Everything You Need to Know About Sound Baths

Everything You Need to Know About Sound Baths

Jorge Zain

Sound baths are immersive sonic and vibratory experiences that promote deep relaxation of both mind and body, as well as sensations of expanded consciousness, naturally and without any external substances. Pure sounds from Tibetan bowls, gongs, and other uniquely acoustic instruments. In this article, I will give you an overview of what you need to know about this technique, its main benefits, and the contexts in which you can experience it.

The main feature of a sound bath is the immersive effect created by the sound, achieved because the instruments are spread across different areas of the room. Unlike the traditional concert setup, where musicians are on stage and the audience is seated in front of them, in a sound bath, there is no such separation. Everything is integrated into the same space: participants, facilitators, and musical instruments. Sound baths are primarily conducted in groups, though they can also be done individually.

Benefits of Sound Baths

Generally speaking, active listening to music and sound in an expanded state of consciousness facilitates very efficient and rapid states of calm for the mind and body, neutralising stress and anxiety and promoting deep rest. The sound of Tibetan bowls and gongs has a sedative effect on the nervous system, activating the parasympathetic responses you need to cut through the high levels of brain activity that daily demands promote. When our mind is calm and serene, we think and act better, becoming less reactive and more proactive.

A key aspect to understanding the benefits of Sound Baths is considering the context in which you will undertake the immersive experience. The objectives will not be the same if the sound bath is held during a special day at your company, at a spa, or in a therapeutic context.

To give a very simple example, the goal at your company's event might be to strengthen human bonds with your colleagues, at the spa, you might be offered a more bespoke service, and in a therapeutic context, your therapist might use this technique to address a specific traumatic situation.

The common factor is the immersive experience that promotes well-being and its benefits on consciousness. Although the technique is very powerful and can be applied in numerous contexts, providing other benefits in the short, medium, and long term.

How to Prepare for a Sound Bath

The first time I offered a sound bath in Belgium, a participant thought they had to come in swimwear. It might seem amusing, but many people are unaware of what it entails, hence it's beneficial to clarify some points here. You can dress as you like because essentially, you will be lying on a mat with your eyes closed. However, consider that your body will enter a state of deep relaxation, so your body temperature may drop significantly. I recommend bringing comfortable clothes and something to cover yourself. Depending on the time of year, you might also want to bring your slippers to feel at home and keep your feet warm.

What Mindset is Needed to Participate in the Experience?

It's important to be willing to interrupt your daily activities for the duration of the experience. Your phone should be turned off or silenced, and ideally left outside the room. If you've never meditated and struggle to quiet your mind, don't worry because the sound will "hypnotise" that part of consciousness that doesn't need to be active all the time, allowing you to connect with that much-desired state where the mind is silent and more effective. And if this doesn't happen the first time, trust in the benefits of recurrent practice!

What Happens During a Sound Bath?

The experience will vary from person to person, though there are some common occurrences. As you submerge yourself in the sound, your body may enter a state of deep relaxation, and your mental activity will go through various phases. This active listening experience in an amplified state of consciousness awakens all kinds of images and sensations in the body and mind. Sometimes there are perceptions of heat, cold, or vibration, sometimes sensory images, vague memories, sensations of levitating, that time passes differently. Sometimes you might simply fall asleep and remember nothing, or conversely, you're fully awake but no longer feel the weight of your body. In a study I presented in 2017 at the International Congress of Vibroacoustics in Finland, I categorised over 50 types of sensations in a sound bath. Though not published, a student from the Vibroacoustic School later based her thesis on this fascinating topic using this study.

What is the Duration of a Sound Bath?

There's no time limit, but from my experience, between 30 and 40 minutes, and up to 1 hour, we have a complete and efficient practice. Most participants are very happy with this timing. Some people cannot sustain a longer time, and it's not necessary to extend it too much. Less is more.

What Happens After a Sound Bath?

When a sound bath ends, one remains in a very special state of consciousness, and in those initial moments following, some people may feel a need for silence, to be with themselves, without immediately interacting with others. This isn't the case for everyone, and it's essential to respect that space of introspection for others. Then, the lingering state of serenity can accompany you throughout the day or even for several days.

What Activities Are Advisable After a Sound Bath?

After that introspective moment, you can perfectly continue with your daily activities; in fact, this is a great opportunity to experience life from a calm and serene place. Going out for drinks and immersing yourself in alcohol on the same day is not advisable, as it will quickly remove the achieved state. I recommend being yourself, discovering yourself with a reset mind in this fresh and renewed version of you.


In summary, a sound bath offers much more than a moment of calm and relaxation. It opens doors to new perceptions and states of consciousness, allowing us to reconnect with ourselves and others in a deeply meaningful way. The simplicity of the practice, combined with its profound effectiveness, makes the sound bath an accessible and enriching experience for everyone, regardless of prior experience with meditation or music. Thus, I invite you to explore this path of personal discovery with curiosity and an open mind. In the silence that follows the sound, in that sacred space of introspection, we often find the answers we were looking for, or perhaps, the questions we didn't know we had.


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