JAN 2019

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42 @dayspamagazine • Januar y 2019 SOOTHING SOUNDS are nothing new to spas. For decades, clients have relaxed to birds chirping, waves crashing and rain falling as background music to their treatments. But lately a new sound can be heard: a more visceral, vibrational tone known as sound healing or sound therapy. "It's a modality that uses sound to break patterns, change brain waves and awaken the body, mind and spirit to new possibilities," explains Pamela Lancaster, internationally recognized teacher and master sound healer for Miraval Resorts. Led by a sound therapist, the practice uses the human voice as well as the harmonic vibrations of various instruments—tuning forks, gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, wind chimes and drums—to promote relaxation as well as recovery. "It has historically been used as a catalyst for deeper insight, wisdom, transformation and healing," notes Alessandra Montana, yoga teacher and sound therapist at Yäan Wellness Energy Spa in Tulum, Mexico, who offers sound healing training in the U.S., Mexico and Europe. Indeed, in indigenous Australian culture, the Aboriginals played the didgeridoo; vowel chanting is found in Egyptian religious practice; and Buddhists have long used the hum of Tibetan singing bowls for meditation. Today, spas are incorporating these age- old traditions into modern treatments that harness the restorative power of sound. SOUND ADVICE They say that music soothes the savage beast, and sound therapy works along the same lines. Whether the therapist uses transcendental tones of Tibetan singing bowls or bathes the room in rhythmic gong pulses, sounds give clients' minds something to focus on, helping them ease into a more relaxed state. "A lot of people have a challenging time meditating," says Lancaster. "Sound can signal the body to release its own tension and negativity, dropping the brainwave into a meditative state quickly and effectively." Studies suggest that sound can alleviate anxiety and relax brain wave patterns, but can it also heal? "When we are in a place of 'fi ght or fl ight,' cortisol, adrenaline and stress hormones rush to the body," says Lancaster. "But when we use sound therapy to move into that calm, centered state, the body brings itself back into a place of homeostasis. Things have a propensity to begin to heal." © GETTY IMAGES Good Vibrations Tap into clients' inner calm with the healing power of sound therapy. by Allison Young ALTERNATIVE HEALTH

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