Why does a particular song or certain sounds often bring up emotions? Because everything in life has a vibrational frequency, including people. The ancient technique of sound healing uses different tonal frequencies that help bring the body back into a state of homeostasis and harmony.
Our bodies are made of about 70 percent water. And sound can travel through water four times faster than it does through the air making sound, a healing modality called vibrational therapy. When we match the frequencies of a healthy resonance with sound vibrations, this can provide relief for a myriad of health issues affecting our physical, spiritual, and emotional bodies.
We spoke about this alternative healing method with Ben Carroll, who is a gifted and intuitive sound worker. For several years, Ben's focus has been on using sound coupled with group energy to strengthen intuition, facilitate healing, access higher dimensions of self, and facilitate the expansion of the mind/body/soul connection. His Sound Healing Journeywork events have had a profound effect on many who have experienced them.
Here, Ben talks to us about the scientific basis around sound healing and how it ties into our physical/spiritual/emotional bodies. He also explains how sound can access higher dimensions of ourselves, allowing our bodies to snap back into alignment with the natural state of vibrational resonance that the body requires for longevity and long-term health.
What led you to the world of sound healing? How did you go from rockstar to sound healer?
This is quite a long story, really a lifelong journey, but to keep it short, being a “rockstar” was ultimately quite unfulfilling. My NYC-based band went into hiatus around 2010 and I moved to Portland, ME, to escape the crazy life I’d been living. After I landed in Portland, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so I started openly exploring a lot of different things like meditation classes, spending a lot of time in the woods, practicing Reiki, taking part in different types of spiritual-minded group activities, and whatever else I happened to find my way into.
Around this time, I attended my first sound healing experience, which was a crystal singing bowl sound bath. I was instantly fascinated with the singing bowls and became very curious about what it would be like to actually sing with singing bowls, so I bought a set. It became my own personal practice to sing with the bowls and travel on the sound I created every morning. I would do that anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours if time got away from me, which it often did. Honestly, I never had any intention of doing this in front of anybody—ever, but as it tends to happen, the universe started nudging me in that direction and ultimately gave me a swift kick in the butt after I ignored all the nudges.
What is the scientific basis for sound healing? How does sound actually affect our physical/spiritual/emotional bodies?
Sound allows us to vibrationally recalibrate back into a more harmonious state within our own body. This happens on a conscious level, but first takes place at the cellular level.
All of the emotions that you carry around get stored in your body at the cellular level. They're like little vibrational clusters that affect your health and well-being. Vibrational dis-alignment causes dissonance within the body and its systems, which causes a dis-ease at the cellular level. This dis-ease is a vibrational blockage that will keep you from fully receiving or holding a healthy vibrational resonance that is needed to keep you in optimal alignment and in-tune. The more substantial the dissonance (i.e., blockage) and the more out of tune and out of balance you are, the greater chance of that causing a physical illness within the physical body. The cells can start to become malformed within this dissonance, which will upset the perfect balance that is the natural state of the miracle of the human body.
It is important to allow yourself to come back into alignment and to recalibrate to the states of vibrational resonance that are coherent. Your body already knows how to do this, as this is its natural state of functionality. But our mind is a powerful tool that can disconnect us from that body's knowledge of proper vibrational alignment when it is given the chance to run amok.
Sound is a powerful tool to help us find a way to release these self-imposed (usually at the subconscious level) misalignments. This release will allow the body to snap back into alignment with the natural state of vibrational resonance that the body requires for longevity and long-term health. This is how sound can help us to heal our physical body, by allowing the body to do what it does best, heal itself.
That said, sound doesn't just affect us on a physical body level, it also helps to restore balance between the body, mind, and soul, and the physical, mental, and intuitive, which are one and the same as the physical, the spiritual, and the emotional.
Can you explain resonance and how each of our emotions has a different vibration?
Everything in this existence is made of vibration. Resonance is the specific vibrational structure of an object, a thought, or an emotion. It's the tuning.
The work of Dr. Masaru Emoto is the perfect depiction of this. To sum up his work briefly, Dr. Emoto affected the molecular structure of water with emotion and intention. He charged it with a specific thought or feeling (love, gratitude, hate, or fear) and then froze the water to examine the crystallization. The results were quite stunning. Intentions like love and gratitude made beautiful symmetrical crystalline structures, while intentions like hate and fear made asymmetrical and unpleasant formations.
