March 16, 2021

Of Sound, Mind and Body: Exploring the mind, body connection for deep healing with sound.

As a holistic therapist I always consider the mind, body and emotions when I’m working with a client. A lot of healing (or ‘wholing as I prefer to call it) can be done through reflective practice and releasing resistant thoughts but over the last 35 years or so of clinical practice, I have seen many people get to a point where a passive approach is not enough.  

We know that stress, trauma, anxiety and depression can result in a range of different health conditions including insomnia, heart problems, anxiety, panic attacks, the inability to control our emotions, depression, muscle tension and chronic pain. Trauma and stress can also lead to mind/body disconnect – A loss of connection to the physical level. We know that we live ‘in’ our bodies, but how many of us practice full body awareness on a regular basis, especially at the moment when there is so much demand on our time and we are so distracted by just getting by. 

How many times have you noticed physical tension and felt that it was “stuck”, but you were not sure how to release it? 

Following a year of navigating the Coronavirus pandemic and supporting our students through this, we felt that this was the perfect time to launch this course. The rise in interest in yoga, mindfulness, Qigong and sound therapy also informed us that there was a need for a course of this kind. At The British Academy of Sound Therapy we are really excited to be offering the brand new Professional Diploma in Group Sound and Movement Therapy!

What is the BAST Method of Sound and Movement Therapy? 

This approach allows people to dialogue deeply with themselves through breath and body awareness, mindfulness and reflective practice. Sound therapy instruments and techniques allow people to go deeper and support physical, emotional and mental release. During a typical session the facilitator begins with a short visualisation to begin the session. Whilst laying on a yoga mat, participants are invited to reflect on any connections between symptoms they are experiencing and/or something that’s holding them back in their life. The facilitator will then begin to play a drum, gently supporting group members with rhythm. No-one is expected to move in any particular way, movement is spontaneous and intuitive so there are no special movements that one needs to do. 

Following the drum and movement journey which is similar to trance dance (an approach that has been used for thousands of years to help people to enter an altered state or meditative state), the facilitator will gently begin to play the gong, leading the group into a different ‘sonic room’. Although physically everyone stays in the same room, the gong has a different effect on mind, body and emotions so it feels like entering into a different space. Certain playing techniques are then used to enable people to go deeper, and it is then that tensions may release, cortisol and adrenaline may reduce, then dopamine and oxytocin may increase. This process has a potentially beneficial effect on the immune system as well as overall health and wellbeing.

Following the gong therapy part of the session, the group then moves into the ‘crystal room’ where gentle enveloping tones of the crystal bowls allow a deep softening to take place, gently melting away tension and anxiety and allowing insights and inspirations to arise. This part of the session can be profoundly and deeply relaxing whilst also having the potential to be personally revealing. The session ends with everyone laying back down on their yoga mat and relaxing whilst being taken through a final visualisation exercise. 

The therapeutic benefits of Sound and Movement Therapy are far reaching and are much needed at this time as we gently and cautiously emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. 

If you are moved to join us on this course we are still enrolling for this course, so if you’re interested do get in touch. 

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