Tag Archives: Sharon Carne

Six Things You Need to Know about Sound

BY Sharon Carne, founder of Sound Wellness, the Sound Wellness Institute and co-founder of the Emergent Workforce Program.

The use of sound for healing is as old as the human family itself. We evolved with sound as a healer. It’s in the genetic memory of every human being on the planet. Two flutes have been found in Europe that are believed to predate our use of language. Think about that. We likely had music before we could speak to each other with words!

In these chaotic times, where we are inundated with sound and noise, we’ve lost touch with that memory. With sound baths, sound healing and sound therapy popping up all over the planet, we are returning to those roots with an upgraded perspective.

Sound healing is a modality with enormous power and effectiveness because sound is integrated into every aspect of your being. Let’s take a closer look at some of your ‘wiring’ for sound.

1. Sound Structures Matter

Science has shown that all matter is in constant vibration. Even at the smallest level, the atoms in our body, everything is moving and vibrating. Sound is defined as ‘vibrational energy.’ It is one of the few methods that can change how matter itself vibrates.

The study of the effect of wave form (or sound) on matter is called Cymatics. With a cymascope, we can actually see sound. Dr. Hans Jenny, a Swiss doctor, artist and researcher, documented the effect of specific frequencies on sand, spores, water, turpentine, iron filings and other substances that were placed on a vibrating plate or membrane. Some of his original videos are still available on YouTube.

Because we are constantly surrounded by sound or music, we tend to ignore it. And it gets categorized as something unimportant or not worth noticing. Dr. Jenny’s work is remarkable because it reminds us that sound is a formidable energy that structures and affects matter itself. And that includes us.

2. Sound travels through your body faster than it goes through the air

Have you ever felt your whole car vibrate, including you, when one of those ‘boom’ cars pulled up beside you at a traffic signal? Sound and music are physical forces and create physical experiences in pretty well every part or your being.

Sound moves through the more fluid parts of your body four and a half times faster than it moves through the air. And twelve times faster through your bones. Sound has to push atoms and molecules around in order just to move. As sound pushes against your atoms and molecules, it sends them into a state of vibration. This can create an uncomfortable sensation, like a jackhammer. Or it can create a comfortable sensation, like the sound of a singing bowl.

3. Sound affects your cells

Experiments with tuning forks show how specific frequencies studied actually changed the chemistry with the cells in less than thirty seconds.

The nitric oxide cycle in the body is one of the essential natural cycles at the cellular level to maintain and sustain health and wellness. Nitric oxide is a tiny molecule with the biggest job. It is involved in almost every metabolic function in your body. This cycle is depressed or stopped altogether when we are overwhelmed or stressed. 

Research conducted by Dr. John Beaulieu, music therapist and naturopathic doctor, and Dr. George Stefano, neurologist, showed that two tuning forks tuned to 256 Hz and 384 Hz stimulated the production of nitric oxide in the body’s cells in less than thirty seconds.

4. Rhythm alters your heartbeat

When you walk into your local grocery store, or a mall where there is music playing, it takes only minutes for your heartbeat to match the beat of the music playing. There is no off switch to this response. It works whether or not you are paying any attention to the music. This process is called entrainment.

It takes about four minutes for your heartbeat to be affected by the beat of the music. Your altered heartbeat then affects your breathing rhythm and your brainwave state. These three systems are intimately connected. When you affect one of them, you affect all three.

5. Volume matters

Sound is a form of energy. The energy in the sound wave, the intensity of the sound, is measured in decibels or dB. Damage to your hearing begins at 90 dB. Most people feel pain with sound levels between 110 and 130 dB. Industry standards recommend that hearing protection be used for any exposure to 85 dB or above for an extended period of time. The following decibel scale gives you an idea of the intensity of common sounds.

The decibel scale

0 dB Threshold of hearing

10 dB pin drops

20 dB whisper at one meter

40 dB quiet conversation

60 dB normal conversation

90 dB subway train

110 dB rock concert

130 dB jet engine

6. Sound is food for your nervous system

We all know that there is junk food, good food and super food. It’s the same with sound. There is junk sound, like traffic noise. There is good sound, like nature sounds. And there is super sound, that stimulates your nervous system to respond with hormones and endorphins that supports your immune system and promotes healing. In addition to this, when we play music together, the neurohormone oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is often described as the bonding hormone.

These six things about sound are the tip of the iceberg as to how deeply sound affects you. It is so easy to ignore the sound around you, but that doesn’t stop it from affecting you. I encourage you to become aware of the music and sound around you and how it makes you feel, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When you become more aware of the sound and music around you, you are empowered to make choices that support your wellbeing in so many ways.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon Carne is an author, international speaker, sound therapist, publisher, musician and recording artist. From 1988 to 2016, Sharon was a faculty member of The Conservatory, Mount Royal University. In 2008 her work changed direction. Sharon is the founder of Sound Wellness, the Sound Wellness Institute and co-founder of the Emergent Workforce Program. Through the Sound Wellness Institute, holistic health practitioners receive the highest level of competency training in Canada in using sound and music to support their practice. The Emergent Workforce program is dedicated to restoring wellbeing, community, purpose, creative collaboration, and kindness to the workforce.


