The Healing Power
of Sound Therapy
“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies. One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.” Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in NY
“In the words of the great Tibetan master/Bodhisattva Gwalwa Karmapa, the Singing Bowls of Tibet emit the ‘Sound of the Void’, the sound of the universe manifesting. They are a symbol of the 'unknowable' and as an alloy, date back to the Buddha, Shakyamni (560-480 B.C.). Their origins and detailed histories are shrouded in the distant past and are surely a gift from the shamanistic 'Bon' religion which precedes Buddhism in Tibet by centuries. For centuries they have been utilized for healing and consciousness transformation.” Richard Rudis, Sound Pioneer and owner of Sacred Sound Workshops
I am pleased to announce that I will be offering Singing Bowl Sound Healing Therapy sessions at my office. The powerful use of sound for wellness has been recognized for thousands of years, and by many civilizations and cultures. It has been revered for their use as sacred meditation instruments and now I share them with you.
You can see a brief demonstration Click Here, experiencing it for yourself is Divine. The session can also be specifically designed to work with a client's needs by additional placements, and numbers of bowls used in a session.
Singing Bowl History
Singing bowls (also known as Tibetan Singing Bowls, rin gongs, Himalayan bowls or suzu gongs) are a type of bell, specifically classified as a standing bell. Rather than hanging inverted or attached to a handle, singing bowls sit with the bottom surface resting. The sides and rim of singing bowls vibrate to produce sound characterized by a fundamental frequency (first harmonic) and usually two audible harmonic overtones (second and third harmonic). According to singing bowl researcher Joseph Feinstein, singing bowls were traditionally used in Asia and the tradition of making sound with bronze bowls could go back 3,000 or more years to the bronze-age. Throughout the ages, most spiritual gatherings and places of worship have incorporated the power of the sound of the bells in their services.
Singing bowls are used worldwide for meditation, music, relaxation, personal well-being. They are used by a wide range of professionals, including health professionals, school teachers, musicians and spiritual teachers. Singing bowls are used in health care by psychotherapists, massage therapists, cancer specialists, stress and meditation specialists. They are used to help treat cancer patients and also for post-traumatic stress disorder. They are popular in classrooms to help facilitate group activities and focus students' attention.
Singing bowls were historically made throughout Asia, especially Nepal, China and Japan. They are closely related to decorative bells made along the Silk Road from the Near East to Western Asia. Today they are made in Nepal, India, Japan, China and Korea. The best known types are from the Himalayan region and are often referred to as Tibetan singing bowls although any history in Tibet is disputable as there are none found there today.
Tibetan Singing Bowls
When dating these bowls, avoidance is made in doing so with these types of bowls. Some of these bowls can date back to the late 18th century. Dating bowls is tricky, since their form varies little over long periods of time and their condition depends so much upon individual storage and use. Rather, they should be viewed as cultural artifacts produced as an artistic offering; age is of but secondary importance. Moreover, bowls that claim to be Tibetan Bowls, are more often handcrafted in the Himalaya Region. Bowls are found mostly in their original form with superb hammer marks visible and a great smooth patina. Prayers were often offered as each bowl is crafted by the hammer strike. This infused the bowl with a spiritual energy. As a utilitarian bowl, and as a meditation tool, bowls were used by Tibetan Buddhists over the years. Owners often hand select each for its tone, size, and quality. Once the bowl is struck, its tone often carries for a very long time and is softly blended with many other bowls during a meditation or therapy session. It is said that Singing Bowls were brought to Tibet from India along with the teachings of Lord Buddha. Most people use these bowls for Buddhist spiritual meditation or to create a great art or conversation piece.
They are traditionally hand made in a wonderful combination of 7 different metals which create 7 different distinct tones. According to tradition, the seven metals correspond with each of the planets, gold for the Sun, silver for the Moon, mercury for well, Mercury, copper for Venus, iron for Mars, tin for Jupiter, and lead for Saturn. It is in joining with the universal energy of the planets that supports the being along our earthly journey to ascension.
