We assume that we hear sound only with our ears. The truth is, your entire being responds to sound. Including your cells. And they don’t even have ears. Your response to sound either supports health or it doesn’t.
Research conducted by Dr. John Beaulieu and Dr. George Stefano demonstrated how cells in a petri dish responded to the sound of tuning forks.
They were exploring the use of tuning forks to find out if the sound of the forks stimulated the cells in the petri dish and the cells in the human subjects to release nitric oxide.
The nitric oxide cycle is the healthiest natural cycle your cells have. And it’s essential to your health and wellbeing.
Well, the sound did! In less than 30 seconds both the cells in the petri dish and the cells in the human subjects produced nitric oxide.
Cells don’t have ears. Yet they responded to the sound of the tuning fork in the same way as the human subjects who could hear the sound.
Sound Goes Through You
Sound is defined as ‘vibrational energy.’ It is an energy that can change how matter itself vibrates.
How does it to that?
In order for sound to move, it has to push against atoms and molecules. If the sound energy is continuous, it creates wave after wave of movement in the atoms and molecules.
Yes. Your ears do register sound energy if it creates a wave through the air that reaches your eardrums and if it is within the range of human hearing.
But those same waves of sound that your eardrum registers are also moving every atom of your being as the sound goes through you.
As sound travels through you, it sets your atoms and molecules into a state of vibration. When the vibrations stops, your entire being resets to healthy, natural patterns. Depending on the nature of the sound.
Food for Your Nervous System
Your nervous system also responds to sound with a neural cocktail of hormones that floods your entire body. Now, this can be a good thing or a bad thing.
Have you ever stood on a busy city street and noticed the sound of a loud bus or truck going through you? Or felt the booming bass from a nearby car rattle through your bones?
Well, the neural cocktail of hormones released by your nervous as a response to these sounds floods your body with stress hormones.
The European Union has been studying the health problems created by traffic noise. They’ve found that 15 million people can’t sleep. Over 200,000 people develop heart conditions. And of those 50,000 people die. Every year. And 125 million people develop health problems because of the stress created by the traffic noise.
Your body’s response to noise – even if you are ignoring it – is to release hormones that over time, create serious, ongoing health problems. We live in a world of unprecedented speed and noise. And this speed and noise affects you even if you are ignoring it or unaware of it.
Ok. So that’s bad news. What’s the good news?
Whenever you sing with others, play music with others or listen to your favorite tunes, your nervous system responds with a flood of hormones that boosts your immune system, creates happiness and joy, bonds you together with others in community and more.
And that’s good news.
Your body is fed by food. Your nervous system is fed by sound. Just like food we eat, we know that there is junk food, good food and super food.
It’s the same thing with your nervous system. There is junk sound, like traffic noise. There is good sound, like wind, water and birdsong. And there is super sound, which is what we teach in all of our Sound Wellness programs.
And then, there’s your heart – the rhythm keeper of your body.
Rhythm changes your heartbeat, breathing and brainwaves. This is called entrainment. Your heartbeat will match the beat of the music around you within minutes. And you can’t turn off this response. It happens whether or not you are even paying any attention to the music. When the music changes your heartbeat, this also affects your breathing and brainwave rhythms. These three systems are intimately connected. When you change one of them, you change all three.
The above examples of your wiring for sound are like the tip of the iceberg for what is being discovered.
Listen From the Inside Out
Becoming aware of how your entire being responds to sound is a process I call Listen From the Inside Out.
Your body listens with a change in heartbeat, breathing or brainwave state. Your body also listens by being relaxed or tense. Or the sound or music will create a sensation in a part of your body, like a knot in your stomach, a feeling of movement or a headache.
This week, I encourage you to become more aware of how your body is responding to the sounds around you. Your body is telling what sounds feed your health and wellbeing and what sounds don’t.