Sound may just be waves and vibrations that pass through the air, but it can be intensely therapeutic. Not only does sound play a major role in how we communicate with each other and with other creatures, but it also allows you to achieve harmony with your surroundings.
Sound can express love or concern, or cause pain or swells of emotion. It is almost magical to think about how humans can be affected by music and words, when they simply boil down to vibrations of energy that travel across air and water.
There have been numerous studies performed about how certain sounds can make you relax, such as running water, ocean waves and other nature sounds. There’s a reason why these sounds are so popular in white noise machines and relaxation recordings—they are naturally soothing. But why do these sounds from nature have such a restorative effect on our psyche?
The healing power of natural sound
One study by researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School in the United Kingdom investigated the connection between background noise, the brain and the body. For the study, researchers recruited 17 healthy adults to reserve fMRI scans while listening to five-minute soundscapes of both natural and manmade environments.
While each recording played, participants were asked to perform a task to measure their reaction time and attentiveness. Researchers also monitored their heart rates, which helped indicate any changes that occurred in their automatic nervous systems, such as breathing, temperature, metabolism, blood pressure and digestion.
Upon studying the results of the fMRIs, researchers noticed that activities in the brain’s default mode network (involved in “mind wandering” and generally task-free states of wakefulness) would vary depending on the background sounds that were being played at the time. While listening to manmade sounds prompted patterns of inward-focused attention, natural sounds prompted more external-focused attention. People had faster reaction times and increased relaxation and function while listening to the natural sounds.
The healing power of music
This is not to say that manmade sounds can’t be relaxing. There are many studies that have closely investigated the healing powers of listening to music as well. And that goes for all types of music, from classical to rock to bluegrass to hip-hop.
Studies have shown that music can alter your mood, improve your mental clarity, reduce stress responses, increase self-awareness, strengthen your empathy and help you find a better spiritual connection. All of these are important healing attributes that can be extremely helpful when you’re in need of some form of therapy.
It’s hard to believe that all of this is made possible through invisible vibrations and sound waves. Sound is such a simple concept, but it can invoke a limitless number of emotional responses. It’s no wonder, then, that so many people care greatly about the quality of sound they get out of their high-end audio systems in Chicago.
For more information about purchasing a high-end audio system from an experienced audio dealer in Chicago, contact the team at Quintessence Audio Ltd. today.