How Does Sound Bowl Therapy Fit into Addiction Recovery?
Integrative therapies are an important aspect of sustainable addiction recovery. One such benefit of these therapies is learning skills that help you to live in the moment and practice mindfulness. While these terms may feel outside of the clinical mode of addiction therapy, they are not necessarily contradictory. In fact, many studies show how practicing mindfulness can strengthen your healing journey. But there are many ways to practice mindfulness, including those with quietness and those with therapeutic sound. One of these sound therapies is known as “sound bowl therapy” or “therapeutic singing bowls.”
How Do Sound Therapy and Meditation Affect the Body?
Sound affects our bodies as much as it affects our minds. When used in mindfulness and healing settings, sound can add a helpful element to cultivating tranquility and calm. For instance, many professionals use sound during yoga sessions or meditation that adds another dimension to the holistic therapy. The upsides of meditation are widely documented and include the following physical and mental health benefits:
- Stimulates feel-good hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin
- Decreases fight-or-flight stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves the times of rest for one’s mind, body and spirit
- Increases capacity for empathy and compassion
Even apart from these measurable benefits, just the simple act of allowing yourself a few moments to turn off all external distractions like your cellphone, computer, and television helps reconnect you on a deeper level. Based on this reconnection alone, mindfulness, meditation, and can make a significant impact on your healing journey.
As much as sound can be an a complement to any therapy, it can also be a therapy on its own. This is where sound bowl therapy comes in!
What is Sound Bowl Therapy?
It can be a challenge for people who have never experienced meditation or integrative treatments to be open to the concept of sound bowl therapy. It may seem fringe, not based on “real” science, or even too “spiritual” for some individuals. But many people even don’t known what sound bowl therapy is or where to start looking for information.
First and foremost, it’s important to know what sound bowl therapy entails. Most singing bowls are either crystal or metal, and accompanied by a small mallet used to gently strike the bowl. When a trained person plays one of the quartz crystal singing bowls, it amplifies and expands the sound energy. When it comes into contact with your body as you lie down in semi-close proximity to the bowls, you absorb the sound which then has a number of effects on your body and brain. Our brain wave patterns begin to adjust and our breathing begins to relax.
The reasons why sound effects our bodies so strongly is because we are made up of over seventy percent water. And just like other liquids, water can be tuned, programmed, and rebalanced by the sounds that are around it. The sonic and wave properties produced by the bowls don’t just affect your body, but also your mood, brain waves, and even deep-seated emotional blockages.
Although sound therapy has been used in other indigenous and Aboriginal cultures for much longer than so-called “modern medicine,” many people are still skeptical. But as more studies emerge about the benefits of sound bowl therapy, the more widely accepted it’s becoming.
What Are the Benefits of Sound Bowl Therapy for Those in Addiction Treatment?
There are many benefits to sound bowl therapy. Moreover, a health professional can increase its benefits by combining it with other holistic treatments like massage, aromatherapy, and yoga. Integrative methodologies have been part of ancient history in Eastern cultures for millennia. And just in the last hundred years or less, Western medicine has become more welcoming of these treatments because of their positive results.
For example, a recent study has shown the beneficial impact of sound bowl therapy or singing bowls on the human brain. The researchers observed the following effects:
- Calmed heart rate
- Increased flow of respiration
- Changes in brainwave states to meditative and rested modes
- Increased feelings of being balanced, integrated, and vitalized
For those in addiction recovery, it’s clear why these benefits are particularly important. Singing bowls have also been shown to affect the following:
- Reduced tension
- Decreased feelings of anxiety
- Increased sense of spiritual well-being
With stress being one of the major causes of addiction triggers and relapse, it’s important for anyone in recovery to be attentive to their stress levels.
How Can Singing Bowls Reduce the Risk of Relapse for Those in Recovery?
Residential treatment is one of the best ways to start training yourself to live in recovery. During this process, clients are in a state of transformation as the body and mind release unhealthy ways of coping. Instead of turning to alcohol or substance abuse, a person can begin to learn and practice balance. With sound bowl therapy, you can help remind your body and brain what it feels like to be calm, in balance, and at peace.
When a person leaves a residential treatment, it’s essential to make sure they have the resources they need to support their sober life. From group or individual therapy to more integrative treatments like sound bowl therapy, the task is to stay consistent and focused on your goal of well-being. Ultimately, a sustained sense of peace and calm—like what sound bowl therapy cultivates—can greatly affect your relapse prevention plan.
At Pinnacle Recovery, sound bowl therapy is a key part of our evidence-based integrative treatment program. By paying attention to the healing of the whole person, we aim to make sure that your recovery is sustainable in the long-term and all a part of your complete healing process. To learn more about our integrative therapies like sound bowl therapy, reach out a professional at Pinnacle today.