Humankind has been engaged in this practice either consciously or unconsciously, for millennia, probably since time began for homo sapiens, and since we had a brain capable of understanding and accommodating this knowledge.
Using our voices, stones, sticks, shells, bones, animal hides and all manner of things from nature, we have engaged in the making of sound to signal, soothe, stimulate and for many varied purposes over the centuries.
Sound healing is said to be the conscious therapeutic application of sound frequencies to a person, for healing, and with the intention of bringing them back into a state of health and harmony.
The Gong bath is a journey made with sound; you could call it a sonic massage, or sound massage. The sounds that are played on the gongs will envelop you in a cocoon of sound that feels warm and nurturing, and deeply cleansing.
Every gong bath is unique, a different experience for both the gong player and the person receiving the gong bath. You can have it on your own or in a group during which you will lie down and allow the sound of the gong to bathe you completely, this is why the term "gong bath" is used, a retuning and cleansing inside and out. It works on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual and gets to all the places where it is needed.
The gong has the possibility of taking us into an automatic meditation, the more you relax and allow, the more you will get from it. If you can completely let go and allow the sounds to envelop you without resistance, you will most likely enter a deep state of meditation with theta brainwaves being produced, resulting in heightened spiritual awareness and even bliss. Gongs create a wall of sound, a total immersion that can induce ecstasy, wellbeing, and complete silence within.
The gong sound affects the brain by lowering the frequency of the brainwaves causing it to slow down. The human brain is divided into two distinct hemispheres, the left brain, and the right brain. The left side of the brain is logical, thinking, rational and analytical side. The right brain is the intuitive, random, creative, subjective, holistic side. The gong sounds help to shift the focus to the right side of the brain, giving the left side a rest, and allowing the listener to produce first alpha brainwaves, then theta and sometimes delta brainwaves. Some people go into the delta brainwave state and deep sleep through all the gong bath.
Someone who's brain produces alpha brainwaves will have a very calm, relaxing experience. When the listener enters the theta state all sorts of things can occur: visions, repressed emotions, subconscious memories, dreams, previous life experiences, heightened states of awareness, as well as deep calm and relaxation.
The theta state is very powerful for healing and also for giving us an insight into any challenges we may have. People often get answers to questions they have been puzzling over when in the theta brainwave state, which is said to attune us to the universal knowledge and wisdom.