Meet the amazing Michelle, a sound therapist, Ayurvedic massage therapist and music producer who specialises in nourishing and relaxing experiences.
She uses a blend of techniques embracing sound, scent, lighting and natural beauty as part of her holistic approach.
She spoke with us about her experience, her work and some tips to be more mindful with ourselves.
When and why did you start to be interested in sound therapy?
Sound has always been the one thing I could rely on to change my state of mind and fill me with energy and inspiration. About 12 years ago, someone I met on a course, started importing Tibetan Bowls. I was at her home one day and she pulled one out of a box and said, listen to this! I was instantly taken by the sound and felt my body respond in a way that’s hard to explain but I knew they would become a part of my life. A few years later, I discovered sound baths in London which were still quite rare and unheard of. Again, it was an instant knowing that this would become a part of my journey although I didn’t know in what capacity. At the time I was working as a nanny and producing music and DJing in my spare time.
Anxiety, depression and eating disorders consumed my early teenage years and music is what helped me channel my pain and find purpose. It helped me to access other realms where I felt more at home and a sense of belonging I didn't understand then.
It helped me to enter deeper states of awareness that left me feeling clearer, calmer and more in touch with myself. I wanted to create experiences for others that could help them realise the healing potential of sound and their own bodies ability to restore balance.
How do the therapies work?
Everything has a sound, (even if we can't hear it) and it’s own unique vibration. The frequency at which something naturally vibrates is called resonance. Each part of our bodies has its own natural resonance, and vibrational medicine is based on the idea that disease is a result of those natural resonances becoming out of tune which could be due to stress, illness or environmental factors, trauma etc.
Sound and music help us to access altered states of consciousness, restoring harmony and balance to our body’s biological rhythms and processes, and re-establishing correct functioning of the Endocrine system (the glands). This encourages the release of powerful healing and feel good hormones such as endorphins, oxytocin and serotonin as your body's healing response is activated. It also helps to lower Cortisol, (stress hormone) levels.
Your brain waves start to slow down and synchronise with the overtones/sounds because of something called Sympathetic Resonance. This helps you to enter a meditative state where you can tune in and access your inner resources. Your subconscious becomes active and extremely receptive to suggestions or affirmations when you are in an Alpha/Theta state. You can read more about Binaural beats and different brain states here https://www.mindlikewaterwellbeing.com/post/binaural-beats-for-relaxation-meditation-focus-creativity
I love this paragraph written by Dr Bruce Lipton which explains how sound can change physiological processes.
“Receptor antennas can also read vibrational energy fields such as light, sound, and radio frequencies. The antennas on these energy receptors vibrate like tuning forks. If an energy vibration in the environment resonates with a receptor's antenna, it will alter the protein's charge, causing the receptor to change shape. Because these receptors can read energy fields, the notion that only physical molecules can impact cell physiology is outmoded.
Biological behaviour can be controlled by invisible forces as well as it can be controlled by physical molecules like penicillin, a fact that provides the scientific underpinning for pharmaceutical free energy medicine.” Bruce Lipton
What do the therapies involve?
I offer one to one sound therapy and sound massage treatments, as well as group sound meditations online and in person from our studio in Seven Sisters London. www.sevensisterssanctuary.com
*Sound Therapy One to one
During a sound therapy session, you’ll be asked to tell me what you intend to get out of the session and the reason for attending. Most clients come for stress management and relaxation but some have acute health problems they would like relief with. You’ll be invited to lie down on a comfortable massage bed and covered in warm blankets. I use a combination of instruments including Tibetan & crystal singing bowls, tuning forks, drums, gongs, a monochord and voice. I may place some of the instruments directly on your body or near a tensed or blocked area.
The vibrations loosen the stagnant energy and then help it to be rearranged while the rich overtones take you into a very deep place inside yourself. From this deeper state of awareness, clarity & insights may appear in the way of realisations or seeing solutions about long-held problems.
A sonic journey combining binaural beats, ambient soundscapes and a variety of instruments including Tibetan & crystal singing bowls, gong, tuning forks, a monochord, ocean and buffalo drums, steel tongue drum and voice.
