Sound Healing: A Sound Therapist Describes Her Process

Sound baths and sound therapy are increasingly popular practices aimed at promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and enhancing overall well-being through the use of sound vibrations. We’re excited to learn from Sound Therapist, Stephanie Lekkos about the benefits and need to know about Sound Healing.   

Firstly, could you give a brief overview of Sound Therapy and your approach for anyone who isn’t familiar with the process?  

Sound Bath or Sound Therapy is a somatic treatment that affects the mind/body complex. If you’re familiar with vibrational medicine, you might think of it as homeopathic in a way. The body is “bathed” in selected sound frequencies that are very healing. Sound therapy fits beautifully into programs of wellness, along with residential curriculums for mental health and addiction recovery. Not much is required of the clients, so they are free to lie down, relax and let the sound therapist take them on a journey inward. 

How do sound vibrations affect the body and mind during a sound bath? 

Sound therapy uses resonance, rhythm, and vibration to create positive changes at a cellular level, helping to alleviate anxiety and stress. The goal is to bring a peaceful awareness to the mind, releasing both mind and body to feel safe and cared for. In this environment a calmer mind is open to face the challenges of overcoming chronic behaviors that lead the client toward self-destruction. 

Once clients begin to relax, you get into things like Brainwave Entrainment where frequencies and rhythms deepen the experience by gently guiding the brain into alpha and theta states — this is where mental clarity begins to dawn, and creativity shows up. The deep sense of inner peace and the relaxation of the body has loosened the mind from over thinking and worry. Now the True Self has a chance at really expressing itself. 

What types of instruments or tools are typically used in a sound bath session? 

I use some of the more widely recognized instruments, such as Crystal Singing Bowls, Tibetan Singing Bowls, Gongs, Chimes, and Drums, then I have a lot of instruments that are very unique and make some very different sound frequencies. Some of them are tonal and some are percussive. All of them are handmade and I comb the world for them. I use at least 20 instruments in my sessions. Each providing a different depth and frequency of sound.  

sound baths

In your experience, how do sound baths help those struggling with mental health?  

Everything that happens to us, happens in the mind first. What we think and how we interpret what’s happened and is happening at the time, always saturates the mind/body complex. There’s just no getting around that. When we get anxious or feel fearful, we experience all of it physically as well as mentally. For example, people who experience anxiety can physically feel as if they’re having a heart attack or that they can’t breathe. Sound therapy can disrupt those feelings by bringing a sense of safety and peace. For some people in emotional/mental or addiction treatment, it can be the first time they have relaxed and felt true peace in a long time. 

To capsulate the experience for those with mental health issues, relaxation brings a sense of safety and peace which leads to clearer and more positive thinking. I’ve found that doing a weekly session for those in residential treatment works great. It relaxes the participants, seems to help them open up and have more ease in expressing themselves and participating in the other therapies they are undergoing. 

Are there any key takeaways or insights you would like to share with those who may be considering this therapeutic approach?     

I would say, to just be open. Let it be whatever it is. Don’t try to control it or make it something. We all have little openings. There’s always a part of a human being that wants peace and love. Think of yourself as the Observer. Like the Beatles song says, “There will be an answer. Let it be.” 

How does someone prepare for a sound bath session, and what can they expect during the experience? 

A sound healing session will be effective whether or not the attendees prepare ahead. But there are a few tips to enhance the experience and help lead to a greater outcome:  

  • Ensure proper hydration. The body is 60% water and is great conductor for sound healing pathways. 
  • Eat a light, healthy meal an hour or so prior. 
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing. 

Aftercare Reminders:  

  • Allow the body to relax. 
  • Drink extra water to flush out any toxins released by stimulated cells.  
  • Enjoy a cup of herbal tea and avoid iced drinks.  
  • Avoid electronics for as long as possible.  
  • Avoid going into stressful situations in the immediate.  
  • Ground yourself by walking barefoot on the beach or in nature. 
  • Surround yourself with beauty. Buy or pick some fresh flowers.  
  • Engage in some light movement, according to your energy level.   
  • Spend time alone or with people who appreciate you exactly as you are.  

Can anyone participate in a sound bath session, or are there certain conditions or contraindications to consider? 

Most people can attend a sound bath. You might want to ask the therapist what the intention of the sound session is. If you want to relax and bring in calm, you won’t want a session designed to open you up with a loud barrage of sound or a lot of dissonance.  

Anyone with a seizure disorder or a medical device such as a pacemaker should consult their doctor. As well as, anyone experiencing an acute mental crisis should seek a doctor or therapist first. That would include acute anxiety, depression or suicidal ideation. Always listen to your body and your inner voice. You are your own best advocate.  

Sound therapy is a healing modality that can be effective in large or small groups. Couples can enjoy them together and feel closer and more bonded. Individuals often seek relief from the general stresses of life. Corporations sometimes use them to bring their employees together in a safe and healing setting. And of course, in a residential rehab setting, they can’t be beat.  

I’m not just a sound therapist. I’m a survivor of trauma who has been healed to a large degree through sound therapy. 

About Stephanie Lekkos  

Stephanie Lekkos is a dedicated Sound Therapist as well as a certified Yoga Alliance Instructor and a personal fitness trainer. She has worked with Beachside Teen Treatment Center, as well as other notable organizations throughout Southern California.   

For more details on intuitive sound healing, visit Stephanie’s website and follow her on Instagram.