How Does Sound Therapy Work in Addiction Treatment?
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How Does Sound Therapy Work in Addiction Treatment?


How Does Sound Therapy Work in Addiction Treatment?

Headphone with sound wave isolated on white background. Set of headphones icon

Addiction is a complex problem that is often treated with multiple different approaches in order to ensure a successful recovery. Relying on only one strategy in treatment is not always effective because it can lead to aspects of a person’s wellness that are overlooked. Becoming well often can involve a number of different methods including new alternative options like sound therapy.

In order to heal the body and mind there are different holistic therapies that can be useful for addiction recovery. Sound therapy is a form of treatment that uses sound waves as a type of healing process to yield improved health overall. People tend to have physiological responses to audio stimulation and these can be utilized to promote relaxation and well-being.

People that struggle not only with addiction but also issues of anxiety, stress, depression and other problems can benefit from sound therapy. Most people have already experienced the power of listening to music to relax them in times of stress. Sound therapy uses specific sound waves and frequencies to generate a response that will help alleviate symptoms in the body and mind.

Sound Therapy Concepts and Uses

Sound travels from a musical source to our ears in the form of waves which have a certain height and frequency. Sound wave frequencies are measured in terms of hertz with amount of Hz corresponding to the number of times a tone vibrates every second. Humans can typically hear sounds with a frequency anywhere between 20 and 20,000 Hz.

Sound therapy usually uses tones that fall within the lower frequency range which correspond to brainwave frequencies in the lower range. Certain brain wave frequencies such as alpha waves are associated with a calmer state, the production of more serotonin and reduction in cortisol, the stress hormones. Even lower frequencies like theta waves are associated with deep relaxation and the ability to reach the subconscious.

In sound therapy, they often use binaural beats to influence brain waves. These are created by putting a sound at one frequency in the left ear and one in another frequency in the right ear. The brain will hear the difference between the two frequencies as a beat. The frequency of the beat can help target certain brainwaves.

Addiction Treatment Using Sound Therapy

Although sound therapy is typically used for reasons of relaxation, focus or boosting creativity it can also be specifically helpful for treating addiction. People who have just gone through detox typically are in a more alert state of mind with increased beta wave activity and a decrease in alpha and theta which are a more relaxed state. The early stages of abstinence often lead to a deficiency in alpha waves and reduction in theta and delta waves associated with deep sleep.

People who are just starting their addiction recovery often have trouble sleeping and may be overly anxious. Low frequency sound therapies can help promote healing sleep and a more calm state of mind by increasing the lower range of brainwave frequencies. Low frequency brainwaves can minimize their alert state, cause muscles to relax and blood vessels to dilate which increases blood flow.

Low frequency sound therapy can also decrease pain which can be a problem for people in early recovery who are dealing with withdrawal and painful reactions to quitting their addiction. It can help ease some of the discomfort that they experience when struggling through certain stages in recovery. If they are struggling with issues like pain, insomnia, anxiety or other problems then sound therapy can be useful for them in treatment.

How to Use Sound Therapy

Some treatment centers may specifically offer sound therapy sessions for their patients. For programs that don’t, patients can still find options for sound therapy that they can use on their own. They can use tracks that offer binaural beats or low frequency sound waves to help promote relaxation and sleep.

Listening to binaural beats for a period of time such as 30 minutes before going to sleep or at a time when you feel stressed out can help produce more alpha and theta waves. As your brain waves slow down through the audio stimulation you can start to experience a more relaxed state of mind even after a short time listening to it. If your therapists in addiction treatment are not familiar with sound therapy you can look for options online to help you make use of this type of therapy.

Addiction and quitting an addiction can cause changes in the brain that need to be counteracted in recovery. Sound therapy helps increase lower brain wave frequencies that may be deficient for people with addictions. When used in connection with regular therapy and other treatment techniques it can be a helpful supplement for treating anxiety, stress and sleeplessness.

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