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Sound Healing



Sound Healing 101


Sound has been utilized in various cultures for thousands of years as a tool for healing. Whether through the use of mantras as with the Hindis, the Icaros (medicine melodies) of various Indigenous peoples from Central and South America, or Pythagoras' use of interval and frequency, these various techniques all have the same intention: to move us from a place of imbalance to a place of balance.


Sound helps to facilitate shifts in our brainwave state by using entrainment. Entrainment synchronizes our fluctuating brainwaves by providing a stable frequency which the brainwave can attune to. By using rhythm and frequency, we can entrain our brainwaves and it then becomes possible to down-shift our normal beta state (normal waking consciousness) to alpha (relaxed consciousness), and even reach theta (meditative state) and delta (sleep; where internal healing can occur).

This same concept is utilized in meditation by regulating the breath, but with sound it's the frequency that is the agent which influences the shift.


A sound therapy treatment is both a passive and participatory experience.

The passive aspect is that the client becomes more relaxed by laying down and slowing their breath. By doing this, we prepare them to become the receiver of sound. It's in this place of stillness that they participate by becoming more open and aware of each sound that comes in. Sound helps create the pathway to this place of stillness the same as a mantra helps us to arrive at the still point of meditation.

Some of the tools we use are voice, drumming, tuning forks and singing bowls. It's important to note that awareness plays a huge role in healing. Vocal toning is an incredibly powerful practice that gives us the ability to fine-tune our greatest vibrational instrument: our own body.


Its helpful to incorporate simple, but effective breathing exercises and vocal toning exercises in our daily routine, to help bring a greater sense of balance into their lives.


Sound not only helps with inducing relaxation, but also has a way of moving through areas of blockage. These energetic blockage areas can be located in the physical bodies, our subtle bodies, or both.

The physical body is where we experience localized pain and discomfort. Using tuning forks, especially osteophonic tuning forks (they vibrate at lower frequencies), we can stimulate the release of Nitric Oxide, a free radical molecule that has been proven to positively affect pain transmission and control. Which, in short, means that these frequencies help to create a physiological reaction, while the sound itself helps to influence the auditory system, enabling clients to modify their relationship to the pain.

Our "subtle body" is our energetic body. This body is where our life force energy exists, commonly referred to as Qi, Chi or prana. In Chinese medicine, meridian points are used to pinpoint areas that have restricted energetic flow to our physical and subtle bodies. The body is known to have thousands of these meridian lines that are mapped out through the body, in the same way we've mapped out the latitude and longitude of the earth.

The subtle body holds imbalances and traumas that can eventually manifest in our physical bodies, which is why it's important to look at healing and balance not only from a physical perspective, but as a complete holistic experience that includes mind, body and spirit.

Sound has the ability to positively affect our whole being. Eileen McCusick, author of Tuning The Human Biofield, has been exploring the theory that our subtle body acts as memory storage. For example, a tree has rings that extend outward as the tree grows. McCusick suggests that our subtle body expands and stores our life experiences in a similar way. If we apply frequency with tuning forks we can help blocked energy from past experiences move toward the energetic filtration system of each chakra, so that the stuck energy can be recycled back into our life force.

What can sound heal?

Using sound as therapy can provide results for a variety of issues including:

  • Sleep disorders

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Stress management

  • PTSD

  • Depression

  • Pain management


Is our environment a factor?

It's important to consider what kinds of sound we take in from our living environments. Loud sounds can elevate our stress levels, create imbalances in our nervous system, lower our immunity and in extreme cases, cause hearing loss.

When we are stressed, our whole relationship to sound changes, and regular everyday sounds can become magnified and contribute to the feedback cycle of the stress, amplifying it even more. By utilizing sound therapy techniques, we can become better listeners and more aware of the sounds we take in.


Many of us already have a pretty good understanding of the benefits of healthy eating, and the same can be true of sound. This is another example where mindfulness practices like chanting and vocal toning, can help us to find a center and feel grounded. In doing so, when we do have those stressful trigger moments, we may be better equipped to appreciate and discern the sounds more as our own unique symphony constantly happening around us, rather than feel overwhelmed by random cacophony.

Our body, mind and spirit always want to be moving in a direction toward balance, yet we often have too much outer stimulus and noise and not enough time to dedicate to ourselves, which can prevent us from achieving a better state of harmony. Sound has a way of helping us get to the source of this inner peace we all desire.


