HOW TO GET THE BEST NIGHT’S SLEEP: TAKE A ‘SOUND BATH’
“It’s all about stirring the molecules”, remarked Anne Malone in her customary ‘pre-sound bath’ introduction. My girlfriend and I looked at each other and smiled as we knew what was about to begin…
Fast forward to Sunday morning and it’s been two nights since Anne’s wonderful ‘Oasis of Sound – a Journey into the Heart of Sound’ at the Life Centre in Islington on Friday night. Both my girlfriend and I awoke feeling deeply rested and relaxed, so much so that it was difficult to drag us away from the comfort of our ‘cloud bed’ (the affectionate nick name we have given to the mattress topper we sleep on every night). At the same time, we awoke feeling alert and ready to start our day (and into meditation :-)). Could this be the perfect remedy to sleep deprivation, I thought?
There are many remedies for assisting with sleeping – some people like meditation, some prefer doing moderate exercise during the course of the day (although not too late in the evening!), drinking herbal teas, taking a ‘warm bath’, even some herbal remedies such as valerian and ashwagandha have been known to help with insomnia. I have tried all of these, which are all helpful I find, but limited to the previous day’s sleep inducing remedy. Neither are all of these consistently producing a great night’s sleep either; it’s almost like there is another ingredient that needs to go with them in order to find the right sleeping mix. I think for me avoiding the internet and ‘blue light’ from phones etc.. is one pre-requisite and wearing special glasses that block the blue light from such machines (including TV), has greatly enhanced my quality of sleep. They are available from Amazon for a knock day price of £15.99 and I highly recommend them (and no, I don’t profit from their sales).
However, what struck me this time was that the effects of our sound bath with Anne lasted more than 24 hours. This was something that endured throughout the following day and we took it with us into our next evening’s sleep, 36 hours later. Remarkable! I mean, just through lying down in a large room with some blankets listening to gentle sounds of Tibetan singing bowls, drums, rain sticks, other instruments and even Anne’s gentle soothing voice vibrating and resonating throughout our bodies having the effect of inducing the deepest state of relaxation is quite amazing, in terms of the enduring and lasting effect it had upon both of us.
So what is it about these ‘sound baths’? It’s all quite simple actually. The whole theory about ‘sound healing’ is that the average human body is made of c.60% water and by being exposed to the vibration of musical instruments (or even voices), one can gently dislodge or break up blocked energy or other ailments in the body to restore it to its original state of health. In her sessions, Anne always begins by demonstrating to the curious participants the effect of water “boiling” to the vibration of the Tibetan singing bowl as she gently plays it. Readers of this blog may be familiar with my initial piece on sound bathing in London where I intimately describe the feelings I had when I experienced my first sound baths..
These experiences have been nothing less than transformational. Such is the clarity in thought and general state of relaxation I have experienced this weekend, it has got me thinking that there is something special about it – a perfect tonic which the average Londoner should try first hand in order to relieve the chronic stress in our lives that is afflicting so many of us, whether it be for bankers and other professional types in the City or for all those generally caught up in the modern-day pressures of living.
In all, sleep is so important to us – a good (or bad) night’s sleep can really make (or break) your day (well at least it does with me); it can even lead to chronic illness if sleep deprivation becomes a regular thing. Why not then invest some of your precious time in one of Anne’s (or another practitioner’s) events? I can only say that these sound bath experiences have been transformational for me – there’s nothing hippy or alternative about them – it’s for EVERYONE to experience, whether you are a yogi or not. Even the most hardened “science-phile” would probably enjoy it. Trust me, your body and your mind will thank you for it; and if you go there on a Friday night, your weekend will be even sweeter for it. Talk about going into ‘cruise control’!
Let’s see if I can squeeze a little more juice out of Friday’s night session, ready for Monday morning at work.