Using Sound as a Healing Tool in Addiction Treatment
An effective treatment plan for addiction recovery may employ a range of options to help you regain sobriety. Some of these options, known as frontline or primary treatments, play leading roles in your recovery. Other options play an important secondary or supportive role. One secondary option now being offered by some addiction specialists is an approach called sound therapy.
Research shows that sound therapy can have a therapeutic effect on people affected by addiction. This effect is based on the way your brain naturally responds to certain kinds of sounds. Not everyone will benefit equally from sound therapy. However, in some cases, it may be a useful choice for reducing your addiction symptoms.
What Is Sound Therapy
Sound plays an essential role in most people’s lives. Everyday sounds can be used to do things such as:
- Navigate your surroundings
- Pick up on potential dangers
- Determine the distance to objects in your environment
Many people also rely on sound to communicate with others.
You may be drawn to music, birdsong or other sounds that you find pleasing. You may also be repelled by loud sounds or sounds you dislike. Reactions such as these are subjective. In other words, the way you interpret them is based on your personal, emotional opinion of them. However, there are also biological responses to sound. These responses do not depend on your emotional opinions. Instead, they affect you regardless of such opinions.
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Vibrations and Healing Through Sound
Sound therapy, also known as audio therapy, takes advantage of your emotional and biological responses to specific sounds. It uses the vibrations contained within sound to enhance your sense of well-being. This is possible because various kinds of vibrations affect your brain function in their own characteristic ways.
There is no single approach to sound therapy. Some practitioners take a formal, science-oriented approach to the therapy. However, others use an informal approach that may not be supported by scientific findings.
Sound therapy sometimes overlaps with another treatment option called music therapy. What is the difference between the two? Sound therapy relies on human reactions to sound vibration to produce specific healing effects. Music therapy provides a benefit by involving you directly in things such as:
- Writing songs or improvising songs
- Playing music-based games
Examples of Sound Therapeutics in Action
The methods used in sound therapy can vary from practitioner to practitioner. One example of sound therapeutics is something called tuning fork therapy. In this approach, tuning forks of varying frequencies are used to generate sound vibrations. These vibrations are intended to interact with your body and brain to producing healing.
Another possible approach is audio brainwave entrainment, or ABE. This therapy uses precise sound stimulation to alter the electrical voltage levels, or brainwaves, inside your brain. The goal is to trigger brainwaves that have a calming or therapeutic impact.
A variety of instruments or tone generating devices may also be used in sound therapy. In addition to tuning forks, examples of these instruments and devices include:
- Wind chimes
- Rain sticks
- “Singing” bowls
- Vocal tones
How Does Sound Therapy Help With Addiction
What are the benefits of sound therapy for addiction treatment? There is no single answer to this question. Sound therapists in addiction programs may pursue a variety of goals. For example, they may focus on increasing relaxation and relieving stress. In turn, achievement of these two goals may help address some of the underlying factors that help sustain addiction.
Sound therapy may also sometimes be used to help relieve specific symptoms of addiction. For example, research supports the combined use of sound and music therapy as a treatment for withdrawal symptoms. Specific types of these symptoms that may see improvement with sound/music therapy include:
- Mood swings
- Cravings for more drugs or alcohol
- Muscle aches
- Angry outbursts
Supportive Treatment, Not Frontline Treatment
It is important to note that sound therapy is not a frontline treatment for addiction. In other words, it is not a primary option used for most or all people in drug or alcohol recovery. Instead, addiction programs use sound therapy as a supportive treatment. This means that it:
- Does not take the place of a frontline treatment
- Works in concert with frontline treatment options
- Helps increase the overall benefits of your time in rehab
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Using Sound Therapy as a Component of Holistic Rehabilitation
At one time, rehab programs typically focused solely on treating the direct effects of addiction. This approach had its merits, but it tended to ignore some of the underlying factors in addiction and addiction treatment. Today, the standard model for treating addiction is holistic. In other words, it focuses on your substance problems as part of your overall health and wellness.
Sound therapy for addiction can be an excellent option for holistic substance rehab. This is true, in part, because it can address underlying health factors that have a bearing on addiction. In addition, it may have a more direct positive impact on your addiction symptoms. Sound therapy may also be used to support recovery from dual diagnosis. This is the name for overlapping problems with addiction and mental illness.
Seek Personalized Holistic Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Emerald Isle
Sound therapy is the common term for a diverse array of treatments that use sound for therapeutic purposes. These treatments can support a variety of goals for health and well-being. That includes helping people affected by drug or alcohol addiction. Sound therapy for addiction is a secondary treatment option. It aims to provide you with holistic benefits that promote the main goals of your recovery.
At Emerald Isle, we use sound therapy as part of our holistic approach to dual diagnosis treatment. In all cases, this therapy is customized to meet your personal needs. It is also specifically designed to harmonize with other aspects of your recovery plan. To learn more about how we use sound therapy to treat dual diagnosis, call us today. You can also reach us through our convenient online information form.