The Sounds of Healing

By Sulana Stone

It has the power to burst a crystal wine goblet … or disintegrate a cancer cell. It can stimulate sadness … or joy. It can improve learning, memory and creativity. It reduces stress and pain.

Sound! It’s a powerful force of nature. And around the world researchers are demonstrating that sound can also be used to restore health.

Sound Medicine 101

How does sound helps us heal? By a process called sympathetic resonance. One vibration affects another vibration. Like how the energy of one joyous person—or one angry person—affects a room full of people. Or how your favorite music lifts your spirit—when you feel blue. In sound medicine, specific healing sound vibrations are used purposely to create more harmonious vibrations in our cells and organs.

When we’re healthy, our cells are vibrating at their natural “healthy” frequency. And when we’re ill, our cells are not vibrating at their natural frequency—rather they’re vibrating at what you might call a “disharmonious” or ”ill” frequency. To activate the healing process, we use “healthy” sound vibration to remind the “ill” cells of their natural “healthy” vibration. Then the “ill” cells begin to vibrate at that “healthy” vibration. And the cells begin to heal.

Good Vibrations Give Me Excitations

Elvis got us All Shook Up. The Beach Boys showered us in Good Vibrations. Now researchers are discovering that sound shakes us up, makes us feel good and transforms us at our core.

Sound can trigger pleasurable memories, release stuck emotions, and induce deep relaxation. Sound can also harmonize the body’s energy system, assist people to communicate better, and create spontaneous physical and spiritual healing.

Scientists provide ample evidence that Sound Medicine can be used to enhance our well-being:

  • A Kaiser Permanente study finds that pain medication can be reduced by up to 30 percent by playing music to patients.
  • University Hospital of Cleveland reports that a single 30-minute music therapy session significantly boosts the effectiveness of people’s immune system.
  • Yale University researchers find that music has a way of communicating with autistic patients who otherwise can’t be reached and helped.
  • The Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in NY has cancer patients play crystal and Tibetan Singing Bowls, and finds that people recover 50% faster after chemotherapy treatments when the bowls are played.
  • The Albert Einstein College of Medicine has discovered that sound helps people affected by disorders originating from the brain. Sound therapy is beneficial for stroke victims, psychiatric patients, and patients with Parkinson disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Other medical studies show that: 

  • Pregnant women can use music to “block” pain.
  • 60% of patients require less anesthesia when music is played during surgical operations. 
  • Sound improves oxygen metabolism in healthy cells and destabilizes and disintegrates cancer cells.
  • Infants who listen to Brahms gain weight faster, have fewer complications, and are released from the hospital an average of a week earlier than those babies who did not listen to Brahms.
  • Patients who receive music therapy while undergoing bone marrow transplants begin producing white blood cells two days earlier than those who don’t have music therapy.
  • In coronary care units, patients listening to classical music have fewer complications like irregular heartbeats and problems with high blood pressure.


If you need an energy boost, why not check out some fresh sounds? Listen to some new kinds of music. Experiment with easy-to-play instruments. Tibetan bowls, crystal bowls and Native American flutes are simple and fun to play. Or use your voice. Sing. Chant. Tone.

Keep track of what happens. Take note of any change on how you feel.

Do you have more or less energy? More or less clarity? Do you feel better? Lighter? More grounded? More connected?

Find a sound that helps you shift to a vibration that feels good. Then create your own life symphony!