EAST LANSING, Mich. — The tools of Betty Gauthier's trade are singing bowls, gongs and tuning forks.
Gauthier is a certified and licensed sound therapy practitioner in Lansing, the founder of Gentle Earth Sound Therapy and Holistic Wellness. Her job is to bring relaxation, relief from stress and anxiety.
“Sound therapy is a modality of deep relaxation," she said. "It is an opportunity for us to work with the central nervous system to switch our brain off and allow the body to rest."
Sound therapy can be traced back to ancient civilizations and modern indigenous cultures, according to David Gibson, the director and founder of Globe Institue, The Sound Therapy Center and Sound Healing Research Foundation in the San Franciso Bay area.
Gibson says there are two areas of sound therapy one is meditation.
“You can meditate on different sounds and music and different frequencies and get in the zone..." Gibson said. “Playing sound healing instruments or doing voice which are all about stable consistent vibrations. Crystal bowls, Tibetan bowls, tuning forks, all types of instruments including rhythm instruments.”
The second area he says is using sound to heal. Before COVID, Gibson said, every major hospital in the country was doing sound therapy in the therapy departments.
“We’re working directly with Kaiser Hospital they are referring patients to us for pain management,” he said.
Gauthier works with clients one on one and in group settings and also brings people together for sound baths.
“With a sound bath, you’re going to usually have a great variety of instruments that are played intuitively one after another. It’s changing it’s never the same practice twice,” Gauthier said.
Sound therapy is for anyone. Gauthier said, and you don't have to feel like you're in a state of need for it to be beneficial to your body.
“Whether we’re struggling with grief, or depression or anxiety or some other type of traumatic circumstance," she said, "sound therapy can help us work through those emotions those feelings."