20 Sound Healing Instruments for Sound Therapy and Relaxation

Sound Healing has been around for thousands of years. Put simply, it is the use of sound, in many and varied forms to bring about a change in the vibration of the cells of the body, which in turn promotes healing. Our bodies are wonderful creations, and they need only a little stimulation in order to start the process of self-healing. Any medical practitioner will agree that the actual act of healing is all done from within the body, although it is often necessary to support and encourage the body to begin the process. For example, extreme pain will block any attempts by your mind to relax sufficiently for healing to take place. Therefore, pain relieving drugs and procedures are often necessary.

Everything in the known universe has been proven to be in a state of constant flux and motion. This movement, or vibration is energy. Our thought processes produce energy: our bodies produce electromagnetic energy;  We produce sounds with our voices, and in other ways as humans, through the playing of musical instruments for example. The sound-waves resulting from any activity represent kinetic energy, or potential energy.  Sound therapy works by aligning the vibrations of the body and mind with the energy of the universe. We use phrases like “being in tune with…” or “walking to the same beat as…” without really looking at the meaning of the phrase. This is because humans seem to instinctively know that when the vibration of the cells in their own bodies matched the vibrations around them, they feel good!

Sound healing is especially beneficial for our emotional and mental health and has far more, and further reaching, effects on this than simply putting on an uplifting tune to improve your mood. Neuroscience has shown that it is perfectly possible to create new neural pathways in the human brain, which is how Hypnosis works. A lot of our thoughts and behaviors take place initially in our subconscious minds, and one of the benefits of sound healing is that its tones and resonances reach into this area without any effort on our part.

There are many articles available on sound healing but if you want a brief overview check out this post.

What Instruments are used for Sound Healing?

The Human Voice

The most obvious “instrument” used in sound healing is the human larynx or “voicebox”. Studies have shown that humming through the nose can increase the production of nitric oxide, a key component in a healthy immune system and also in the relief of nasal congestion.

You do not need to have any musical ability in order to be able to use your voice to produce sounds that are healing. Chanting, including the well-known Gregorian Chant, utilizes six tones, known as Solfeggio, to align and balance various areas of the body, which also, incidentally, correspond to the Chakras of Ayurvedic and Yogic traditions.

Tibetan Singing Bowls

The Tibetan Singing bowls or Himalayan bowls are robust, being made of a combination of between five to seven precious metals that correspond to the planets of our galaxy. They come in many different sizes and most people find that they learn the technique of playing them quite quickly. Buddhist monks have used the deeply calming rich resonance of Tibetan Singing Bowls throughout the ages as an aid to deep meditation.  Follow my channel for videos on the use of various healing sound instruments.

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The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Crystal Singing Bowls

These bowls are more delicate and fragile than the metal ones, and can be purchased individually or in sets of seven, with each one tuned to the frequency of each of the seven chakras, or singly if you prefer. The Crystal bowls are made of pure quartz and produce a very soothing, angelic sound. The purity and sweetness of the tones produced by a Crystal singing Bowl induces deep relaxation and feelings of well-being.  Due to the strong and intense sound that they create, Crystal bowls together with the gongs are one of the most widely used sound healing instruments in sound baths.

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The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Gongs

There is nothing quite long the experience of being totally immersed in the deep resonance of a gong bath! Most people describe the effect as a “shaking up and clearing out” of negative energies from both mind and body. Gongs are ancient instruments as they first appeared in the 6th century CE, in the area of Tibet and had been used in spiritual ceremonies and religious rituals. Gongs come in various shapes and sizes.

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The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Drums

Most people find that, even if they have no musical training, cannot read music or play any other sort of instrument, they love beating a drum. Shamanic Drums, Native American Drums, Tongue and Ocean Drums can all be used in sound healing, either by the individual or by a sound healing practitioner.

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Tuning Forks

Tuning Forks, which emit sound at specific frequencies are often used by therapists to address energy blockages in the meridian and chakra systems, thus enabling the body to begin healing itself.

