Of course for sound healing, certain tools will be required. Some of these instruments are easily found or learned. For others, they might require professionals or special circumstances.
The following is a list of musical instruments known for their spiritual and healing properties.
The most basic musical instrument you can use is your voice. You can use your voice to relax, heal, or focus, by humming, chanting, singing, and even praying (or affirming) what you need.
There are various tricks to learn when approaching healing with your voice, from the fascinating Tibetan throat singing to speaking a simple mantra every morning. It is entirely up to you.
Although many fascinating instruments exist and have been designed to inspire healing in us, never forget that you, yourself, are an instrument and that you carry the power to heal with you everywhere that you go.
Didgeridoos originated in Australia as an indigenous and spiritual instrument 1,500 years ago. Its original purposes are believed to be ceremonial.
An interesting fact is that in some traditional aboriginal communities, women are prohibited from playing the didgeridoo. In western healing, the didgeridoo is used as a part of meditation and healing, most commonly to unblock energies, or for concentration.
In 2005, the British Medical Journal discovered that playing the didgeridoo reduced both snoring and sleep apnea, by strengthening the muscles of the upper airway. It also improves the symptoms of asthma.
Originating from West Africa, the djembe is a wooden drum dressed in rope and goat hide. Typically it used to alter consciousness by inducing trances. It is said that it calms the spirit and reduces stress, most likely in playing it. This is a common drum in drumming circles. They are also used for meditation.
Although the sound of the gong can be quite harsh if not played correctly, it is said thatthe gong alleviates physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. The earliest record of the gong’s existence dates back to 4.000 B.C.. Although they are often used for entertainment, for example in the commencement of sporting events, gongs are an important instrument in sound healing and have been used in meditation, yoga, and even in chakra balancing.
It’s almost as though this instrument were a cross between a harp, a drum, and a keyboard. With its absolutely enchanting sound, many claim that it is the best sound to listen to calm the mind, relax, and meditate. As it is very calming, it reduces stress and anxiety.
This a very ethereal instrument that might inspire feelings of wanderlust or nostalgia, and is best used to resolve emotional turmoil. It is also atmospheric and is therefore perfect for concentration. It has its origins in medieval Europe.
The youngest of the sound healing instruments is the Hang, created by two Swedish innovators only seventeen years ago. The hang serves the same function as the steel pan, only harmonic and far more resonant.
Since this is quite similar to the singing bowl, it has the same healing purposes. It can be used for concentration, meditation, and relaxation; however, it also can be used to heal on a cellular level with its deep vibrations. It is a very melodic instrument and learning to play it can be therapeutic as well.
Another instrument that originates in Africa, the Kalimba goes thousands of years back. Made of wood and metal keys, it is often referred to as a thumb piano. Very similar in sound to a harp and the hang, it is reminiscent of music boxes and lullabies. It is very simple to learn how to play.
As with most other sound healing instruments, it is used for relaxation and to calm the mind. In Zimbabwe, it is believed that the Kalimba heals mental illness.
Rumoured to be an invention of Pythagoras, the Monochord is an ancient musical instrument that has stood the test of time in both entertainment and spirituality. The vibrations that this string instrument produces are said to re-energize the body and the mind. This particular instrument is also perfect for meditation or yoga as it has an enchanting sound that sounds as though it comes from a magical realm.
Native American Flute
The Native American flute is a favorite in music therapy, because on top of emitting a very calm and emotive sound, it’s believed to significantly reduces stress, lower the heart rate and blood pressure, and alleviate anxiety and depression. Most who use this instrument in sound healing therapy also use it to center patients and promote internal harmony.
A creation of the Aztecs, rain sticks are the spiritual rendition of the shakers we made as children (and might be the inspiration behind them).
A rain stick is mostly a dried out cactus with small, hard objects such as stones or seeds sealed inside, producing the sound of falling rain. It is used to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, and to promote serenity and relaxation. Using it (as with drums) is quite therapeutic, and the sound of it will give your mood a boost in the right direction.
As mentioned above, singing bowls are so popular in healing with sound that they have an entire method dedicated just to them.
Singing bowl therapy is one of — if not the — most popular sound healing methods because of its effective and various aspects of healing. From lowered blood pressure to relief from anxiety to the opening of the pineal gland. Singing bowls are also one of the rare healing instruments that are used for various types of pain.
It is a method well worth considering if you are interested in sound therapy.
Tuning forks are, as the name suggests, tools designed to tune other instruments that were invented in 1711. The tuning fork, itself, is, in fact, a harmonic instrument. As mentioned above, tuning forks can be used in sound healing therapy in a fashion reminiscent of acupuncture. After all, your body is an instrument, too. Tuning forks are said to balance our energies and center us.
Wind chimes might be the most magical of all the sound therapy tools. Who of us is not amazed by the sound of them?
Wind chimes might be simple garden ornaments or decorations to most of us, but they go far back in time to India, China, and even Ancient Rome. Wind chimes are a favorite in Feng Shui and are said to harmonize and maximize the flow of our life force. Since they require the natural element of air to sound them and usually come to life on their own without human influence, they are also said to carry elemental power.
As with most, they center, balance, and promote relaxation. They also invoke feelings of joy and contentment.