Sound Healing for Stress Relief, Peace, and Connecting to Your Higher Self with Tracy Merriken
We live in a fast-paced world, consumed with our devices, and often not taking time to slow down, relax, and savor each moment.
And if we’re being honest with ourselves, most of us need a break. We need to get out of our heads and back into our bodies to find some stress relief, healing, and peace.
Though new to many today, sound healing is an ancient practice that can help us do exactly that.
We spoke with Tracy Merriken, owner of Sädé Spa, about what sound healing is, what the benefits are, and how you can use it to find more peace and joy in your life.
Here’s what she shared with us about the powerful practice of sound healing.
SOMO Village: Let’s start with a broad question—what is sound healing?
Tracy Merriken: Sound healing is energetic work that uses frequencies and sounds to connect with and align your energy. It’s an ancient practice, but it’s had a resurgence more recently—especially during COVID when there was a lot of downtime.
Sound healers use three types of bowls: crystal alchemy bowls—what I use—frosted bowls, and Tibetan bowls, which have been around for thousands of years.
Sound healing is a way to connect with your higher self, soul, or spirit and find alignment and healing.
How did you get into this type of work?
Since I was a little girl, I’ve worked with energy. For whatever reason, I’ve always been able to feel people’s pain or suffering and have had a connection to the energetic, spiritual world.
I’ve used this natural gift as a social worker and in other areas of my life, but the bowls gave me the ability to use it in a different way.
I was first exposed to the healing power of the bowls when I was sick during the beginning of the pandemic. My sister plays crystal alchemy bowls and wanted to play for me. I was open to receiving it, and had a transformative experience where I was seeing colors and visions and just came out of it thinking—I need to know more about this.
So I went through training and started playing for my clients. Because I had known many of them for 10 years through my work as a spa owner, they trusted me and were open and willing to try sound healing sessions. And even now, a lot of clients ask for the bowls after their treatments.
What are the benefits of sound healing?
There are numerous benefits. One of the biggest ones is reducing stress and helping people relax. We’re working with the nervous system here, and there’s more and more science coming out that explains how sound influences our nervous system and our brains.
Pretty much no matter what I’m doing, it’s guaranteed that someone will get off the treatment table or leave a session and come up to me and say, “I feel so at peace. I haven’t felt this way in a really long time.”
Sound healing influences mental states like relaxation and focus, but it also brings up emotional responses. For some people, it will spark an emotional response like crying or even complete joy. And while they might not understand where it came from, they’re connecting with their higher self.
How does sound healing work?
It depends a bit on what your goal is, or what you’re focusing on. I have two sets of bowls—an endocrine set, which focuses on the physical body, and a chakra set, which focuses on aligning all your chakras.
The endocrine set plays frequencies that work with the body to help the system and organs achieve balance and good functioning. The notes of these bowls play a musical scale that is distinct from the chakra set. Each set has its purpose and its unique features.
Everything is energy, so you’ve got a note in the bowls and that is going to do whatever it’s supposed to do for that person. My endocrine sets have bowls for each of the different glands, so they work on the entire physical body. And the chakra set aligns with everything from the root chakra to the crown chakra.
As I play the bowls, people feel the energetic effect in different parts of their bodies.
What can people expect in a sound healing session?
It depends a little on whether it’s a group or individual session, but the first priority is to always get them grounded and comfortable. When people walk into my studio after a day, they carry a lot of stress and worries.
So I start by getting them comfortable with a blanket or pillow and just getting them cozy. Then we’ll do some breath work, reminding them to feel their body and take slow, calm breaths. This helps them identify how they’re feeling and get a sense of coming back into their body instead of staying up in their head with their thoughts.
Then I will start playing the bowls for about 40 minutes. I will ask people what they need physically, emotionally, or spiritually, and play into that.
I stay connected to the divine and ask for divine light and protection to be within the space. I stay connected to this energetic exchange as I play the bowls, listening for a message about the person. Maybe there’s something going on with their shoulder, for example, so I play into the bowls to release the blockage there.
It’s always a unique and individualized experience, even when there are groups of people together.
Can you share some resources for people who want to try it out?
There are a few ways that people can experience sound healing. We offer in-person private events or treatments for small groups or individuals. We’re also launching Sädé Journeys, which has downloadable audio and streaming services so you can participate in a guided journey and experience the healing power of the sound bowls.
About Tracy Merriken
Mother to three boys, business owner, and sound practitioner and vocal artist, Tracy has worked with children, teens, and adults in various ways for over three decades. Tracy is the founder of Sädé Spa and co-founder of Sädé Journeys, where her work is dedicated to the awakening of our planet through sound, vibration, and storytelling.
Tracy’s aim is to help every person tap into their fullest potential by empowering them to self-regulate and discover their own inherent power. Her latest venture, Sädé Journeys, is the outcome of Tracy and her business partner Sylvia’s desire to serve at the highest level and provide quality audios that are a relaxing respite from the demands of life. Experience them through downloadable files and livestreams to take your own healing journey.
Learn More About SOMO Village
If you’re interested in living in a sustainable community that fuses the best of city living with the country lifestyle and all the amazing things that Sonoma County has to offer, we invited you to visit SOMO Village. To learn more, download our residential project brief or get in touch with us today.