Many cannabis users are no strangers to anxiety or stress. While taking a hit might be your go-to for unwinding, there are other methods you can try to quiet the mind. According to The Washington Post, sound healing is an ancient practice that uses musical instruments that vibrate at particular frequencies to promote meditation or relaxation. Immersive experiences like sound bath meditation encourages shifts in mood or even trance-like states, much like achieving a satisfying high from cannabis.

What is Sound Healing?

Using sounds for healing is nothing new, even if you might have discovered it recently or are now finding out about it for the first time. Sound healing might be known by various names, including vibrational meditation, sound baths or mantra meditation. According to Healthline, sound healing originated in ancient Greece as a treatment for mental disorders. Today it is used for repairing the mind-body connection and even relieving physical pain. Methods of sound healing include chanting, listening to tones of specific instruments or ultrasound.

Bathing in Sound

One of the most common and accessible forms of sound healing is a sound bath meditation. The term “bath” in its name refers to both being surrounded by sound as well as acknowledging its cleansing properties. Many sound bath meditations include instruments like gongs, tuning forks or Tibetan singing bowls, which are made of metal and resonate primarily on one pitch but have a series of overtones. According to sound specialist Monte Hansen, these frequencies activate or focus on chakras, or energy meridian systems. A therapist using sound bath meditation should carefully choose instruments based on which chakra is the focus of the healing session. The practice of sound healing focuses on the idea that your internal vibration is out of sync, and sound and external vibrations bring your frequencies back into balance.

Creating Your Own Sound

Mantra meditation is another centuries-old practice that involves using your voice for vibration and sound therapy. Meditation requires  turning inward by regulating the breath and sensing vibrations within your own body. When you chant “Om,” for example, you take a deep inhale and chant the mantra; when you run out of breath, you inhale and chant again. This process helps you focus on your own breath and you feel your body vibrate with the sound you create. The Chopra Center provides mantra examples to direct your chants to areas of the body that require rebalancing. For example, chant “Mmm” for your sinuses or “Ssss” for the lungs and large intestine. In an article for the New York Times, oncologist Dr. Mitchell L. Gaynor says these practices steady and deepen the heartbeat and decrease stress hormones so it naturally improves your immune system.

Ultrasound Isn’t Just for Pregnancy

Not all sound healing resembles practices from ancient times. According to an article in Popular Science, ultrasound uses vibration and sound waves to speed up the healing process of physical injuries like wounds. The use of ultrasound for healing requires more clinical trials but it is a promising example of using modern-day tools as sound treatment.

Sound healing is a non-invasive and relatively easy practice. If you can sit and breathe, you can experience a sound bath meditation or other form of sound as therapy. It might not be an be-all, end-all cure but rather a supplement to your healing process.