Can your ears actually contribute to the healing process when battling an addiction? Our belief is wholeheartedly YES, thanks to the ancient art of Sound Therapy. Part of our daily regimen at Iris Healing Retreat involves 8am spiritual meditations and concentrated moments of Gong Meditation. Blending traditional Eastern philosophies with Western recovery techniques has proven to be incredibly effective for our clientele, starting with the morning bang of the gong!
The truth of the matter is, there is actually science behind this ancient practice built around vibrations and healing at the cellular level. Our gong meditation works to ease symptoms of depression, anxiety and trauma, which are essential when overcoming a drug or alcohol dependency.
Interestingly enough, the science of gong therapy can be traced back to the 1970’s and the research of biophysicist Gerald Oster. Oster proved that when a tone is played in one ear and a slightly different tone is played in the other ear, the difference causes the brain to create a third, internal tone, called a binaural beat. His research showed that this syncs the brain waves in both hemispheres, a process dubbed “brain-wave entrainment.”
What the gong actually does is give your mind a singular focus. As we sit together and experience the decibels of the sound therapy, we are forcing ourselves to tune out the noise and busyness of the world around us. The key here, is self-awareness and re-training your senses (which can become damaged after ongoing addiction issues).
The Huffington Post recently published a fantastic story on gong meditation and how its healing powers have helped people from all walks of life. It’s common knowledge that this practice has been around for thousands of years, working to heal both physical and mental ailments.
As with our regimen, the therapy begins with light stretches and warm ups. The lights are then dimmed and silence begins enveloping the room. Throughout it all you will only hear the voice of the instructor, soothing you and preparing you for the sounds to come.
Then, the gong is hit and the process begins of clearing your emotional blockages. Now granted, not everyone can adapt immediately to this type of therapy. It is a practice we do every day and you will certainly notice that, as time stretches on, you’ll become less and less distracted by the happenings around you. In the end, all senses will be tuned to the gong.
HuffPo went on to interview a seasoned gong therapy instructor, who delved deeper into its history and healing effects.
“Put simply, Gong meditation is a powerful sonic practice that enables one to experience how it feels to step out of the reality we are all taught since day one,” practitioner Leo Cosendai told the site. “The benefits one can get from being exposed to the tones of the gongs are numerous. Most of my clients have been noticing a major improvement in the quality of their sleep, a better ability to cope with stress, and a sense of familiarity with stillness and contentment.”
We too, have experienced gong therapy’s incredible healing effects firsthand. Integrating it into a recovery regimen has proven even more successful (and part of what makes Iris Healing Retreat so unique). And for the record, our daily sound therapies also incorporate crystal healing bowls that align and balance chakra energy.
We strongly encourage anyone interested in learning about the benefits of Eastern addiction healing to reach out. You will be amazed at how powerful a tool like this can be.