'Sound bath' meditation gaining popularity
When most people think of meditation, they probably think of silence, but meditation classes that immerse students with sound are gaining popularity.
In this mediation class, sound surrounds the students. Mark Dodge is a regular at sound bath meditation or sound therapy. His doctor recommended the class as a way to help with his anxiety, which had been impacting his memory.
"And it helps. I come here and it's a safe space," Dodge said.
Sound bath meditation uses various sounds and vibrations at different frequencies which are designed to relax the mind and nervous system. "Down to what's called a rest and digest state, which allows the body to heal at its most optimal level," said Eric Mellgren, Dodge's meditation teacher.
Students can sit or lie down, though they're encouraged to fight the urge to fall asleep. Mellgren believes the vibrations have a physical effect as they move through the body. "It's helping to break up muscle tension, so it helps to reduce stress and anxiety as well as it opens up the blood vessels, allowing blood and oxygen to flow more freely which induces that state of relaxation," he said.
Many mental health experts feel sound therapy can help treat a number of issues, from depression to sleep disorders.
Dodge says sound bath meditation has greatly helped calm his anxiety. "My memory is better. It's not perfect, but it's way better," he said.
Strengthening his mind by allowing it to simply be still.