Book Review: Sounds of Healing

Sounds of Healing by Mitchell Gaynor

Must read book for all people interested in Sonic healing practices. An excellent literature review and synopsis of available research at the time of its publication, it becomes a spring board for sonic healing practitioners to find empirical evidence which backs their practice. For left brain thinkers, such as myself, this book helps me to assimilate some of the more esoteric principles of sonic healing methodologies because it helps align the scientific research to the ancient principles which were often passed down through secrets and by word of mouth. As someone interested in all things sonic healing, this is one book which I will recommend to all people interested in sound healing principles. Gaynor describes research which supports the use of Singing bowls, gongs, toning, shamanic drumming, tuning forks and other modalities in your energetic healing practices. 

The book is from 1999, which means its research is outdated, however, much of the information lays a foundation for anyone interested in sound as a healing modality or when used as part of an energetic healing practice. Gaynor lays out an excellent literature review and easily sends eager readers down a rabbit hole thirsty to read more about the ancient practices of sonic healing. 

As a physician, Gaynor understands the necessity to appease his left brain colleagues with evidence which supports the ancient practice of sonic healing. He describes healing as “Fundamentally the restoration of harmony from disharmony.” By explaining concepts such as entrainment, harmony, synchronicity and homeostasis he is able to demonstrate how ancient sonic healing practices are grounded in scientific concepts. (Concepts that have come a long way in physics and biology since 1999 when this book was published-new research in quantum science does much to continue support for these ancient practices which many have dubbed “new age”)

“The concept of entrainment, an interface between physics and biology, helped me to realize that sound was a force with physiologic consequences. When properly mobilized sound can specifically entrain the human organism toward greater harmony and homeostasis that it requires to remain vibrant and to regenerated after injury or illness. Sound and breath are one, and practice of toning, chanting and singing revitalize the breath-itself a key to harmony and homeostasis. These properties of sound medicine-entrainment, harmony and homeostasis – represent the rational and spiritual foundation for a new movement in the healing arts and sciences.”

My only problem with that statement of Gaynor is that these are far from new healing arts. Science is only now beginning to understand the cause and effect, but ancient practitioners of the mysteries and shamanism have known the power of sound in healing for centuries. In his own research, Gaynor sites biblical references to sound healing, citing David as the first music therapist. 

Gaynor also lays down an impressive literature review which show documented physiological effects of music on various biologic functions.

– Reduced anxiety, heart rates and respiratory rates
– Reduced Cardiac Complications
– Lowered Blood pressure
– Increased Immune cell messengers
– Decreased Stress hormones
– Increased endorphin production

Once again, this book was published in 1999, what we have come to understand about biology at a molecular level has increased significantly, this research and literature review of Dr Gaynor was truly ahead of its time

To check out a Spotify Playlist of songs inspired by this book, check out: Sounds of Healing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.