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Koshi Chimes

Koshi wind chimes are tuned to perfection to enhance the healing power of nature. They create a positive flow of energy which enhances the benefits of the Universal Life Force energy which is all around us.

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The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Didgeridoo

Used by Australian Aboriginal peoples for thousands of years, this strange looking instrument is sometimes described as a natural trumpet or “drone pipe”. Generally, the longer the pipe the deeper the tones emitted, and its effects on the mind and body can be likened to those experienced during a gong bath.

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Monochord

The monochord is an ancient, stringed instrument, allegedly invented by Pythagoras, who was intrigued by the mathematical correspondences of the sound waves it emitted, and how they corresponded to vibrations within the body. A Monochord session is best described as a sonic massage, encouraging deep relaxation and the release of tension.

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The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Handpan / Tongue Drum

Sometimes referred to a Tongue Drum, the Handpan in its basic form consists of two metal half-shells glued together. The center tone field is called a Ding, and this is surrounded by a circle of at least seven different tone fields on the upper side, or shell, and an opening on the underside called a Gu. These Hand pans or drums come in a wide variety of sizes and can be played alone or in concert with other drummers.

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Native American Flute

The music of the Native American Flute is widely used in meditation compilations and for deep relaxation. The tones of the flute slow down brain wave frequencies and bring both mind and body into a state of trance. It is during this state that healing begins to take place as the conscious mind lets go of conditioning and negative thought patterns so that new, more positive, ones can take their place.

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Rainstick

A rainstick is a long, hollow tube partially filled with small pebbles of beans. Inside the hollow tube small pins or thorns are arranged in a helical pattern and when the stick is upended or shaken the pebbles or bean bounce off the internal protrusions and a sound like falling rain is produced. It is both easy to play and soothing to listen to.

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Crystal Harp

The Crystal Harp consists of a series of crystal tubes, usually quartz, arranged in accordance to their proposed function on two rails, usually of wood. The Harp itself is played somewhat like a xylophone, with a rubber ended mallet. The crystals resonate in a similar way to Crystal Singing Bowls.

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Crystal Singing Pyramids

As the name implies, a Crystal singing pyramid consists of Crystal tubes arranged in the form of a pyramid. It is similar to a Crystal Harp, but is tuned to one note, whereas the harp has at least 8 notes, making it easier to play.The sacred form of the Pyramid is well known in healing circles, just as it was known to the Ancient Egyptians who were well aware of the preserving power of the pyramid shape.

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Kalimba

A Kalimba is, in effect, a hand-held miniature piano. It is played with the thumbs and produces delightful, uplifting tones. Kalimba comes in different shapes, sizes and styles.

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The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Energy Chimes

Another miniature version of a larger instrument is the Energy Chime.  Tubes of metal are placed either singly or in groups on a wooden base and played with a mallet. Both Kalimba and Energy Chimes are easily portable and can be used when travelling to clear the energy of your hotel room or mode of transport.

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The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

That’s my amazing roommate-cat Bikhuni supervising the photoshoot

Tingsha Cymbals

Tingsha can produce a surprisingly loud sound for such a small instrument. The better quality Tingsha produce tones that resonate for several seconds before gently falling away, and, like the Kalimba, can be used when on the move.

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The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Djembe

A Djembe is a goblet-shaped drum that has rope wrapped around the base. Tuning is achieved through these ropes so that the amount of rope used depends on the desired pitch of the drum. A rough translation of the term Djembe is “everyone gather together in peace”.

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Mouth Harp

Also referred to a jaw harp, Jew’s harp or vargan, the Mouth Harp produces sound in a similar way to the Kalimba, by vibrating a flexible metal plate to produce sounds, but in this case the instrument is placed in the mouth, leaving both hands free.

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The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Bhikuni making sure that everything is in order

What is the Most Soothing Sound Healing Instrument?