To me, this is the perfect display of how our emotions carry specific vibrations and affect the world around us. You can see emotions that we intuitively know carry a higher frequency. For example, love and gratitude create a beautiful patterning out into the world, while emotions that carry a lower frequency, like hate and fear, create disconnected and disfigured patterns.
What can we expect in a sound healing journey with you?
The main elements of a sound experience with me are quartz crystal singing bowls and my voice. Each sound healing experience is unique unto itself.
The events I facilitate these days are mostly online, although I also occasionally offer in-person events. Online sound healing experiences are completely different from in-person events. With the online events, I'm able to layer in elements like binaural beats, synth pads, percussion instruments, nature sounds, and other elements. In-person sound healing experiences are just simply the bowls and my voice. Both are quite effective.
The singing bowls are played as a drone to accompany my voice. Working with a drone helps to soften the mind so that one is able to release from the ordinary active mind state into altered states of consciousness. Drones have been used for this purpose for many millennia by an array of cultures.
I'd say the most important element of my work and what sets me apart from others is the use of my voice. What I've found is that I can use my voice to feel energetic blocks and to move stuck energy back into a state of flow. The use of my voice in this sound work feels similar to reiki, but this work with sound is a far more potent medium, at least for me.
The common thread through all of my sound work, in-person or online, group or individual, is working with intention. Intention is everything.
What types of health issues can we tackle by using this type of therapy?
Sound healing can be used to tackle any type of problem. Sound allows us to calm our minds and turn inwards with a potency that, for many, no other medium seems to have. This internal depth allows us access to non-ordinary states of consciousness and different aspects of ourselves that are less bound by the belief systems that we've formed. When we can get past the part of our mind where our experience informs our beliefs, we access other parts of ourselves that are unbound by these belief systems.
We are each powerful creators. In the right state of mind I believe that we each have the ability to take away our own pain, reduce our stress levels, heal ourselves physically and emotionally, intuitively access information about ourselves and the world, and journey to other realms, among countless other extraordinary benefits.
How does sound allow us to access higher dimensions of ourselves?
Sound can help a person move into a state of clarity. All of the distractions and the seemingly very important things that are really quite unimportant tend to drop upon releasing oneself into sacred sound. This leaves us with a deeper connection to that which is more in line with our soul's true path.
As the distractions and the unimportant stuff drop away, we are left with the opportunity to vibrationally recalibrate back towards alignment with our soul's path and to deepen our connection to our higher self. We may become aware of important personal truths or directions which may have been eclipsed by all of the low vibrational baggage that we tend to pick up within this reality matrix.
Working with sacred sound gives us the opportunity to set that baggage down, at least for a short while. This can help us notice other paths that may be more in vibrational alignment with deeper, more connected parts of ourselves.
Who are some of your mentors in your life?
I’ve had a lot of teachers in various ways throughout life, but I’ve never specifically studied sound healing with anyone. I respect the work of Tom Kenyon immensely. When I first started doing this work, a lot of people compared me to him. So, of course, I had to check him out. There’s a wonderful movie about him called “Song of the New Earth,” which I highly recommend.
My parents, of course, as they have always supported me in this journey even though I have almost never gone about anything in a traditional, socially acceptable way.
As a lifelong student, what are you most interested in learning about right now?
Right now, it's all about finding ways to transmute the denser energies that are coming to the surface and allow ourselves to prepare for a great energetic shifting that is already well underway.
You said that kindness and compassion are tuning forks used to bring us back into resonance with the true nature of ourselves. Can you explain this a little more?
It’s interesting that most religions (at the core of their teachings before they get subverted) are teachings on kindness and compassion. I believe that the natural resonant state of this universe is closest to what we would describe as the resonance of love.
Love by itself is a very abstract concept, at least to us, in this human form. We tend to confuse love with conditional attachment and romantic relationships and ultimately distort it to the point where I don’t believe that we would intuitively consider it to actually be “love.”
Kindness and compassion can help us to move back into alignment with the resonance of love, which is the resonant structure of this universe.
What if all of these teachings from all of these religions handed down to us through the centuries are trying to teach us that we already hold the keys to unlocking the deepest levels of alignment and the vast knowledge that is held within? Looking around, though, it doesn’t seem like we’ve gotten to the point where we are able to test that theory quite yet.
If you could give some advice to your younger self, what would it be?
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- It’s all small stuff.