By Deborah Szebeko
Who’d of known it, I have the superpower of sending people to sleep. When lockdown started I was keen to use both my experience of working in mental health and also my hobby as a holistic sound practitioner (I play the gong.. more on that later!) to help people in some way.
I then found myself setting up weekly online Sleep Sound Spa’s to help NHS frontline staff, vulnerable groups, communities and key workers across the UK get some much-needed rest and a good night’s sleep by running virtual sound meditations.
Sleep is incredibly important for our mind and body. It acts as a defence against infectious diseases. Poor sleep can lead to the reduction in our immune system as our bodies produce cytokines during sleep which fight inflammation and infection. In this current situation many of us will be affected by poor sleep from too much device use, going to bed later, stresses at work and the uncertain future.
A Sound Spa (also known as a Gong Bath) is a powerful sonic meditation that enables deep relaxation to bring about peace and wellbeing. The vibrations from the gongs assist the release of emotional and energy blockages in the body and stimulate deep healing on a cellular level.
Over the last few months of lockdown, I've had 100's of people sign-up to the online sleep events, as they enabled people in the comfort of their own homes and in their pj's, to lay back and be taken on a guided journey and meditation. This is complemented by experiencing a Sound Spa of different sound healing instruments including gongs, chimes, singing bowls and drums.
“It was amazing...I fell asleep in the middle and the next day all the tension I'd been holding in my right shoulder had gone! Thank you thank you.” – Rebekah
“I'll confess, I fell asleep very quickly…I'd definitely do it again, thanks for making this available to key workers to try.” - Florence
“It was very restful and helpful to distract the mind from the current situation and feel more secure and a great aid to sleep.” - Emily
I’ve since been approached by a range of charities to also offer free access to vulnerable groups and volunteers including Rape Crisis in High Wycombe and SeeAbility. This has enabled the Sound Spa to reach out to people and places that usually wouldn’t engage in these types of events.
An international study has revealed that 41% of the UK population’s mental health is at risk because of the COVID-19 crisis.
It’s been a fascinating learning experience to develop and share the Sleep Sound Spa’s with so many people across the UK and it’s also sparked a whole new idea for me around creating a virtual sleep service… Now for some more service designing and prototyping of the 'Soundasleep Club'.
If you would like to experience a Sleep Sound Spa visit thechilternsoundspa.com
The events are free for all key workers, volunteers and vulnerable groups and a small fee for everyone else.