I’m only a few episodes away from Byron Baes and I already have so many questions.
To begin with, what is a “cocoa ceremonial”? And why does everyone hate the Gold Coast so much?
But of all the questions I’m dying to ask Byron Bay’s “close-knit inspirations,” I’m most curious about Hannah’s “sound healing” books for her parents’ candle house party in the first episode.
“I’m going to get my beautiful sound healer to play a little bit,” Hannah announces at the event, pausing as she gestures in the air.
“It’s about music because it changes molecular cellular levels.”
A few minutes of reality TV later, Ruby the sound healer arrives.
Then she starts using what look like singing bowls to create “meditative vibes”.
Some people at the party take it seriously, but there are also lots of laughs and confused looks shared. If I was there (a girl can dream), I probably would have raised an eyebrow.
Because… what is sound healing?
Psychologist Mary Hoang tells me that sound healing is an ancient practice that uses different instruments, including singing bowls and tuning forks, to give people “an experience of their mental and bodily state.”
“His [based on] the idea that music will have a direct effect on the body and the brain and that it can bring about a kind of healing,” adds Professor Katrina McFerran, head of music therapy at the University of Melbourne.
Professor McFerran says this is very different from music therapy, which is a research-based profession that involves music therapists working with people “to achieve their goals using music”.
Some examples of this include using music to help improve pain relief, to help achieve rehabilitation goals, or to develop an understanding of personal issues.
This is not to say that the contemporary practice of music therapy in Western culture, which fits into a medical model, is “better” than sound healing, or that it is useless.
What experts know about the impact sounds can have on us
A great deal of research supports the fact that making and listening to music is beneficial for our social and emotional well-being.
And Amanda Krause, a lecturer in psychology at James Cook University, says “there are also cognitive, spiritual and physical benefits” to hearing music and sounds.
“But it’s really important to note that people’s preferences play a role [in the level of benefit that comes from listening to them],” She adds.
If you like what you’re listening to and have chosen to listen to it, she says that’s when you’ll start to see some of the positive benefits we just discussed.
But if you don’t respond well to a particular song or sound — let’s say Hannah’s party soundtrack annoys you — you won’t.
Professor McFerran says this is why music therapists and music psychology researchers stray away from “generalizations about people’s reactions and emotional responses to music, let alone what you might call a level of” healing “.”
Want to experience it for yourself? Here’s what to look for
If you decide to consult a sound healer, Ms. Hoang recommends that you consider your expectations and what you want from him beforehand.
“Certain claims about sound healing can have a large bearing on potential effects,” she says.
“When choosing a sound healing experience, find out if the person has experience with what you just went through.
She also suggests opting for a tailored experience that takes into account the sounds you like, whether it’s ambient beats, guitar or rock.
This is general information only. For personalized advice, you should consult a qualified doctor.
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