How Sound Therapy Can Reduce Anxiety & Heal Chronic Pain
+ The Benefits of Ayurvedic Medicine for Mental & Physical Health (with Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary)
Although we have made many advances in the field of contemporary medicine, more and more people are battling with long-term chronic illnesses. Indeed, for the first time in modern history, we are dying younger than previous generations! What the heck is going on?
In this podcast (episode #209) and blog, I speak with integrative neurologist Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary about why modern western medicine is failing to heal people, the difference between a health-based and disease-based approach to the human body, how Ayurvedic medicine and sound therapy can heal us, and more!
We live in a time in which humanity has lost much of its connection to the most fundamental aspects of life, including what it means to be healthy and happy. This includes how we understand human health. Modern medicine is too reductionist—when it comes to our health, everything is related. We need to stop looking at the mind and nervous system as if it is living outside of us, and begin recognizing just how connected we are, both internally and to the world around us.
It is only when we start recognizing the limitations of our modern system and start exploring other ways of approaching human wellbeing that we will begin to understand how we can better tune into the reality of our nature to improve our mental and physical health. As Dr. Chaudhary notes, we need to shift from a system of disease management to a health-based approach to medicine. We can start doing this by:
Changing our psychology. We need to stop seeing doctors as authoritarian figures and start seeing them as knowledgeable guides. Patients need to be empowered to take responsibility for their own health; they should not just be told what to do and what not to do.
Stop denying that our lifestyle choices do not impact our mental and physical health.
Closing the knowledge gap. We need to accept what quantum physics is showing us in both technology and in medicine. The knowledge gap between how we see the universe and how we practice medicine is huge; medicine must grow up and recognize how interconnected we are. We need to shift our biological paradigm!
We can do this by harnessing the wisdom of ancient systems of thoughts alongside our own technical advances. Dr. Chaudhary does this by incorporating Ayurvedic medicine, one of the oldest healing systems on the planet, into the way she practices medicine. It originated from India and means “the science of life”. Two of Ayurvedic medicine’s main principles are: (1) food is medicine and (2) our habits determine our health. It is underpinned by the mind-body connection and the fact that we all live in an interconnected world.
One way Dr. Chaudhary does this is through sound therapy. As she describes in her new book, Sound Medicine, sound is an incredibly powerful therapeutic tool. As quantum physics has shown us, the entire universe is made up of vibrations. Sounds can help us tap into the resonant frequencies needed to heal disease by translating specific acoustic vibrations into meaningful neurological impulses that heal us mentally, spiritually and physically, on a primal level.
Scientists are just starting to understand the biology of sound. As the saying goes, we only find evidence when we start looking! Now that we are broadening our mental horizon and thinking of other ways to approach human health, we are beginning to understand how things like sound can impact our biological structure, right down to the cellular level. In fact, recent research has shown that every one of our cells have receptors for sound. The vibrations from sound therapy can actually change the structure of our cells, which, in turn, can impact our mental and physical wellbeing.
Sound includes the entire world of vibrations, including our thoughts. Our thoughts are audible to us, and they can directly and indirectly impact our cellular health. When we embrace the responsibility this places on us and start thinking about our thinking, we can experience true transformation, breaking negative patterns in our mind through new neurochemical links and taking back control of our health. Sound can help shift your thinking on both a conscious and nonconscious level. It is an immediate way to influence your thinking!
You can find ways to consciously incorporate positive sound into your daily routine through:
Music therapy. Research has shown that music therapy can help with issues like Alzheimer’s, PTSD, anxiety and more.
Mantra meditation practices like transcendental meditation. These are sounds that reverberate with the vibration of nature, which creates an uplifting resonance in the brain and body, just as listening to birds singing or the ocean can calm the mind. You essentially use phrases and syllables as modes of sound therapy by chanting them. If you do this for just 20 minutes a day (out loud or in your head), you can shift your biology in a positive direction! For more on this, see Chaudhary’s book Sound Medicine. To listen to her own mantra, check out her Chakra chant.
Listen to therapeutic music throughout the day. Many different artists have soundtracks that you can listen to, including Cher and Tina Turner!
Taking care of your body. You can facilitate the healing process associated with sound therapy by eating well (which heals the gut-brain connection) and making other healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising regularly and controlling your stress.