Imagine the soothing sound of ocean waves gently crashing against the shore, or the comforting rhythm of raindrops on a windowpane. Our brains have a remarkable ability to respond to and interpret sound, helping us to keep calm and reflect. At Banbury Lodge, we harness the incredible power of sound to help you overcome addiction through sound therapy. This innovative and evidence-based therapy is an important part of our rehab treatment and can help you make lasting progress on your recovery journey.
What is sound therapy?
Sound therapy, sometimes known as sound healing or vibrational therapy, uses the power of sound to restore balance and promote healing within the body and mind. It is a non-invasive treatment that employs various techniques to create sounds and vibrations which can have a profound effect on your emotional, mental and physical well-being.
Sound therapy is a very effective type of addiction therapy because substance abuse and addictive behaviours can cause a web of deep and complex damage which sound therapy can begin to untangle.
The seven Rs…
The British Academy of Sound Therapy uses The Cooper Sax Model, a therapeutic framework that utilises seven stages of experiential processing to facilitate change and healing. The seven stages, or the seven Rs, are:
- Recognition: Identifying emotions, thoughts, and experiences that need attention
- Release: Letting go of unwanted feelings, beliefs, and patterns
- Rebalancing: Restoring a sense of harmony and equilibrium
- Receiving: Embracing new insights, perspectives, and opportunities
- Reflection: Examining the changes and growth that have occurred
- Reintegration: Incorporating new insights into daily life and relationships
- Renewal: Celebrating progress and embracing a healthier, more balanced self
Sound therapy plays an essential role in guiding individuals through these stages, allowing them to recognise, release, and embrace change.
What are the different types of sound therapy?
Some common types of sound therapy include:
- Gong bath therapy: Also known as gong bath meditation, this immersive sound experience involves the use of gongs to produce powerful vibrations and rich harmonics that envelop the listener. Gong bath therapy promotes deep relaxation, stress reduction and a sense of rejuvenation all of which are crucial for managing cravings and difficult moments in recovery.
- Music therapy: This versatile form of sound therapy employs various musical activities, such as composing, improvising and listening, to facilitate emotional expression, enhance self-awareness and improve cognitive functioning. These benefits can help you take control of your emotions and emotional reactions which can help prevent impulsive behaviour which is synonymous with addiction.
- Sound bowl therapy: Utilising singing bowls, often made of metal or crystal, sound bowl therapy creates soothing tones and vibrations that resonate with the body, inducing a meditative state, balancing energy and fostering overall well-being. This can help give you the strength and sense of calm needed for a successful recovery.
How are the sounds produced during sound therapy?
There are various ways that sounds are produced during sound therapy but some of the most common instruments include:
Tonal instruments such as singing bowls, tuning forks and the gongs used in gong bath meditation produce specific frequencies and harmonics that resonate with the body’s natural rhythms. When played, these instruments can create an immersive soundscape that promotes relaxation and a sense of harmony.
Rhythmic instruments such as drums, shakers and tambourines help to regulate the body’s internal rhythms and encourage a sense of grounding. The repetitive beats can induce a meditative state enabling you to focus inward and explore the emotions associated with or caused by your addiction.
The human voice is a powerful instrument in sound therapy. Chanting, humming, and singing can stimulate the production of endorphins, reduce stress and create a sense of unity and belonging. This can help you feel connected to other participants and reduce the feelings of isolation which addiction often causes.
What are the benefits of sound therapy in addiction treatment?
Sound therapy offers a unique approach to addiction recovery, providing numerous benefits that aid in the healing process. These include:
Sound therapy helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting a sense of calm and reducing stress, which is crucial for addiction recovery.
The immersive soundscapes created during sound therapy sessions allow you to safely explore and process your emotions around addiction and its underlying causes, fostering emotional release and catharsis.
Improved focus and concentration
The meditative states induced by sound therapy can help to sharpen mental clarity and focus, essential skills for maintaining long-term sobriety.
By encouraging introspection, sound therapy can help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your addiction, paving the way for lasting change.
What does a typical sound therapy session involve?
At Banbury Lodge, we offer weekly 2-hour sound therapy sessions led by our external sound therapist. These sessions begin with a guided meditation accompanied by the soothing sounds of gongs, helping participants to relax and connect with their inner selves. Following the meditation, there is an opportunity to reflect on the experience and discuss any insights or emotions that have arisen during the session.
Why does sound therapy work?
There are various schools of thought regarding the effectiveness of sound therapy. Some potential explanations include:
- Resonance: The human body contains numerous systems that resonate at specific frequencies. Sound therapy can help to align and harmonise these frequencies, promoting overall well-being.
- Entrainment: The brain has the ability to synchronise its brainwave frequencies with external sounds, enabling it to shift into more relaxed or focused states.
- Emotional regulation: Sound therapy can help to regulate the emotional and physiological responses to stress, supporting individuals in recovery as they navigate the challenges of addiction.
How does sound therapy work in conjunction with other addiction therapies?
Sound therapy can be a valuable complement to other addiction treatment modalities, such as:
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
Sound therapy can help to create a relaxed and focused mental state, which can enhance the effectiveness of CBT sessions. By promoting emotional regulation, sound therapy can also support individuals in implementing the cognitive and behavioural strategies learned in CBT.
The communal aspect of sound therapy can foster a sense of unity and belonging among participants, enhancing the supportive atmosphere of group therapy sessions. The emotional release facilitated by sound therapy can also encourage open and honest communication within the group.
Sound therapy and mindfulness share similar goals of promoting self-awareness, relaxation and emotional balance. The meditative states induced by sound therapy can serve as a gateway to deeper mindfulness practice, helping individuals in recovery to cultivate resilience and self-compassion.
How to start sound therapy
Are you ready to explore the healing power of sound therapy in your addiction recovery journey? Contact Banbury Lodge to learn more about how our sound therapy sessions and comprehensive addiction treatment programmes can help you take the first step towards a healthier, more balanced future. Embrace the transformative power of sound therapy and reclaim your life from addiction.