Elizabeth is a sound healer and founder of Anicca Studios, her aim is to help people understand the potential transformational impact on the mind and body by blending neuroscience and sound.
After training with gong master Leo Cosendai she created Anicca to not only help people reduce stress, deal with anxiety and find balance but to also encourage them to question the mystery of life, which is something that sound had done for her.
For this edition of Faces and Paces, we spoke to her on how she believes that sound makes meditation more accessible by creating an experience where the frequencies and vibrations of the instruments help you reach a happy, balanced and calm state.
You can also try her beautiful, nature infused sound bath for new beginnings here.
My name is Elizabeth, I am a sound meditation teacher and host The ANICCA Podcast. In my sessions I predominantly work with gongs where I create soundscapes for altered states in London.
Stress and anxiety is something that really affected me throughout my 20’s and I was emotionally very up and down. I found myself in very intense and stressful working environments which in turn lead to anxiety, sleep deprivation and burnout.
I, like most people, put so much pressure on myself to know exactly what I wanted from life at a young age. We all seem to have the mentality that if we feel remotely lost we are failing and that discovery or change can often be “too late” or “too risky”.
I began to explore alternative therapies and meditation for my overall health and to help reduce stress. I initially found meditation very challenging, I loved the science around it but found the practice very hard to do. I went on holiday for some down time and went to my first sound bath, I was completely BLOWN AWAY and I found myself in a very peaceful but yet cosmic altered state. It was also the first time I had actually relaxed and detached in what felt like years. This was the beginning of my lifetime journey into sound.
Even though my experience of anxiety was not very pleasant at the time, it is a journey that I am very grateful for, it led me to sound and taught me that there is always a positive to gain or a lesson to be learnt from a negative experience.
In my gong training with Leo Cosendai, I had the chance to play and experience the largest gong in the UK, it is a mega 80 inches. The vibration is SO powerful you can feel it moving through your whole body, it is like being transported to space. You can almost feel your body dissolving, it is incredible.
So many of us are constantly in this fight or flight response state without even realising, especially those of us who live in a city, exposed to the chaos 24/7. It isn’t always easy to connect to this inner place of stillness when we feel so consumed.
During a sound bath, our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) is cooled, and our parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest response) is activated, where our heart rate slows down and we are in a truly restorative and relaxing state, where we have the capability to heal. We don’t just hear sound, we also feel it throughout our entire body and we have a biological response to that. The movement of energy can release emotional tension and blockages like a form of therapy.
Through entrainment and brainwave states, the sounds of the gong and other instruments are able to alter our state of consciousness.
During a sound healing session, we are able to reach brainwave states of theta, a mystical dream-like state, high creativity or deep meditation. Some people experience delta brainwave states for deep sleep, deep repair and revitalisation, or even Gamma brainwaves, which is associated with seasoned meditators such as buddhist monks, shamanic states and profound insight.
I try to take time out in the park as much as possible, focusing on my breath and being near trees and greenery, like a walking meditation. I also practice earthing where I walk barefoot on the grass and connect to the earth.
I also use my instruments to help ground me as I receive so much when I play. Some mornings I use my conch shell or play the gong in a grounding way to centre me for the day ahead.
Breathwork and sound workshop collaborations with an amazing teacher called Octavia Calthorpe. Breath and sound are two very powerful tools for relaxation and release, and by combining them we hope to create a much deeper journey.