The Sound of Healing: Shakti Sound Bath with Ana Netanel

Ana Natanel - UCLA Total Wellness

Even without noticing it, we use sound as a form of healing in our daily lives. As a student, you may often listen to music or white noise while studying in Powell to help you focus—or maybe you play your favorite track to relieve stress after a particularly difficult midterm. In an era of booming technology and bustling cities, activities like meditation and yoga that are meant to calm and relieve stress have become increasingly popular. Among these relaxing programs, sound healing has garnered increasing attention in holistic health.

What is Sound Healing?

Sound healing is the practice of utilizing sound waves to improve physical and emotional well-being. Ana Netanel, a sound healing practitioner and instructor in Los Angeles, says the experience allows “different sound vibrations [to] interact with our physical and energetic bodies in beneficial ways”. 

While the popularity of sound healing is just now gaining friction, its origins are believed to date back to thousands of years ago, rooted in ancient Greece and cultures across the planet as a form of therapy [1]. Sound healers in the past and present normally utilize instruments such as crystal singing bowls, Tibetan bowls, gongs, and various small bells to relieve stress on the body and mind. 

How does it work?

Every living organism, including the cells in your body, has its own resonant frequency, and will vibrate in response to a specific frequency [2]. When muscle cells in your body come into contact with their resonant frequency, the muscle relaxes, contributing to the calmer and relieved sensation many experience after a sound healing session. 

Studies have shown that sound can play a part in relieving both mental and physical stress, with one clinical study in 2015 on female patients with widespread muscle pain suggesting that low-frequency stimulation twice per week for five weeks reduces pain and improves sleep [3]. By relaxing your body, sound healing can make a positive impact on your life—relieving the stress and anxiety that builds up over time. 

Sound Healing - UCLA Total Wellness

What are the benefits?

Mental Stress Relief

Sound healing focuses primarily on relieving stress in both the mind and body—mentally, the slow tones accompanied with deep-breathing exercises work to calm down anxious thoughts and emotions.

As Ana explains, “researchers have found that tension, anxiety, and negative moods decreased significantly after therapy.” Sound healing can be used to combat varying levels of mental and emotional stress, leading towards a calmer more relaxed day-to-day life.

Physical Stress Relief

Sound healing can also aid in physical stress—including pain and tight or sore muscles. Ana says that the vibrations in sound healing are “great for letting the body relax”, allowing for pain relief and loosened muscles. This can be great for before and after workouts, allowing your muscles to relax before intense weight-training or cool down after prolonged cardio!

Better Sleep

With often too-long essays and too-difficult exams, sleep can feel like a luxury, so having a good night’s rest whenever possible is vital. Anxiety and tense muscles can interfere with your REM, or rapid-eye movement—periods of sleep where your body is most efficient at rejuvenation and repair. By clearing your mind and winding down your body, sound healing can put you in optimal condition for a restful night. 

How can we incorporate sound healing into our daily lives?

From classes to college life, it can be hard to find time to wind down and attend a sound bath session, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits on the go! Sound bath playlists and albums are readily available on the internet—including Ana’s album “Shakti Sound Bath”. These tracks can be listened to as you fall asleep, on your commute, or between classes. 

During COVID-19, it may be difficult to attend a sound bath session, but listening to a sound bath album in full can feel like an in-person session! To take your at-home sessions a step further, Ana recommends lighting incense and candles (both found in her new Mindful Meditation kit!) to help relax your body and clear your mind. Furthermore, sound bath tracks may supplement your meditation sessions, allowing for a more focused meditation and clearing of your mind.

Whether you’re fighting to catch a breath between daily activities or setting aside time for some long-overdue rest and rejuvenation, sound healing can be easily incorporated to help you relax.

What should we expect from a sound bath?

When you have a bit more time on your hands, a sound bath is a great way to maximize the benefits of sound healing, allowing for the full experience with a trained practitioner. As a first-timer, it can be difficult to know what to expect, especially when everyone’s experience is different, but it’s a lot less daunting than you may think!

When preparing for a sound bath, Ana says, “Staying open-minded about the process is incredibly important because being open-minded allows you to really experience every aspect.

When approaching the idea of sound healing, having predisposed feelings towards the practice before taking part in it can influence your experience as a whole. If trying it out for the first time, try not to expect anything and let the results surprise you. Each person is different and has gone through different events in their lives—as such, the experience may be different for everyone, so don’t let other opinions sway your own! 

The Bottom Line

Sound Healing is a form of physical and mental therapy with various health benefits such as both physical and mental stress relief. The sounds coming from various instruments such as crystal singing bowls, Tibetan bowls, and gongs reverb at a frequency that relaxes your body. It’s easy to take on the go with easily-accessible sound bath albums and can be incorporated into your daily routine without taking away from other activities. 

You can learn more about Ana, the Shakti Sound Bath, and her latest Mindful Meditation kit at

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