I recently read a scientific study with a fascinating conclusion: listening to certain sounds can relieve physical and emotional pain.
Researchers from the Human Pain Research Group at the U.K.’s University of Manchester ran studies which induced alpha waves in the human brain in order to combat pain. Alpha waves are one of the five different types of frequencies in the brain — the others include delta waves, theta waves, beta waves, and gamma waves. Alpha waves have been shown to be linked to calm and reduced anxiety.
In the study, participants were subjected to pulses of light or sound at certain frequencies which have been shown to generate alpha waves. Participants who had received alpha wave stimulation reported experiencing significantly less pain than those who had been exposed to a placebo non-alpha wave brain stimulation.
I recently bought my own singing bowl from a local company called Shanti Bowl, which has a great FAQ which explains how to use a singing bowl in meditation. Interestingly, singing bowls have been shown to create alpha waves in the human brain and have long been used to heal physical and emotional pain. This looks like another case of modern medicine finally catching up with ancient health practices!