The answer to this question depends to some extent on your own personal preferences. Most humans are soothed by light, tinkling sounds, such as the sound of gently running or trickling water. The deeper, rhythmic sound of ocean waves crashing onto the shore is also soothing to many people. It is difficult to say which sound healing Instrument is the most soothing and you will no doubt try out various instruments until you find your ideal sound. Cymbals and gongs vary in tone and resonance and sometimes it can depend on what mood you are in as to what you prefer to listen to, or to be treated with if you go to a Sound Healer.

Try different wind chimes and decide whether you find their sound irritating, disturbing or relaxing. Try bells and bowls, wooden, crystal or metal instruments and explore how the different tones affect you.

If you are looking for a soothing sound instrument to use at home you could begin with simple, hollow wooden sticks, or perhaps a Tibetan Singing Bowl.

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What Instruments are used in a Sound Bath?

The most commonly used instruments in a Sound Bath are gongs and Tibetan Singing Bowls. Sound Baths are also often offered to groups of people as well as on a one-to-one basis. Other instruments employed in a Sound Bath include the Crystal singing bowls, Hand pans, and wooden wind chimes, although this will depend on the practitioner, the venue and the number of people attending.

How City Noise Pollution and Sounds Affect Our Health and how to use sound healing to counterpart the effects.
Photo by Nik Shuliahin, taken from Unspash

How City Noise Pollution and Sounds Affect Our Health

City noise pollution has become an increasingly pressing issue in recent years. With more and more people moving into cities, the level of noise emitted by cars, buses, construction sites and other sources continues to rise. But did you know that noise pollution can have a negative effect on our health? Numerous studies have shown that city noise pollution can lead to hearing loss and fatigue, as well as a number of other health problems including anxiety and stress.

According to the 2011 report by the World Health Organisation titled ‘Burden of disease from environmental noise’ which collated data from various large-scale epidemiological studies, more than one million healthy years of life are lost every year in Western Europe due to noise-related ill health. Also, according to the European Environment Agency, noise is linked to 12,000 deaths and almost 72,000 hospitalisations each year in Europe alone.

However, it’s not just the sound of loud traffic or construction sites that can affect our health – even softer sounds such as birdsong or music played on a radio at low volume levels can have a positive effect on our wellbeing. In fact, according to a study published in the journal PLOS One, hospital patients who listened to sounds of nature or classical music had shorter recovery times and required less pain medication than those who didn’t listen to music.

In this blog post, we will discuss the effects of city noise pollution on our health and how sound healing can help mitigate these effects. We will also explore ways to protect yourself from noise pollution and loud sounds.

Types of sounds that make up city noise

The different types of sounds that make up city noise pollution include traffic noises such as cars, buses and trains; construction site noise from excavators or other heavy machinery being used nearby; loud music coming out of nightclubs or bars close by; aircraft taking off at an airport near you – this list goes on!

The sound of urban life is often overwhelming, distracting and can cause stress for those who live near it or work in big cities. It makes them feel as if they’re constantly being bombarded by noise pollution which increases stress levels and makes relaxing difficult. However, due to the fact that people tend to get used to their environment, they don’t even notice all this different type of noise around them.

City noise pollution affects our health

The sound of a busy city can lead to stress, anxiety and even depression. In fact, exposure to loud noises can cause loss of hearing which is the most common cause of tinnitus which is linked to anxiety and depression. Furthermore,  researchers have found that people living in noisy areas are more likely to be hospitalised for heart disease and strokes than those who live in quieter places.

Traffic noise, which accounts for most polluting noise in cities, has been found to cause hearing loss, fatigue and cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure. Also, construction site noise can cause sleep disturbance and affect cognitive performance. And aircraft noise exposure has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and psychiatric problems.

Noise pollution can also have a negative effect on our social lives. It can be difficult to have a conversation in a noisy restaurant or bar, and it’s often hard to hear someone speaking to you on the street if there’s a lot of background noise. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Because we are accustomed to loud noises, we have become louder in how we talk in order for others to be able to hear us. At the same time, we tend to listen to music on headphones, watch TV on noisy speakers, and so on and so forth. The truth is that we live noisy lives and we are so used to this lifestyle that we don’t know any other reality.

