Woman in a sound therapy session involving tuning forks

Tuning in to Healing – How Does a Tuning Fork Work

If you feel somewhat out of tune lately, perhaps it’s time to try some alternative healing methods to get you back in harmony and balance.

That’s where the tuning fork comes into the picture. This simple yet powerful tool can help tune up your system, bringing your body, mind, and soul into perfect sync. But exactly how does a tuning fork work? And how is it used in healing or energy work?

This quick guide serves up answers to these and many more, so keep reading to learn how this healing tool can help stimulate energy flow, reduce stress levels, and promote overall well-being.

Healing With a Tuning Fork

Who thought a small two-pronged metal instrument with a stem, base, and occasional weights could create deep physical and spiritual healing? They may appear simple, but tuning forks are incredibly effective and offer long-term benefits when used correctly.

Striking a tuning fork creates sounds and vibrations at specific frequencies that stimulate relaxation, energy flow, and healing.

The effects of tuning forks in sound therapy are well documented. Its clinical uses range from low-frequency sensory stimulation to targeted application on the spine for orthopedic issues and whole-body vibration for osteoporosis conditions.

Sound therapy facilitated by tuning forks is used in alternative and complementary medicine practices to heal people physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Used correctly, the tool offers many benefits, including:

  • Improving bone conditions
  • Relieving anxiety and stress
  • Promoting digestion
  • Balancing the nervous system
  • Aligning the body’s vibrations
  • Relieving pain and inflammation
  • Relaxing tense muscles and repairing strained or torn tendons and ligaments

How Does a Tuning Fork Work?

A person using tuning fork in sound therapy

Ever heard of the principle of resonance? In case you haven’t, it is a concept in physics that refers to the influence of one object over the other when both are connected and vibrate at the same frequency.

Okay, what has physics or resonance got to do with tuning forks?

Essentially, tuning forks work based on the principle of resonance. Striking the fork causes the prongs or tines to vibrate and produce sound waves at a certain frequency, depending on the length of the tines. Sometimes, the sound is almost inaudible in weighted tuning forks (we’ll cover that in a bit).

As the tines move back and forth at high speeds (usually hundreds of times per second), the movement displaces air molecules, causing sounds that can tune your brain and resonance that can alter the physical states of your cells.

Tuning forks are often used alone or along with other healing instruments in vibrational sound therapy to help participants experience deeper relaxation and an improved sense of well-being.

However, you don’t have to be a professional sound therapist to enjoy the healing benefits of tuning forks.

Like many popular sound healing instruments, you can use tuning forks at home (by yourself or with help from family and friends) to restore your energy balance and relieve some physical symptoms.

The Link Between Tuning Forks and Healing

To understand the link between tuning forks and healing, it is important to understand that everything in the universe ― including living and non-living things ― vibrates at a specific frequency. Broadly speaking, you can change the state of an object by altering its vibratory rate or frequency.

Although we appear solid, we are in a constant state of vibration at the cellular level. Stress triggers can alter our frequencies, causing imbalance and disharmony in our energies. This imbalance can manifest in various ways, affecting our physical, emotional, and mental health.

Disharmony in our energies can cause physical symptoms like disease, fatigue, headaches, and other ailments. Anxiety, depression, lack of focus, and relationship conflicts also indicate energy blockages and imbalances.

Like musical instruments, we can go out of tune, causing us to become dissonant and out of sync. Thankfully, we can use powerful sound therapies like vibrational meditation and tuning fork therapy to restore our systems to harmony.

As mentioned, tuning forks work based on the principles of resonance and vibration, and by achieving the same vibratory rate as the healing instrument, we can bring our minds and bodies back into alignment.

In simpler terms, by connecting with the resonance created when you strike a tuning fork, your mind and body can achieve the frequency of the fork and regain its natural balance and harmony.

But how does a tuning fork work to heal specific ailments and restore energy balance? This depends on the type of tuning fork and its exact frequency.