These sessions can help you to reset your nervous system, release emotional blocks and tap into your inner resources while harmonising and balancing your body and mind.
An opportunity for self enquiry where altered states of awareness can inspire insights and resolutions as well as uncover long held limiting beliefs.
Highly recommended for anyone struggling with sleep, anxiety and stress.
Transformational Breath and Sound
A collaboration between myself and Brenna Duncan, a Transformational breath facilitator and founder of Arise Breathwork,. These sessions are a combination of breathwork and sound. More info here https://arisebreathwork.com/
CLICK HERE to find out more and book a treatment or upcoming event www.mindlikewaterwellbeing.com
- Deep relaxation
- Insomnia relief & deeper sleep
- Mental clarity
- Pain relief
- Increases the harmonious functioning of cells, tissues and organs
- Activates your body’s healing response (Parasympathetic Nervous System)
- Relieves tension and blockages
- Releases mental and emotional pain
- Increases self-confidence & feelings of self worth
- Transmutes stagnant or negative energies
- Promotes Endorphin, Oxytocin & Serotonin release
- Balances chakras
- Promotes and facilitates the process of inner transformation (in my experience)
- A tool for self-exploration, expanding your consciousness, self-maintenance, self-therapy and self-healing
- Enhances one’s state of presence and self-awareness
- Encourages an increased state of empathy, compassion and love toward the self and others
- Encourages creativity
What is the highlight of doing your job?
When I see and hear how the sound affects my clients and listeners, even though I understand it (to some extent, there is much we still don’t know) it fills me with wonder and awe.
Hearing feedback that the sound sessions have helped to relieve insomnia and anxiety or helped someone to receive insights and clarity is the highlight for me.
Music and sound is something everyone can incorporate into their everyday lives for free (see tips below). It’s an empowering tool that can be used to encourage your body's incredible capacity to heal and rebalance itself. I love sharing that with others.
What do you think are the main issues that society faces nowadays that, in a way, prevent them from having time for themselves?
I think we live in a very exciting time and we have access to so much information and opportunities however too much information & overstimulation is not helpful and quickly leads to stress and overwhelm. I think we have become disconnected to nature and the natural rhythms and cycles of life. Spending too much time in our heads and too little time in our hearts.
In your experience, what are some day-to-day changes we could make to be more mindful of ourselves?
Listen to when your body needs rest and nourishment, treat yourself like you would a child or someone you care about. If you lead a very busy life, layer on a mindfulness activity to something you already do like brushing your teeth. Maybe you could think of all the things you're grateful for while you do that everyday, monotonous task. Keep it simple so that you can be consistent with it and watch your awareness and presence grow.
Here are some tips for you.
- Music: Music and sound have the power to instantly change your state of being – if you listen to one of your favourite high energy songs just before doing some exercise or during, you’ll instantly feel more energised. Music can unlock memories and be used to create memories and heighten learning. Taking time out to listen to your favourite song and just listen, dance or sing along. Give it your full attention, it can transform your mood.
- Binaural Beats: can help create whole brain synchronisation which makes it easier to focus and take in new information or enter meditative states. Listen here https://www.mindlikewaterwellbeing.com/music
- Vocal Toning and chanting: This can even mean singing your favourite song or free styling and being silly. We sing when we are happy so we can influence & change our moods by changing our physiology, singing to ourselves and others. Chakra toning resources here https://www.mindlikewaterwellbeing.com/resources
- Humming: Taking a moment to breathe and hum to connect and centre yourself. Inhale and breathe out with a hum until the end of your exhale. It helps to calm your nervous system if you are anxious or stressed as well. It slows down your breathing rate which helps to manage stress levels. It also helps to clear your throat chakra. You can even do this while you’re walking or working.
In 2023, I will be launching a membership site with access to a wide range of sound therapy tools including binaural beats and specific frequencies for creativity, focus and sleep. As well as sound meditations and music for altered states and self enquiry. Subscribe to my mailing list to stay in the loop.
*We have teamed up with Michelle to offer you a calming and relaxing treat: use the code mayamikolove for 50% off online sound journeys until the end of January 2023.*