Sound Healing for Mental Health / Southwest Utah
Sound healing using therapy grade Tibetan bowls has been shown to provide measurable effects that can benefit anxiety.

Mental Health Benefits of Gong Meditation as an Evidence-Based Practice

Gong meditation gained visibility in the western world during the late Twentieth Century. Christopher Cross conducted sound baths using gongs at Woodstock and in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California. The body of clinical research data studying sound healing techniques as mental health interventions has gradually increased, but lacks controls and randomized designs. Unfortunately, the two fields (i.e., mental health and sound healing) remain to be integrated in the clinical sense. Mental health practitioners view sound healing as quackery. Many sound healers view mental health practitioners as irrelevant or unnecessary. Furthermore, the use of psychotropic medications disrupts one’s energy conscious system (i.e., auric field).

The body of evidence supporting the use of sound healing techniques for mental health and well being is growing. A cohort of predominantly German scientist-practitioners conducted research in the late-Twentieth Century which showed measurable effects that were beneficial for those suffering from anxiety or stress. More recently, researchers have explored the effects of playing a symphonic gong in public settings using qualitative methods. The two bodies of literature remain to be successfully tied together in scholarly writings. Dr. Khalsa hopes to lay the foundation for sound healing as an evidence-based practice for individuals with anxiety. He is also of the opinion that gong meditation in particular can offer benefits for other mental disorders.

Future Gong Meditation Research

Dr. Khalsa is focused on measuring the use of gong meditation in a clinical setting using quantitative research methods. Given its unstructured, quasi-random, and free-flowing nature, esoteric practitioners often argue that research designs do not represent the practice and are therefore invalid. Research showing a relationship between listening to a recorded gong meditation and decreased trait anxiety could lead to reductions in dosage and/or frequency of psychoactive meditation for individuals with a DSM diagnosis.

Gong meditation therapy is not intended to replace the esoteric practice of sound bath. It is intended to support healing and wellbeing for those who might otherwise be treated exclusively using medication. Gong meditation represents a non-invasive treatment with few if any side effects as compared to the numerous side effects associated with the commonly prescribed anxiety medications. Further research to study the potential therapeutic benefits of gong meditation as an intervention for anxiety could clarify the effects on the human psyche. Adding it as an evidence-based practice would support its use in clinical settings.

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