I am doing a sound therapy course and have had to buy more instruments to complete the course. Purchasing instruments as been great therapy, before the sound therapy even starts! As I sit typing I am surrounded by gongs, crystal bowls, a range of percussion, Himalayan bowls, the harps of course, nobody is ever far away from a harp in this house, and the old Joanna – cockney rhyming slang for piano.
As an occupational therapist I am approaching sound therapy from a therapeutic activity perspective. I find playing the instruments is energising, and having them next to my desk is the perfect antidote for any mid morning or afternoon slump and serves me better than any coffee would. I get up and bash a gong for a bit or caress a crystal bowl and hey presto I’m ready for work again. Doing makes me feel good, am I a human doing, and not a human being? No just an occupational therapist who knows the power of occupation, and the necessity to engage in activity that is meaningful to us.
As part of my course I have had to learn to play these new instruments and engage my senses with them. Some of the sounds are ethereal. Hearing them for the first time is an incredible experience, and not one that the mind or body first knows how to process as there is no previous experience of it to go on. That’s my experience of it anyway, and what a fantastic experience, the older I get the harder it seems to be able to experience things for the first time. I want to keep my feet firmly on the ground so that does limit my choices, no bungee jumping for me thank you.
Sound is energy that we can hear so it makes sense that producing the sound waves is energising. We all have a personal response to sound, and may have associated certain memories with sound and have a different perception of what is music, what is sound and what is noise. Birdsong isn’t technically music, but it is melodic and we like to hear it. It is a sound of an early spring morning.
Most of us have only ever experienced a gong sound at the start of a J Arthur Rank Film if we’re old enough. Now gongs are getting more popular and gong baths are popping up everywhere I thoroughly recommend one for a truly relaxing experience. Relaxation is an underrated occupation that we need to invest more time in, so get yourself to a gong bath, leave your smart phone and tablet behind for a while and invest in yourself as recommended by Huffpost and catch one of mine in Southsea soon.