A gong bath reduces stress, heals and retunes the body.
Despite its name, gong baths have nothing to do with taking an actual bath. Rather, it is a form of sound meditation that balances the body’s frequencies through the vibration of sound.
The bath part of it has more to do with the feeling of gong baths or any form of sound baths. It is a sensation that many sound bath goers describe as being bathed in vibrations, a frequency transmission that can be felt throughout the body. With the body made up 70 percent of water, and with water a conductor, it makes sense for gong baths to affect the body’s resonance.
The gong is a percussion instrument traditionally used in East and Southeast Asian countries. The circular metallic bowl is usually paired with a mallet to produce a low-frequency sound. This low-frequency sound has been described throughout history to have a calming and healing effect on the body comparable to massages. A gong bath, though, is probably the only massage and bath in which you won’t have to strip down.
More often than not, Hong Kong people are stressed out. And as research has shown, stress on the body has serious impacts on physical and mental health. This explains why the hyperactive lifestyles of the city’s busy residents have influenced the popularity of meditation and wellness studios around the city. For those too busy or tired to engage in exercises or other forms of meditation, a gong bath offers an extremely easy and relaxing form of sound meditation in which all you have to do is literally lie down and close your eyes. This bath type relieves symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. Other sound baths with similar effects use Tibetan sound bowls and tuning forks.
“Imbalances in the body are addressed and resolved using sound meditation which is a natural alternative”
If you experienced tossing and turning in bed in the middle of the night, exhausted but unable to fall asleep, the culprit may be an imbalance of frequencies in your body. The different frequencies throughout the body relate to the different levels of brainwaves, indicating how alert or relaxed the body is. Our mind and body, however, are highly receptive to sound. The body has its own resonance and natural ability to synchronize brainwave frequency with the rhythm of external sounds which, according to Simon Heather, an internationally-known teacher in the field of sound healing, can be made harmonious with the use of sound meditation.
When stressed, the body releases hormones that boost our alertness like adrenaline and cortisol – keeping our body active even when our mind is fatigued. Too much of these hormones in the body also takes a toll on the body’s health, increasing blood pressure and inflammation, which underline the importance of correcting these imbalances in the body. A gong bath activates the body’s natural mechanism to relax, countering the adverse effects of stress hormones in the body. The process slows down the listener’s heart rate, brings down blood pressure and restores the body’s natural breathing rhythm, gradually restoring balance and calmness to the body. A gong bath is also a natural and holistic alternative to a growing trend in the use pharmaceutical medication as a mechanism to cope with stress and anxiety.
Very little action is required to participate in a gong bath. There is no need for extraordinary skills or proper attire in any meditation studio in the city. Experiencing a gong bath is easy as it entails just turning up and letting good vibrations flow through you.