I love breathwork and sound baths, and that combo together because of how SIMPLE they are, yet have life changing effects on people. Several years ago, I accidentally discovered sound baths at a music festival during a time when I was going to a ton of transitions. Deaths in the family, break up, emotional and mental imbalances, and much more. I was in a place where I just didn't know how to take care of myself. The first time I experienced a sound bath, it was the first time i felt absolutely silence in my incredible busy mind. Complete stillness. I floating into a deep meditation and literally from that point on I was like, "oh that's what that feels like". I'd never been a meditator, in fact, I had a huge aversion to meditation because I thought you had to a be a certain type of person to be someone who meditation. You know? All zenned out, nothing bothers you, and you're so calm. That's not me. And what I hadn't realized up until that point is that there are plenty of ways to meditation. Sound Baths, breathing, dance, art, exercise, and so much more. For different people, different things stick.
For me it's sound. I'm highly sensitive to my listening experiences. It allows me to go inward, somatically engulf, space travel, experience dimensions and colors, hear messages, stay still, and any combination of the above. In that space, I feel deeply connected. Sound vibrations and frequencies (as we know from decades of music and neurological research) have the ability to calm brain waves, illicit emotion, and activate the body's natural healing systems. Sound baths are not random; there is an entire entrainment process, understanding of frequencies and they react with the brain and body, and it's a beautifully curated experience depending on what we're trying to accomplish.
Breathwork, similarly, has been use for over 10,000 documented years to achieved heightened states of awareness. Different breathing techniques and styles do completely different things, and each style can be used depending on what you're trying to accomplish. Many report that breathwork can be 10 years of therapy in one session and very effective in removing emotional blockages, healing through traumas, and bringing in self-love. I share more details and techniques of both sound baths and breathwork in our breathwork and sound bath facilitator trainings at www.alwaysplay.org.
In times of great stress, sleep is oftentimes one of the first things to get disrupted? In your experience, why is that the case?
Our body's function on something called the circadian rhythm, which can be re-balanced by breathwork and sound baths. Stress and anxiety are the biggest culprits of what disrupts that natural cycle. When compromised, our body goes into a "flight or fight" mode. Basically it's in survival mode and our body's are deciding how to do the bare minimum, to survive. It's here where our immunity, mood, eating habits, hormone production, and sleep are put on the back burner because our body's resources are used towards survival, instead of "luxury" things like sleep. In high stress, our parasympathetic nervous system is under activated during flight or fight - our heart rates are compromised, blood pressure, digestion, immunity, hormones, and of course, sleep.
Why do breathwork and sound baths help restore our sleep and overall well being?
Curated sound baths by learned practitioners help the brain get to certain brain states were sleep is activated. We have several brain states and different frequencies, different sound bowls, and even different notes, talk to the brain in different ways. When sound baths are used for rest and restoration, we're entraining the mind to be in a theta and delta state. In these states, our brains are in rest mode, instead of survival. It's important to go to sound baths or experience virtual sound baths with proper techniques and frequencies, particularly for sleep. Otherwise, it's the difference between taking a nap that's really amazing or taking a nap that makes you super irritated and groggy! All brainwaves my friend! I go deep into all the details in our 2 day sound healer trainings in www.alwaysplay.org. There's over 100 styles of breathwork and they all do different things, but in general, certain styles naturally down the systems in the body that are over active, and naturally speed up the systems that aren't working at an optimal level. Breathwork also releases feel good hormones in the body like serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and even DMT, that are all incredibly powerful for the body's overall regulation, especially sleep. We dive deep into proper breathwork techniques and facilitation in our breathwork facilitator trainings on AlwaysPlay.
Can you give us a story that exemplifies why you get fulfillment out of the work you do?
Much of my work that's not seen in a public domain are in women's shelters and veteran's legions. I believe healing, especially natural ways like sounds and breathing, should be more accessible to overlooked and underserved populations. Some of my favorite experiences are of hosting weekly sound baths at shelters where women feel so seen and cared for. I 100% bring 180lbs of instruments, and do not skip proper techniques when caring for them. Women's stories include getting transported to the waters of Switzerland, seeing a great grandmother, finally crying without judgement, and getting an hour of sleep that felt like 2 days. This is where I know the work is needed and where I am fulfilled.
Is there a roadblock you had to overcome to get where you are today? How did you do it?
I think anytime you come from a science background there's a huge roadblock in doing holistic wellness and getting it out there. I've constantly had to let the work speak for itself.
When’s the last time you had to be super brave?
When I left my tech and science world to be a sound healer, that was brave.
What is something you're willing to be vulnerable about with us?
Much of my work is centered around emotional and mental wellness, and I would say that I'm called to it because it's not something I had strong examples of growing up. I don't think I can point of any conversations or examples that really illustrated good self love, self care, mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual wellness. We were immigrants acclimating to a new culture, language, and financial story; and I come from a culture where it's still incredibly difficult to talk about wellbeing in many ways. Much of my drive and the places I both create and show up in are highly informed from the lack of care people in my own family had.
What does choosing yourself mean to you?
It means trusting my highest self and listening to my gut.
How do you practice self love and care on a daily/weekly basis?
Self love for me is alone time. I really love to be alone. Daily, I need time alone and that can be with an activity, like listening to music or talking a walk, or just being. It is previous time for me.