Lying flat on my back in the middle of an empty room with my eyes closed, I half-dreamed that I was in some primordial forest, tigers or maybe even dinosaurs just out of sight. I imagined I was on an empty beach watching cresting gray waves, gulls screaming overhead. I pictured myself floating in space, watching a galaxy spiral out ahead of me.
Then, the music in the background stopped. After a few minutes, I opened my eyes and sat up.
I’d just had my first sound bath — or to be specific, an Alchemy Crystal Bowl Experience, part of the Four Seasons’ new Daily Discoveries program. The series encourages guests to dip their toes into unique wellness trends, from a Dead Sea Salt Scrub spa treatment at the Four Seasons Hotel Amman to meditation at the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery, near the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. My crystal sound bath was at the Four Seasons New York Downtown, just a few blocks from Refinery29’s office.
As I lay there, a sound healer played instruments, many of them made from crystals, to create a meditative soundscape. Proponents of sound baths say they promote relaxation, ease stress, and boost creativity — and can even kill cancer cells and heal chronic illness. Although there’s not much science to back up the last two claims, studies have indicated that patients who listen to certain types of sounds experience reduced anxiety, lower blood pressure, and increased “divergent thinking” (the ability to come up with multiple answers to a problem, a measure of creativity). These studies are limited and more research is needed, but hey, listening to music can’t hurt, can it?
Although I’d gone into the sound bath something of a skeptic, it turned out that I loved it — along with my vivid half-dreams, half-imaginings, I felt totally de-stressed as I rode the crowded J train back to my apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and that night, I slept like a baby. I felt like I’d had a massage or been to a spa — and all I'd done was lie there and listen.
After my sound bath, I decided to see if I’d notice the effects of any other crystal experiences. From a crystal water bottle to a magic spell, here’s what I tried.
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