We’ll cover the two major types of tuning forks in the next section. To learn more about specific vibratory rates, check out this tuning fork frequency chart to find the perfect tone for your healing purpose.

Weighted Versus Plain Tuning Forks

Tuning forks come in weighted and plain (unweighted) versions, each with a specific healing purpose.

As the name suggests, weighted tuning forks have additional weights at the ends of their prongs, causing them to produce stronger vibrations and a deeper tone. The additional weights also mean these tuning forks can maintain their resonance for longer periods.

Their stronger vibrations, deeper tone, and longer resonance make weighted tuning forks well suited for direct use on the body, as they can penetrate tissues and muscles.

Conversely, plain tuning forks are ideal for restoring balance in the body’s energy centers or chakras, so they are your best bet if you’re looking to ease stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts.

Also, you can use a plain tuning fork to aid meditation, as its sound is deeply relaxing and soothing.

Speaking of which, the sounds generated by plain tuning forks are pure, clear, and loud. However, the vibrations are generally weaker and dissipate faster than their weighted counterparts. This is all thanks to their simpler and lightweight design, which makes them susceptible to air resistance.

Instead of using an unweighted turning fork directly on the body, the tool is typically held an inch or two away from the ears or in the biofield ― the energy field that surrounds and permeates our bodies.

How to Use a Tuning Fork for Healing

Woman receiving acutonic treatment with weighted tuning forks

Now that we’ve answered the question, “How does a tuning fork work?” and have seen the two major types, it’s time to learn how to tune up our systems (mind and body) using a tuning fork.

How to Use a Weighted Tuning Fork to Relieve Physical Discomfort

Follow these basic steps to heal or relieve physical discomfort using a weighted tuning fork:

  1. Tap the tuning fork on a rubber puck or strike it with a mallet to activate the fork.
  2. Touch the base of the fork directly to the area of the body where you feel the discomfort (you may not hear an audible sound, but you should feel the vibrations).
  3. Close your eyes, relax (as you would during meditation), and feel the deep, soothing sensation of the vibrations.
  4. Tap or strike the fork again to reactivate it when the intensity of the vibrations begins to dissipate.
  5. Continue the exercise for as long as you want.

No doubt, weighted tuning forks are excellent for correcting physical imbalances in the body. Still, we recommend working with a professional tuning fork therapist when using it to treat chronic or recurring ailments such as:

  • Joint problems
  • Chronic pain
  • Headaches
  • Cramps (including those associated with endometriosis)
  • Low-quality sleep or insomnia
  • Hypersensitive nervous system

How to Use a Plain Tuning Fork for Energy Healing

If you’re feeling out of sorts, stressed, anxious, or struggling with negative thoughts, follow these simple steps to bring yourself back into sync.

  1. Take a few moments to quiet your thoughts.
  2. Strike the tuning fork against a mallet, rubber puck, or your knee to activate it. You can use a pair of plain tuning forks and strike them against each other. To amplify the benefits of the process even further, consider striking the fork against a crystal.
  3. Close your eyes and breathe deeply as you hold the healing instrument near your temple, ears, or the center of your forehead.
  4. Reactivate the tuning fork when the sound starts to fade, and continue the exercise until you feel a shift in your energy.

Want to learn more about the benefits of using chakra tuning forks? Check out this guide.


How does a tuning fork work? Now you know the answer and can easily tune up your system and realign your energy centers whenever you feel out of whack, experience physical manifestations of disharmony, or simply want to heighten your self-awareness.

Remember, everything in the universe is made of energy and vibrates at different frequencies. This means you can achieve and maintain overall balance in your physical and psychological well-being by tuning your mind and body to specific healing frequencies.

And whenever you are “out of tune,” simply bring yourself back into harmony and balance using your tuning fork.


  • Nature Sound Retreat

    We're the group of holistic healers with a passion for sound therapy, meditation, and the benefits that music and noise can offer our bodies and minds. With over 10 years of experience teaching others about inner peace and how to achieve it with ease, we hope to share that knowledge on Nature Sound Therapy for you to enjoy for yourself.

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