound that is incredibly soothing.
5: Singing Bowl
Singing bowls are arguably the most powerful of all sound healing instruments. What makes these one of the best sound healing instruments is that the bowls are specifically designed to create frequencies of sounds that open and balance the seven chakras, leading to overall wellbeing.
The Hang is the newest sound therapy instrument and was created less than 20 years ago by two Swedish inventors, Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer.
The hang produces an incredibly rich sound that is similar to a steel pan. The way this instrument is used in sound healing is similar to the Tibetan Singing Bowl. You can meditate on it or just use it quiet and focus the mind.
7: Tuning Fork
Tuning forks are an instrument used for sound healing therapy to restore the body to its natural calibration via very accurate tuning. Experts then apply the forks to specific parts of the body in a way similar to acupuncture. In turn, this produces specific sound frequencies in different parts of the body to release energy blockages.
Didgeridoos are Australian instruments that originated approximate one and a half thousands years ago to be used in ceremonies.
Scientific research shows that playing the didgeridoo does indeed have some amazing health benefits. For instance, reducing snoring and relieving the symptoms of asthma and sleep apnea.
Many of the best sound healing instruments originated in Africa. For instance, the Kalimba, a small handheld instrument that is a little bit like a piano but played with the thumb. i
These produce a soothing sound similar to a music box. I find them wonderfully relaxing. And you can play it yourself easily.
If you’ve ever thought that you cannot play a musical instrument, pick up a kalimba
Just like the Kalimba, the Djembe is an African instrument that is basically a drum created using rope and goat hide. Today, there are often made of alternative materials.
The Djembe is a sound healing instrument used for putting people into trances that remove negative energy and illnesses.
11: Native American Flute
The Native American Flute is a very sweet sounding instrument that takes us back to a more primitive state of mind. You’ll find these incredibly soothing and relaxing. And they have been shown to reduce stress, lower heart rate, balance blood pressure, and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
When we use this instrument in sound healing therapy, we restore the mind and body to their natural harmonies, creating inner-balance.
The monochord is said to be the instrument Pythagorus created. It is an incredibly simple-looking instrument that is basically a piece of word adorned with strings.
The vibrations produced by the strings produces positive energy that heals the mind.
Perhaps the most ethereal musical instrument man has ever known, the harp is a sweet-sounding melodic instrument.
I challenge anyone to listen to the sound of a harp and not feel relaxed.
So, those are the best instruments used in sound healing. But how do they work?
How Sound Therapy Instruments Work
Meditating on sound has been shown to heal the mind and body. And I have witnessed firsthand as a meditation teacher just how powerful sound healing therapy can be.
But how does sound healing therapy work? And why do some instruments help us heal?
One scientist determined to answer that question is Dr Mitchell Gaynor, [director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine, Cornell Cancer Prevention Center New York].
Dr. Gaynor tells us this:
“Sound is vibration. Vibration touches every part of our physical being. Sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies.
“One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.”
Sound Healing Therapy frequencies
Sound healing instruments are tuned to very specific frequencies that are said to heal us.
Take the singing bowl, for instance. This sound healing instrument is tuned to the same frequencies produced from the sound “Om”, which is one of the best mantras for healing.
Sound Healing expert Diane Mandle says:
“Tibetan singing bowls are ‘struck and sung’ in specific rhythmic patterns to create vibrational sound harmonics at the frequency of “AUM” or “OM”.
“This sound frequency is the sound of Perfection,” It impacts the sympathetic nervous system as your brain waves synchronize to the vibrations of the bowls.
“The harmonic vibrations engage the relaxation reflex and slow down the respiratory, brain and heart rate and disrupt the pain reflex creating a deep sense of well-being,” says Mandle.
This explains how sound healing meditations heal cancer and other disorders.
Speaking about the first time he learned to use a Tibetan singing bowl for sound healing, Dr. David Simon [medical director, Deepak Chopra Center] says:
“I could feel the vibration physically resonating through my body, touching my core in such a way that I felt in harmony with the universe.
I immediately intuited that playing singing bowls would change my life and the lives of many of my patients.”
Simon has subsequently tested Tibetan Singing Bowls on his patients and states that sound has a powerful capacity for healing even in cancer patients.
Sound Healing Frequencies Chart
Benefits of Sound Healing Therapy
When we meditate on sound healing instruments, we take advantage of the effects that different sound frequencies have on the body.