Ways to protect yourself from city noise pollution and sounds

There are many different ways to reduce the impact of noise pollution on our health, but the most important thing is to be aware of how it affects us. Once we become more conscious of the sounds around us and how they affect us, we can make better choices about how to protect ourselves from them.

There are many different types of sound in our environment, and each one has an effect on us. Some sounds can calm us down while others cause stress; some help improve concentration while others distract from what we’re doing or thinking about at any given moment.

​​So the best and most effective way to protect your health from harmful soundscapes is simply to avoid noisy places and activities. However, there are moments that you won’t be able to avoid exposure to noise. Here are some ways to reduce the noise exposure in your daily life.

  1. Use hearing protection devices such as earplugs and earmuffs
  2. Soundproof your space
  3. Avoid crowded loud places
  4. Lower the volume of your phone, TV, radio or music
  5. When you are in loud places like bars or clubs try to stay far away from the speakers
  6. Limit the amount of time you are exposed to loud noises by taking short breaks.

The benefits of living in a quieter environment

Reduced noise pollution leads to better health and wellbeing for everyone. It has been scientifically proven that sounds of nature, and quiet environments reduce stress levels, increase productivity in the workplace, improve concentration at school (especially among children), help with sleep quality, reduce heart rate variability associated with anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress syndrome and many other conditions. You can find plenty of relaxing nature sounds on our Youtube channel.

Living in a quieter environment where there are birds singing, calm waves or river sound can also help us connect with our inner selves and access deeper states of consciousness. It gives us the opportunity to connect with nature, which has been found to be extremely relaxing and rejuvenating.

In short, reducing noise pollution has many benefits for both individuals and society as a whole.

How sound healing can counterbalance the effects of noisy environments

Sound healing or sound therapy is a great way to counter the effects of city noise pollution. Sound healing is the process of using sound frequencies to restore balance within the body and improve wellbeing. Sound healing can be done with instruments such as Tibetan singing bowls, tuning forks, gongs, drums, and even human voice. You can look for a sound bath or sound journey around your area. Attending a sound bath or a gong bath can be a great entry point to the world of sound healing as well as sound meditation. If you would like to enjoy a sound healing session from the comfort of your home you can simply listen our sound healing videos on Youtube.

Sound healing can be used for relaxation or stress reduction, as well as pain relief and meditation. It has also been shown to improve immunity, increase endorphin levels in the brain (the body’s natural opiates), reduce anxiety, boost memory recall, and improve sleep quality. You can find more interesting facts about sound healing on this page or on this blog post.

The Timeless Healing Power of Sound: Everything You Need to Know About Sound Healing
Sound baths, sound healing sessions and sound massage with the Tibetan Singing Bowls in Chania, Crete.

Everything You Need to Know About Sound Healing

We often overlook the importance of sound when it comes to our overall wellness. But what if I told you that sound could be used as a powerful healing tool? The truth is that sound can be either beneficial or harmful to our well-being. It all depends on the type and the level of the sound. Take for example the everyday soundscape of a busy city. How do you think the noise and the sounds of the streets affect your overall mood and health? On the contrary, imagine you’re in a forest, listening to the sound of the river and birds singing. How does that feel as a scenario and how do you think such an environment would affect your state? These are just some simple questions to keep in mind before we jump into the world of sound healing. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the positive effects of sound healing on the mind, body, and soul. We’ll also take a look at the history of sound healing over the past centuries and talk about some of the most popular sound healing techniques out there. Finally, we’ll also discuss how you can incorporate sound into your own self-care routine. So let’s get started!

1. What is sound healing and how does it work

Sound healing is an ancient practice that has been used for centuries to promote healing in the body, mind, and spirit. It involves the use of therapeutic sound waves to balance and harmonize the energy of the body. Sound waves are vibrations that travel through the air and water, and can be either harmful or beneficial to our health, depending on their frequency and intensity.

