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HomeHealth & FitnessI Tried Sound Therapy for Chronic Pain

I Tried Sound Therapy for Chronic Pain

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In dealing with chronic illness, I’ve developed a personal relationship to sound and pain. I think back to the time I begged my younger siblings to turn off the Nintendo because I swore the rainbow road medley was making my migraine worse (and I stand by that). I used to apologize for switching the channel on the car radio because I swore the top hits were making me nauseous. During my worst trigeminal neuralgia flare ups, it felt like even the softest sounds could trigger a bout of pain. All this to say, I can appreciate that sound has physical consequences. The idea that sound could potentially be harnessed for pain relief is slightly more novel.

In essence, sound healing utilizes resonant frequencies to lower blood pressure, reduce tension, calm inflammation, lessen anxiety, and yes, relieve pain. These frequencies can be played using instruments like sound bowls and tuning forks, or even through apps like Soaak. Research shows that sound therapy can also help elevate mood, memory, and cognition.

“You’re playing a certain megahertz to the body,” explains Laura Widney, President of Soaak Clinics and co-founder of Soaak Technologies. “What we’ve done in clinic, is we have layered certain frequencies for certain issues.” In fact, Soak has reportedly seen positive outcomes in 78 percent of 120 clients for a whole host of health concerns, including migraines, hormonal imbalances, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Intrigued by these claims, I decided to try sound frequency therapy for myself, and see how it worked for my chronic pain.

How I Used the Soaak App

I start by downloading the Soaak app and scrolling through a wide range of sound frequencies formulated to address various areas of health. Some of my favorites were mental clarity, mood boost, memory support, depression relief, and PMS support. Each one also comes with a “nature” and “music” option, in case you don’t want to listen to the frequencies by themselves.

I select the frequency for PMS support first, which is supposed to provide pain relief, balance emotions, and decrease bloating. As soon as I hit play, I’m reminded of the tingles I sometimes get from ASMR — like sand falling down the back of your neck. It’s almost as if someone rinsed my brain in a basin of cold water . . . and honestly, I’m into it. The pointed buzzing is only irritating at first, intensifying and growing stormy at times, but eventually settling into a comforting kind of white noise.

I experiment with a few of the other frequencies to see if I notice any difference. The mood booster resonates pleasantly, while the self-confidence frequency makes me feel like I’m stuck in a noisy airplane hangar (this is where the “music” or “nature” options would come in handy). I especially love the option for pain support, which I add to my “favorites” folder on the Soaak app. Later in the week, when I start waking up in pain, I play the “music” version of the “pain support” frequency while I get ready for the day.

What I Liked About the Soaak App

It’s hard to tell whether or not it’s just a placebo effect, but in my opinion, the frequency really does seem to make painful mornings a little more manageable. The frequencies are easy to incorporate into my daily routine, and I like having another tool for pain management at my disposal.

Even when I’m not actively going through a painful flare up, having more resources for pain management feels empowering. Sound frequency therapy is something I could see myself using, even just to keep my anxiety at bay. Although research is still in its early stages, studies show that sound frequency therapy really can help people cope with their health issues — and personally, that’s music to my ears.

What’s Worth Noting About the Soaak App

Sound healing therapy, like Soaak, isn’t for everyone — and it’s certainly not a cure for chronic pain. If you have serious concerns about how your pain is impacting your body, it’s best to speak to a healthcare provider for the best course of action. That said, if sound therapy is providing some relief to your symptoms, the practice is harmless and may be, as it was for me, another pain management tool to tap into.

Where Is Soaak Available?

Soaak is available on iOS or Google Play. It’s offered on a 7-day free trial and then a monthly subscription of $29.99 or yearly for $24.99 (or $300 a year).

Chandler Plante is an assistant editor for POPSUGAR Health & Fitness. Previously, she worked as an editorial assistant for People magazine and contributed to Ladygunn, Millie, and Bustle Digital Group. In her free time, she overshares on the internet, creating content about chronic illness, beauty, and disability.

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