Since Tibetan singing bowls have a very mysterious history it is sometimes hard to find information about them, in fact there is literally no mention of them in the Tibetan Buddhist canon. They can be found in both monasteries and homes, but when questioned about their existence, vague answers are usually given. It has been rumored that it is actually forbidden for monks to speak about the singing bowls. Some say that the bowls are used by high lamas in secret rituals, which gives them the ability to travel to different realms and dimensions. In the end one thing remains certain, that singing bowls are a very powerful spiritual tool. In addition to their traditional usage for reditation, Tibetan Singing Bowls are used for relaxation, stress reduction, healing, and Reiki.
Other Benefits of Sound Therapy
There are many physical and emotional maladies that may benefit from the uses of Singing Bowls in client sessions. The beauty of the sound itself, along with the subtle vibrations the bowl produces are what helps facilitate the body to better do its restorative healing work. I will name but a few common issues here, but if you are interested in seeing how this therapy can be applied for your specific concern, please contact me for a sample session.
- Back and joint pain
- Post-Traumatic Stress
- Neck pain
- Digestive Disorder
- Anxiety or Depression
- Enhance circulation
- Fatigued hands and feet
Additionally, for those who are more conscious of their subtle energy body, Sound Healing can also be used to both clear and strengthen a body’s Auric Field, and restore Balance.
Allopathic medical teaching facilities like Duke University and the University of North Carolina have added programs that acknowledge body/mind and spirit to the treatment of cancer. Cancer Prevention Centers are utilizing sound as a vital part of the healing process for patients with astounding results. Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, a pioneer in integrative oncology, has been facilitating the use of sound, including Tibetan Bowls, Crystal bowls and Chanting in work with cancer patients for many years.
Dr. Gaynor wanted to know why people were having such miraculous turn arounds in their whole perspective about life. He researched the effects of sound and learned that Gregorian chants and classical music can change our brain waves into the relaxed alpha and theta waves. Sound affects us on a physiological level, an emotional level, and can support us spiritually.
Scientific studies have shown that if people are allowed to listen to any music of their choice during a medical procedure, the amount of stress hormones released will be lower. I have done so during a surgery and the physician commented that he had noticed that there was a significant reduction in blood loss. Alzheimer patients have also been shown to significantly benefit by sound/music therapy.
Sound can actually change our immune system. Our Interluken-1 level, which is an index of our immune system, goes up between 12 ½ and 15 percent after Gregorian canting or listening to certain forms of music. And after listening to this music for twenty minutes, our immunoglobin levels in our blood are significantly increased. Certain forms of music can lower our heart rate and blood pressure. Every part of our body is affected by sound on a cellular and sub-cellular level. There is not an organ system in our body that is not affected by sound, music and vibration. To learn what the Underground Health Reporter has to say about Tibetan Singing Bowls, click here.
The medical director of the Deepak Chopra center in California, Dr. David Simon discovered that the sound frequencies from Tibetan bowls, as well as chanting, are chemically metabolized into "endogenous opiates", that have the affect the body as internal painkillers and healing agents.
All matter is energy vibrating at different rates. Thus by altering the rate of vibration the structure of matter can be changed. The Himalayan/Tibetan bowls vibrate at what is historically/traditionally recognized as the frequency of perfection, otherwise known as the Sanskrit mantra ‘AUM’ (OM). The healing process they evoke is initiated by entraining our brainwaves to create sympathetic resonance with that perfect vibration.
When considering that the body is approximately 70-80% water, and that sound travels four times faster through water, it makes sense to utilize the power of sound to restore harmony to the body, mind, spirit connection.
Click here to read an abstract about ancient music and its use in wellness. To view the abstract on The Effect of Music on Human Physiology and Pathophysiology, click here. For more research on female patients utilizing sound therapy with chemotherapy treatment, click here. If considering sound therapy for use as a CAM, consult your physician first. This modality does not replace appropriate medical treatment. Even more to see; http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/24/fashion/thursdaystyles/whats-the-buzz-sound-therapy.html
As a certified Sound Healing practitioner, I will be honored to have you experience the liberating and soothing healing ways of the singing bowls at Reiki-Massage Bodyworks. Call for an introductory session or to book a full session appointment today.
Important Note: Again this does not replace the need for, or is to be considered a substitution for professional medical care and attention, but can be considered as a complementary practice for clients with chronic pain or a similar need.