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Play a Healthy Tune

By Sharon Carne, founder of the Sound Wellness Institute

Three Guidelines for
Choosing Music to Support
Your Wellbeing

The right choice of sound or music can effortlessly
Create relaxation
Reduce pain
Boost your immune system
Diminish depression
Dissolve emotional blocks
Stimulate the natural healing ability of your body
Connect the hemispheres of your brain, enhancing creativity
Accelerate growth in consciousness
Give you peace, and so much more.

How does music do this?

Part of the answer to this question is entrainment and resonance.
Not many people know that when you walk into your local grocery store where there is music playing, it takes only minutes for your heartbeat to match the beat of the music.
There is no off switch to this response. It works whether or not you’re paying any attention to the music.
This process is called entrainment. Here are three guidelines to follow to use music and sound to support your wellbeing.

GUIDELINE 1: Tune in to Your Heart

Your heartbeat is affected by the beat of the music. This takes about five minutes.
Your altered heartbeat then affects your breathing rhythm and your brainwave state.
These three systems are intimately connected. When you affect one of them, you affect all three.
A relaxed heartbeat ranges between 50 to 70 beats per minute. To put this in perspective, 60 beats per minute is one beat per second.
Most people already know what music in their collection to play to settle down or calm down. But may not know why it settles them down or how to choose other music that will do the same thing.
So, if you have had one of those hectic days and need to calm down, look through your music collection for one of your favorites that has a steady beat of one beat per second.
If you’re not sure how to do this, as you listen, count 1 thousand – 2 thousand – 3 thousand and so on, to approximate one beat per second.
Once you have found one of your favorite tunes with a beat close to this, listen to it for around five minutes or more.
You will find that your breathing will slow down, your heartbeat will slow down, lowering your blood pressure and you will begin to relax.
The reverse is also true. If you are on a long drive and need to stay awake, look for music with a lively beat to speed up your heartbeat and create more focus.
My favorites for long drives are big band dance music and lively Spanish guitar.

GUIDELINE 2: Change Your Tune

Resonance is defined as the frequency at which something naturally vibrates. Like a tuning fork, an oxygen atom, your desk, your cells, your heart.
EVERYTHING has a natural frequency – or sound.
Many of these natural frequencies can be affected or changed by other frequencies in the environment.
This is called sympathetic vibration or forced resonance.
For example, when you walk into a busy mall, your resonance changes. The bright lights, music and crowds of people affect you.
When you walk into a forest, your resonance changes. You may find yourself walking slower as you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature around you.
You are an orchestra of frequencies of all of the sounds of every part of you – singing together all at once.
This is your resonance. This orchestra, or your resonance, changes its tune all the time, as your thoughts and emotions change.
The resonance of a piece of music will also affect your personal resonance. Your resonance, beginning with your heartbeat, changes with the beat and rhythm of the music around you, as I mentioned earlier.
Your resonance is also affected by low sounds – like a tuba or subwoofer, and by high sounds – like flutes and birdsong.
This leads to two principles to keep in mind when you want to use music or sound for your health:

Low frequency sounds and slow rhythms tend to discharge excess nervous energy, like stress, from your nervous system. When you have had a really tough day, reach for sounds that discharge that energy and create more relaxation – slow rhythms and deep bass.

High frequency sounds and fast rhythms charge the nervous system. When you need to stay more alert reach for higher frequencies, like flute, clarinet or birdsong, and faster rhythms.

GUIDELINE 3: Tune in to Nature

Three of the healthiest sounds that there are for the human being are water, birdsong and wind.
The low sounds within water calm your nervous system, slow down your heartbeat lowering blood pressure, slow down your breathing and create a shift in brainwave state to the alpha state. A calming relaxation response.
Birds will stop singing if there is danger nearby. As our human family evolved in nature, birdsong always made us feel safe. We learned to listen for when the birds stopped singing. That’s what told us that danger was near.
In addition to helping us to feeling safe, birdsong consists of high sounds, which charges the nervous system. Also, you never know when a bird is going to sing. Their songs are totally unpredictable.
Your brain loves patterns and constantly looks for them. But the brain can’t find any patterns in birdsong. So the result is, the brain becomes alert, focused and productive.
Wind helps to give you your bearings. It helps you to predict the weather, warning you of an impending storm or allowing you to bask in the gentle sounds of a light summer breeze rustling the leaves of the trees.
I trust you now have a new way to look at your music collection!


Sharon Carne is an author, international speaker, sound therapist, publisher, musician and recording artist. From 1988 to 2016, Sharon was a faculty member of The Conservatory, Mount Royal University. In 2008 her work changed direction. Sharon is the founder of Sound Wellness, the Sound Wellness Institute and co-founder of the Emergent Workforce Program. Through the Sound Wellness Institute, holistic health practitioners receive the highest level of competency training in Canada in using sound and music to support their practice. The Emergent Workforce program is dedicated to restoring wellbeing, community, purpose, creative collaboration, and kindness to the workforce.

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