Illnesses can be thought of as a disharmony of the body, an imbalance.
All energy is in a state of vibration, including energy in the body. When that vibration is tampered with the body falls out of sync, resulting in illness.
Meditating on a sound healing instrument restores the body to its natural frequency. And this in turn cures illnesses, both physical and psychological.
You can quite quickly test this for yourself.
Simply listen to a singing bowl, gong, or other healing instruments, meditate on it, and observe how your energy frequencies change.
Bodhisattva Gwalwa Karmapa says sound healing instruments produce the sound of nothingness, the primordial sound, resonating at the same frequency as “Om,” the frequency of creation. This is why early models of Tibetan Singing Bowls have been in use by Shamanistic cultures since as early as 560BC.
This graphic shows the right sound healing frequencies to heal different body functions
The Solfeggio Frequencies
Another important factor of sound therapy instruments is their Solfeggio frequencies .
Solfeggio frequencies are the original musical scale that was used to compose old spiritual music.
Have you heard the Gregorian chants? Those were composed according to the Solfeggio frequencies, as were many other older Christian chants and similar spiritual music.
The Solfeggio frequencies are important because they produce specific sound frequencies used for healing. That’s why when you listen to those old chants you get a deep sense of inner peace right through to your core—you know the feeling, right?
The Solfeggio frequencies also correspond to the chakras:
- UT – 396 Hz – Liberating Guilt and Fear (the 1st Chakra)
- RE – 417 Hz – Undoing Situations and Facilitating Change (the 2nd Chakra)
- MI – 528 Hz – Transformation and Miracles (the 3rd Chakra)
- FA – 639 Hz – Connecting/Relationships (the 4th Chakra)
- SOL – 741 Hz – Awakening Intuition (the 5th Chakra)
- LA – 852 Hz – Returning to Spiritual Order (the 6th Chakra)
Many sound-healing instruments are created specifically to produce these Solfeggio frequencies. And they, therefore, activate the seven chakras, which is important for healing.
To produce these frequencies, instruments are made of different materials, specific to each chakra:
Lead – Saturn – 1st Chakra
Iron – Mars – 2nd Chakra
Tin – Jupiter – 3rd Chakra
Gold – Sun – 4th Chakra
Copper – Venus – 5th Chakra
Silver – Moon – 6th Chakra
Mercury – Mercury – 7th Chakra
How To Do Sound Healing Meditation For Therapy
Here are three sound healing meditation techniques to try. These three methods are wonderful forms of sound healing therapy.
1: Meditate On Music
This is the most simple and relaxing meditation technique ever. Here’s how to meditate on sound / music:
- Start playing some of this free music for meditation.
- Lie down or sit with good posture (do not slouch or lie down in a lazy way. You should feel positive energy in your body).
- Close your eyes and take ten mindful breaths to relax
- Begin to tune-in to the music. Listen to it. Meditate on it.
- Make your mind one with the music. Let all else fade to nothing.
- Invite the music inside your body and feel its soothing energy.
- Continue meditating for 20 minutes.
- Express gratitude for the music and for the peace you are feeling.
2. Play A Sound Healing Instrument
- Choose a piece of music that you already know how to play well.
- Sit (or stand) comfortably with good posture.
- Take a moment to be mindful of your physical body and of your connection to the instrument.
- Feel the energy of intent running through you and start to play your instrument.
- Meditate on the connection between your mind and the instrument. You should feel that sense of oneness between your mind and the instrument.
- Feel free to explore while you play. Play with feeling and observe how the music is flowing out of your mind. It is your intent creating the music. The music is the product of your own mind.
3. Vibrational Sound Healing Therapy
Vibrational Sound Therapy is the form of therapy where we place an instrument on the body and play it.
This creates very specific energy vibrations in the body that heal specific regions of the body.
To do this sound healing technique properly you will need to visit a sound healing studio where they will have both the instruments and the skills to use them properly.
This is one of the most powerful forms of sound healing and has massive benefits on the mind and body.
Sound healing therapy and sound healing meditations can have a huge impact on the body and mind.
Plus, most of us love sound and music. So why not make the most of them?
I challenge you to pick up one of the sound healing instruments we have looked at above (the Kalimba is a great choice for beginners). Play the instrument. Meditate on it. And observe how it makes you feel.
Sound is healing. Let’s make the most of it.