Susannah enjoys one of Cristina’s restorative sound-bath sessions

Susannah enjoys one of Cristina’s restorative sound-bath sessions 

 Last month, Holly Willoughby launched her new website, which has a distinctly spiritual angle. Among the things she is passionate about – the moon, kinesiology, crystals – are sound baths.

If you think a sound bath means listening to the radio while in the tub (a therapeutic experience, granted) then you’re in for a surprise. Also known as sound healing, it’s a meditative and restorative experience that has been practised for thousands of years. Normally taken as a class (although it can also be experienced individually), you sit or lie down while being ‘bathed’ in sound waves, which are said to have a profoundly therapeutic effect on mind and body.

I have been to many sound baths over the years, and they always blow me away. The first time, I lay there thinking, ‘This sounds like the soundtrack to Star Wars’, but didn’t remember much else until I came round at the end. A sound bath is centered on either singing bowls, gongs, and/or both. A singing bowl, a large cylindrical vessel made out of pure quartz or metal, produces different notes. The sound of a mallet spinning around the edge creates a humming and whirring sound that fills the body.

 Gong goers swear that it relieves pain and anxiety

Then there are the gongs – huge metal orb instruments, which, when struck, create a deep, rich, exotic sound that feels like it’s reverberating through your entire body. Practitioners may use drums or rattles to enhance the experience. I find the experience surreal – sometimes I see colours or feel my hands tingling without explanation.

So why not? Cristina Chandika Ma, who runs sound-bath classes at Daylesford Spa in the Cotswolds, says that despite the ‘woo-woo’ connotations, there is science behind sound bathing. ‘Einstein explained that everything in life is vibration,’ she tells me, ‘which means that we are made up of energy vibration and frequency.’ Cristina says that when this energy is out of whack, we can experience illness, changes in mood or localised problems within the body.

‘The sound of the singing bowls is so pure that its vibration travels through the bone and the blood,’ says Cristina. ‘Each gong has a different frequency and, when combined, their sound helps to balance and stabilise our energy.’ Regular gong goers swear it benefits everything from sleep quality to pain relief, plus reduces anxiety and eases depression.

Jasmine Hemsley, an Ayurvedic expert, practices sound-healing sessions online. She says, ‘By immersing yourself in these sounds, you have something for the mind to focus on away from work and daily stresses, so you can access your inner peace.’ Download Jasmine’s five-, ten-and 20-minute sessions online at, from £2.99.

After a sound-healing session, I feel more awake, clearer, and less stressed the next day. There may be few studies into the effects of sound baths but I believe that there’s more to life than the things you can see – like music. At the very least, it’s a distraction from your worries for an hour.




Turn on, tune in, and enjoy blissful bliss 

Anyone who wants to reduce stress levels should listen to Walk With Me in Sound. This audio meditation is an hour long and includes the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a well-known spiritual teacher. Combining monastic chants, mindfulness bells, nature sounds and narration from Benedict Cumberbatch, it’s a rare journey into the heart of the world of Buddhism. Available on Google Play and Apple Books at £9 (prices may vary with retailers) or on Audible.




Next step in Trainers 

 Hello oral care is free from sulfates and peroxide.

Veja, a brand well-known for its innovative and sustainable products, has created a walking trainer called the Dekkan. This trainer incorporates a Vibram sole that is often found on boots and technical terrain-walking shoes. I can vouch that they are comfy, hard-wearing and great for dog walks when a welly isn’t required. £130, from