Vibrational Sound Therapy (“VST”) or "Sound Massage" uses therapeutic bowls designed to generate a refined, pure tone, and strong vibrations. A therapeutic session involves a sequence of resonant sounds customized for you by the therapist to induce and sustain a meditative relaxation.
It's similar in that it draws on the same ancient wisdom and insights about the meditative benefits of acoustic resonance, with two big distinctions. Firstly, therapeutic singing bowls are made from alloys meant to produce higher volume and purer tones than Tibetan singing bowls. Secondly, the cleaner and more refined sounds allow a sound therapist to develop arrangements and experiences with more technical granularity and personal customization than Tibetan singing bowls, whose more subdued and symphonic sounds tend to supply ready-made experiences. Our discipline can be thought of as secular and technically customized versus the more traditional and spiritualized Tibetan approach.
Generally you'll begin to relax within minutes. You may even fall asleep. Those who stay awake report tension and anxiety fading, and a deep meditative state. The common thread running through all these experiences is a dissociative emotional peace.
A lot has to do with the state you were in when you began the session. Exhausted people tend to experience extremely refreshing sleep afterwards, stressed out people describe the lifting of emotional weight. Because we get so busy in life we often forget to feel immediately and in the moment, it's not unusual for a client who just underwent a session to be laughing, crying, joyful and energized and yet also sleepy, as forgotten senses percolate back to the surface. Intensity of emotion is typical but after that first burst most people enjoy sustained calm observable for several days.
Quite the contrary. You will lie flat on a massage table, fully clothed at all times. Bowls are placed on your body (e.g., abdomen) but you can opt to have them beside you on the table instead. Despite the emotional intensity we described above most people are fine to return to their desks at work after a midday session. Enhanced mental clarity is a common benefit of a treatment in parallel to the emotional responses.
No, that just happens to be a fairly common experience during the first couple treatments. Best not to be surprised by it. VST acts on brain waves in subtle ways: some of those produce same day improvements in mood and sleep quality, and other effects, like emotional resilience and durable calm, are more cumulative. Individual responses are as varied as personalities and life stories.
In our experience over a decade of developing acoustic therapies we've seen the most success treating insomnia, anxiety, depression, and PTSD in adults and children. Children with attention deficit disorders and autism are particularly responsive to the calming effects of VST. Sufferers from chronic pain for whom manual massage is too painful or invasive -- especially nerve or spine damage and acute neurological conditions -- report relief from pain. There is also an active contingent with no specific chronic complaint who instead look for soothing "me time" in the workday slot they otherwise use for a gym visit or lunch with a friend.