When sound waves enter the body, they affect different parts of the organism in different ways. Low-frequency sound waves, for example, can be beneficial to our physical health. These sound waves cause the muscles in the body to relax and release tension and stress. They also help to improve blood circulation which helps with nutrient delivery throughout the body. 

On the other hand, high-frequency sound waves have an effect on our mental state and emotional well-being. They can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and boost our mood.

2. The History of Sound Healing throughout the centuries

Sound healing can be traced back to the ancient cultures of Tibet, China, India, Latin America, Africa, and even Europe in ancient Greece. In these cultures, the sound was used for ceremonies and as a way to heal various physical, mental, and emotional ailments.

In the last decades, sound healing has become increasingly popular all over the world. Today are now many different sound healing techniques and sound healing instruments that can be used to promote health and well-being. Some of the most popular sound healing instruments used by sound therapists and sound healing practitioners all over the world include Tibetan singing bowls, crystal bowls, gongs, tuning forks, chimes, the monochord, and more.

3. The benefits of sound healing on the mind, body, and soul

Sound Massage with Tibetan Singing Bowls - Manolis Zografakis - Soundhealing Crete

Sound Massage with Tibetan Singing Bowls

So what are some of the benefits of sound healing? There is a large number of scientific studies exploring the effects of sound meditation with the Tibetan Singing Bowls on mood, tension, and well-being. Below I mention some of the most important findings. Sound healing with the use of the Tibetan Singing bowls and gongs could:

  • bring deep relaxation 
  • reduce stress and anxiety
  • lower blood pressure
  • reduce fatigue
  • improve sleep quality
  • improve concentration and focus
  • improve mood and emotional well-being
  • improve physical health and vitality
  • Improve mental clarity

3. How to incorporate sound healing into your own life?

Sound is a powerful tool that we can use to take care of ourselves on a daily basis. There are many different sound healing techniques that can be used for relaxation and stress relief. 

  • Humming

The most simple technique, which is also free and available to everyone, is the use of voice. Our voice is one of the most powerful sound healing instruments we have for self-healing. You can simply hum for some minutes a day to bring a sense of peace and harmony within you. Check out this video which explains what is humming and how to do it.

  • Use sound to relax and de-stress

There are plenty of sound healing instruments you could use to relax and de-stress. From the famous Tibetan singing bowls and the gong to the chimes and the crystal bowls, you can definitely find a soothing sound that matches your needs and personality. You could either buy your own sound healing instrument so that you use it whenever you feel like to, or simply search to find youtube videos of those instruments. Luckily, nowadays you are able to find lots of useful sound healing videos on youtube so that you incorporate sound into your own self-care routine. 

  • Use sound to improve sleep quality

There are many sound healing sounds that can be used to improve sleep quality. The most common are sounds of nature, like the sound of the waves, the sound of the river or fire. Also, you might have heard of ASMR, and binaural beats. These are also sounds that bring us to Theta brainwaves state which is the state before falling asleep.

On my channel, you will find plenty of sound healing videos with sounds of nature, sound healing instruments and even ecstatic dance mixes. 

4. The benefits of regular sound healing sessions

If you are looking to experience the full benefits of sound healing, it is recommended that you attend sound healing sessions or sound baths on a regular basis. A sound therapist will be able to provide different sound healing techniques and sounds to restore balance and harmony in your body.

Regular sound healing sessions can help to improve physical health, mental well-being, emotional stability and much more. If you are interested in experiencing the benefits of sound healing for yourself, I would recommend finding a sound healer in your area and booking some sessions with them. You might be surprised by how beneficial regular sound healings can be for your overall health and wellbeing.

If you’re in Chania or in Crete and you would like to experience the benefits of sound healing then feel free to contact me to book a sound healing session.

Sound is the source of all creation – Mantak Chia