Recovery from addictions is not always the same for everyone. Individualized approaches and treatment plans tend to yield better results for those seeking change from addictive behaviors. Exploring alternative therapies, such as sound therapy, may give you more options for your treatment program.
Sound therapy and other sensory therapies can help you heal by incorporating the mind-body connection. Sensations that we experience can elicit emotional responses and release pain. Sound can be a powerful way of stimulating our sensory pathways to help us heal from underlying causes of addiction.
Some sounds in nature, like waterfalls or calm rain, can have a calming effect on us. Other sounds, like musical notes or percussive instruments, can induce specific emotions. Sound therapy can help us learn mindfulness and reduce stress. What might you experience during a sound therapy session?
Mindfulness: Combating Your Distracting Thoughts
A sound therapy session may begin with some basic mindfulness exercises to help you relax and focus. You might even be asked to put a blindfold on to minimize sensory input from your eyes to elevate your sense of hearing. You may complete some breathing exercises or meditation. These exercises can be therapeutic in and of themselves, as you can also utilize mindfulness practices in other areas of your life.
The purpose of practicing mindfulness during sound therapy is to allow distracting thoughts to disappear from your conscious mind so that you can focus on the session. Remember that you can use mindfulness and breathing exercises outside of your sound therapy sessions!
Techniques and Sounds: What to Expect
Sound therapists may use a variety of devices and instruments to create sounds during your session. Sound therapists may use simple instruments like Tibetian sound bowls, gongs, or chimes, to create sounds. The sounds may also be akin to natural sounds, like white noise or other ambient non-musical sounds. Your sound therapist may also use pre-recorded sounds from electronic devices during your session.
As your sound therapist repeats or plays the sounds, you will be asked to relax further. You may feel certain emotions during the session, as sounds can trigger specific feelings in our minds. Sound therapists may also use a technique known as bilateral stimulation.
Bilateral Stimulation in Sound Therapy
Bilateral stimulation is a way of stimulating the brain by producing sensations that alternate from one side of the body to the other. A sound therapist may use bilateral stimulation by producing a sound for one ear and then the other ear in a repetitive, side-to-side fashion.
Bilateral stimulation activates both hemispheres of the brain and can help you relax more easily. Bilateral stimulation is a common practice in other therapies, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and your sound therapist may use this technique during your session as well.
Music Therapy: A Type of Sound Therapy
Music therapy can also be considered a form of sound therapy. During a music therapy session, you will listen to or engage in playing music with a trained music therapist. You may be asked to sing or write songs to learn new ways of expressing your feelings and emotions. A music therapist may also play specific songs to help you experience certain emotions within a safe environment.
Music and song can have a powerful effect on the mind and you might find yourself experiencing emotions that you struggle with managing. Your music therapist can help you learn to manage these emotions after eliciting them during your session.
The Benefits of Sound Therapy
Sounds, like music and specific pitches, can induce an emotional response in your mind. You may associate a specific song or sound with a memory or a thought. Sound therapy can benefit those in recovery from addiction by teaching new ways of relaxing and providing safe environments for experiencing emotions.
Following a sound therapy session, you may feel more relaxed and better able to manage stress. Sometimes, the after-effects of sound therapy sessions can carry over throughout the rest of the day. You may also benefit from learning how to focus and silence distracting thoughts as you engage in mindful practices during your sessions.
You may feel less anxious and experience positive mood changes. If you utilize alcohol or other substances as a means of relaxing or distracting yourself from thoughts, sound therapy may be a healthy substitute for your addictive behavior.
You may find yourself able to relax more easily without the negative effects of substance or alcohol addictions. Incorporating alternative approaches to treatment, like sound therapy and music therapy, can enhance your existing recovery plan.
Alternative therapies can help you to find newer and exciting approaches to manage your addictions and enhance your recovery treatment. Some approaches may be new to you and exposing yourself to a variety of treatment options can help you feel more in control of your treatment. Sound therapy, and other sensory therapies, can teach you how to relax, focus, and be more mindful throughout your day. In recovery, finding choices and alternative therapies can empower you to cultivate a unique and individualized approach to your recovery treatment. You will be inclined to participate in your recovery if the treatment suits your needs and interests. At Enlightened Solutions, we understand the value of sound therapy and other therapeutic techniques in helping our clients learn to cope with their addictive behaviors. Call us today at (833) 801-5483 to find a pathway to recovery that fits your needs and personality!