Lately a new kind of sound therapy, often called sound healing, has begun to attract a following. Also known as vibrational medicine, the practice employs the vibrations of the human voice as well as objects that resonate — tuning forks, gongs, Tibetan singing bowls — to go beyond relaxation and stimulate healing.

CAROL HARADA lay on her back, eyes closed, on cushions strewn across the floor of a studio in Emeryville, Calif. Several people, some clutching musical instruments, quietly gathered around. It was her turn to receive a group healing.

One person held her feet. Another touched her head. Someone placed a hand on her shoulder. Ms. Harada, 40, then stated that her intention was to release the dull pain in her left shoulder.

“The physical touch was important, to remind me I was safe and directly connected to people doing healing work on my behalf,” she wrote in an e-mail describing her experience last spring.

Then, using their voices and acoustic instruments — bowls made from crystals, an Australian didgeridoo, bells and drums — the participants gently bathed Ms. Harada in sound.

When the sonic massage ended several minutes later, Ms. Harada’s eyes fluttered open. She felt grateful, peaceful and when she stood up, found that the range of motion in her shoulder had increased.