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A former headteacher claims she cured her burnout, insomnia and depression by listening to bells and meditating – and now offers her skills to help others.
Tia Harris, 43, left her role as an interim headteacher after suffering a breakdown. It was then that a friend suggested she try sound therapy – a process that uses sound and music in therapeutic ways to improve health and wellbeing.
During her first session, she says she experienced sounds from crystal and Tibetan bowls, which immediately helped with her insomnia.
Tia was so impressed by the effects that she decided to become a sound healing practitioner herself.
Now she spends up to three hours a week immersing herself in healing sounds, alongside the time she spends with one-to-one, group, and corporate clients.
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In her new role she says she treats people with conditions including insomnia, anxiety, depression and high blood pressure at her studios and during home visits.
Her armoury includes Tibetan singing bowls, crystal bowls, wind chimes, bells and tuning forks.
Speaking about her new occupation she said: “I’ve got a different perspective and am far more regulated and aware, I’m sleeping better, I’ve lost weight and I feel physically my body shape has changed.”
Her symptoms of burnout started in October 2021 after her mum underwent a stem cell transplant.
She experienced insomnia and struggled to take care of herself while working long hours.
After taking some time off, she was due to return to work in February 2022 but felt unable to return and was signed off for health reasons for another four weeks.
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But in April Tia’s mum went onto life support and she felt she had to step away from the school.
After experiencing the benefits of sound therapy she attended a course and completed a diploma, allowing her to help others.
Despite no longer earning close to the £80,000 per year she made as a headteacher, she says the risk has been worth it and she is now seeing her business grow.
“I work with some secondary schools, and I’ve got case studies where we’ve cured teaching staff’s insomnia and they’ve asked for downloads of the sounds to use over the summer,” said Tia.
“I worked with a member of staff with high blood pressure, her attendance wasn’t great and now we’ve improved her attendance and her heart and blood pressure had reduced in the last tests.
“If anyone is thinking of participating, the benefit is instantaneous and the healing benefit of sound is transformative.”
Her recommendations to assist with sound healing at home are:
- Wind chimes for high blood pressure
- Tibetan singing bowls to help with grounding
- Bells for burnout and insomnia.
To learn more, visit everythingstartswithyou.co.uk.
What does research say about sound therapy?
Various studies have shown the link between sound therapy and its effect on emotional wellbeing.
One report, published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine in 2017, looked specifically at how Tibetan singing bowls could benefit mood, anxiety, pain, and spiritual wellbeing.
As part of a trial, 62 men and women with an average age of 49 underwent a type of meditation using the instruments.
The study said: “As compared with pre-meditation, following the sound meditation participants reported significantly less tension, anger, fatigue, and depressed mood.
“Additionally, participants who were previously naïve to this type of meditation experienced a significantly greater reduction in tension compared with participants experienced in this meditation. Feeling of spiritual well-being significantly increased across all participants.
“Tibetan singing bowl meditation may be a feasible low-cost low technology intervention for reducing feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression, and increasing spiritual wellbeing.”
Separate research, presented in the Pain Research and Management journal in 2015, revealed that low-frequency sound stimulation could help patients suffering from fibromyalgia – a chronic condition that causes pain and fatigue.
The study said: “Mean percentages were calculated on end of treatment self-reports of improvement on pain, mood, insomnia and activities of daily living.”
And two studies presented at the American Heart Association’s Council on Hypertension in 2016 found that balancing sound on both sides of the brain lowered blood pressure, improved heart rate variability, and reduced symptoms of migraines.
Hossam Shaltout, from the Hypertension and Vascular Research Centre in the US, commented: “Most people have relatively balanced electrical activity between the right side and left sides of the brain.
“Imbalance, with one side dominant, or more active, may reflect autonomic dysregulation associated with the effects of chronic stress, which is thought to play a role in high blood pressure, migraines, insomnia, depression, hot flashes and more.”
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