According to Sarah Mokma, CEO of Luminosity Center for Healing, sound has been used to promote healing and wellbeing, in addition to experiencing the energy of the universe, for much of humanity's documented history.
"Some of the earliest records of 'sound healing therapy' date back to Indigenous Australians about 40,000 years ago," said Mokma, who is also a board-certified naturopathic doctor, certified Arvigo Therapy practitioner, author, speaker, and vice president of the Michigan Naturopathic Association. "In ancient Egypt, Greece and India, the use of sound and music for healing was a highly developed sacred science. Shamans recognized the power of sound when they first used chants and drumming to help people heal."
Mokma explains that everything about us and around us is in a constant state of vibration or measurable frequency, with sound being one of the most obvious examples.
"Our ears translate this type of vibration as an audible response, but sound moves more than just those tiny receptors in our ears," she said. "Sound is actually a part of the spectrum of energy vibrations that affect us on the mental, physical and spiritual levels."
When the vibrations of our physical and spiritual bodies are out of harmony, Mokma explains, it "opens the door for disease." She says that much like re-tuning a musical instrument, we can "re-tune" our bodies for health, and that sound therapy works through the principles of entrainment and resonant frequency.
"Just like when we hear the beat of a piece of music and begin to tap or clap to it, entrainment is the natural process of a rhythmic pattern or musical note inducing a resonance or matching frequency," she said. "Sound therapy gently encourages the molecules of our body back into the right places, clearing blockages and restoring harmony."
Benefits of the practice, according to Mokma, abound.
"It's been found that sound and music can be effective for a range of mental, emotional and even physical ailments, and has been a valuable treatment for several conditions," she said. "Some of the most highly reported benefits of music therapy and sound healing include: reduced stress; fewer mood swings; lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels; better pain management; reduced risk of strokes and coronary artery disease; and improved sleep."
It's important to be aware, Mokma said, that sounds from our lives can also have a negative effect.
"We all know how good certain music can make us feel ... consider this with all sound and how it might be affecting not just your mood but also your body's frequency and even your physical state."
Mokma first learned about sound healing in 2010 while attending naturopathic school in Mt. Pleasant. She has also studied many different types of vibrational, quantum and energetic healing modalities all over the world, and currently offers personalized sessions that include sound healing with tuning forks and sound bowls.
"In today's environment, we cannot afford to ignore the fact that we are electromagnetic in nature and that what makes up our physiology extends beyond our physical body," Mokma said. "Working with the body's more subtle energetic system is a great support to health and wholeness, as well as the missing piece of the puzzle for many chronic symptoms. If someone has tried 'everything' for their health issues to no avail, they definitely need to look to the body's electromagnetic systems to rebalance from this deeper level."
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.
This article originally appeared in the Aug/Sep '22 issue of West Michigan Woman.