It's not actually a bath... / Getty Images/iStockphoto

FIY, there’s no actual bathing involved

A new meditation craze is currently sweeping the US but despite its name, there’s no actual bathing involved.

Once only found at New Age retreats, sound baths are steadily entering the mainstream as an alternative to run-of-the-mill relaxation but, what exactly are they?

As the name suggests, they were created as a healing therapy that uses sound to induce a meditative state and a feeling of intense relaxation.

During the session, participants are immersed in soothing sonic resonance emitted by traditional instruments such as crystal singing bowls, tuning forks, and gongs.

The healer uses traditional instruments such as crystal singing bowls, tuning forks, and gongs

“There’s been a crazy explosion of sound baths,” Sara Auster, a sound healer told Well and Good. “For whatever reason it’s happening, I think it’s amazing.”

Auster, who is also a yoga teacher, often uses instruments like the harmonium and gong in her traditional classes but finds that sound baths are a great way to combine the two into one experience. 

So what can you expect to get from them? 

“Mostly, I hear ‘I had the best night’s sleep of my life, I was so relaxed,’” says Auster. “That’s probably the most common effect that people experience—an overall state of relaxation.”

“Sometimes people go on trippy journeys and see stuff. Sound affects every part of your brain, it’s a pretty powerful tool.”

They seem to be a rising trend in the US and we have no doubt that they are well on their way to the UK too. In the meantime, some practitioners including Auster offer free samples of their work on Soundcloud.