Echoes

Sound meditation centre

Echoes is a sound meditation centre in Perth, Western Australia. It's the only such facility in Australia accredited in the field of complementary medicine.

Our principle instruments are symphonic gongs, played in a purpose-built sound chamber.

Our promise: a safe, memorable sound meditation that is effortless and deeply relaxing

Science, meditation and gonging

Physics tells us light and matter are energetic, vibrating at different frequencies. Solid objects have atoms that vibrate at a low frequency, animals vibrate at higher frequencies, light vibrates at still higher frequencies.

But human beings are wired for sound -  audible vibration. It’s the first sense to come alive in the foetus and it’s the last to go before we die.

You already know some sounds exist above and below our hearing range; ultrasound is used for imaging and it’s used to destroy tumours and kidney stones. It’s non-invasive surgery. Whales use sounds below our hearing range (infrasound) to communicate over great distances.

So sound is a physical phenomenon. It travels through every medium, including our bodies,  and it can alter the chemistry of our cells. Although we think of it travelling around us and entering through our ears; it permeates and impacts our whole body - our fluids, our organs, our bones and our cells.

You’ve listened to music so you know that sound influences your mood. It can help us relax or excite us - that’s because one of the organs most obviously affected by sound is the brain. But the effects of audible sound are more wide-ranging than what is caused by speech and music.

The gong has the broadest tone range of any instrument and a vast array of harmonics. In our dedicated sound chamber the vibrations are reflected off 16 surfaces. This gives an immersive sound experience that quickly takes you into a meditative state, even if you’ve never meditated previously.

During meditation increased alpha and theta brain wave activity occurs. Alpha waves have been linked with creativity and mental health. Theta waves are difficult to measure in humans but in other animals are known to be linked to memory and spatial learning. Science now recognises that meditation has beneficial effects on physical and mental health, and cognitive performance.

It’s also known that our brainwaves respond to environmental stimuli , including sound. And that’s what happens in gonging. The process that delivers that relaxed state and flow-on benefits is not yet understood by scientists (possibly the external stimulus synchronises the surrounding neural networks) but research will reveal that in time.

Many people also report healing from gonging sessions, though we do not promise therapeutic benefits. We can say it is scientifically demonstrated that auditory stimulation can improve your immune function, relax you, improve your mood, and reduce stress.

We note that Neurological Music Therapy is used to treat neurological dysfunctions like stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer's disease, autism, and MS (muscular dystrophy). Treatment in this area is a matter of ongoing scientific research, as is brain imaging research on meditation.