What is Sound Healing?


“To heal is to make sound, sound can shift frequencies from low energy of guilt and fear to higher vibrations of love and joy. Sound healing is the use of sacred instruments or voice to release energetic blockages inducing a state of ease and harmony in the body.” - Gong Master Martha Collard of Red Doors Studio


While there are many types of sound therapy, all of them produce vibrations that alter your brain waves.

“The adult body is 75% water, and water is a great conductor for sound vibration. When vibrations travel through the body, they promote circulation, energy flow, and rejuvenation. The frequency of the sound synchronizes with the brainwaves and activates destress responses in the body.” - Malbert Lee, a Hong Kong-based Crystal Bowl and Gong Master

Benefits of Sound Healing


Sound healing can help you clear energetic blockages and thus facilitate healing on a physical and mental level. Some of the benefits of sound therapy include:

  • lower stress levels

  • fewer mood swings

  • lower blood pressure

  • lower cholesterol

  • improved sleep

Over the years, sound healing has also been used to treat a number of conditions including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, and dementia.

Tuning Forks


Tuning forks are typically used to tune other instruments. However, they have healing powers of their own. Calibrated tuning forks can be held to specific parts of the body to send vibrations that release tension and open blocked energy channels. This form of sound healing is good for emotional balance and pain relief.

Gongs


Gongs have been used as a form of sound healing since around 4,000 B.C. Now, they’re used in gong baths. This is a style of meditation where the practitioner creates different tones and patterns with the gongs to produce vibrations that work on the mind-body connection. Plus, it works fast.

The gong has stronger vibrations and much richer sounds because of its size and structure. The sound can put you in a deeply relaxed and meditative theta state in as quickly as 60 to 90 seconds.


Gong baths are great for clearing fears or emotional blocks and improving mental clarity, leaving you transformed on a physical as well as mental level.


The sound wave passing through the body stimulates red blood cells, and opens up the blood supply to all organs and throughout the body. Gongs also stimulate the limbic system, forcing your muscles to relax. The sound of a gong is heard through the ears, passing through the auditory nerve, then the vagus nerve, stimulating every organ in the body. All your organs operate more effectively especially your liver and kidneys. You wake feeling refreshed and invigorated.

Singing Bowls


Singing bowls have been used in Tibetan culture since the 12th century. These metal bowls come in different sizes and each one produces a deep sound that relaxes and heals the mind. Because each bowl produces a unique vibration that works on separate parts of the brain, different sized bowls are often used together. Of course, they can also work on different parts of the body.


Bowls elicit a light dream state, and can be placed on the body to promote healing.


Vibrations move through water in the body. When this happens, it helps stimulate circulation to allow muscle relaxation and improve lymphatic flow. This particular type of sound healing has been found to reduce stress, anger, depression, and fatigue.

Solfeggio Frequencies

This is a form of music that uses specific sound patterns to stimulate the brain. These special tracks help your brain waves achieve a frequency that has many benefits. Solfeggio Frequencies are typically used for transformational purposes and can help improve relationships, deal with fear and change, awaken one’s intuition, and so on.

These Solfeggio Frequencies include a set of sacred numbers with a repeating sequence of 3, 6 and 9, and each Solfeggio Frequency has a specific purpose. These tones contain the frequency required to balance your energy and heal you. For example, the 528 hertz (Hz) frequency can be used to repair DNA and is a frequency of Universal miracles.


The 7 commonly used Solfeggio Frequencies and their characteristics are:

396 Hz – Liberating Guilt and Fear

417 Hz – Undoing Situations and Facilitating Change

528 Hz – Transformation and Miracles

639 Hz – Connecting Relationships

741 Hz – Awakening Intuition

852 Hz – Returning to Spiritual Order

963 Hz – Divine Consciousness or Enlightenment

lst CHAKRA

Root – Muladhara Keynote: C Frequency: 256 Hz. Vowel: Uh Bija: Lam Element: Earth Shabd Sound: Thunder/Earthquake Energy: Grounding


2nd CHAKRA

Sacral – Svadisthana Keynote: D Frequency: 288 Hz Vowel: Ooo Bija: Vam Element: Water Shabd Sound: Ocean Energy: Life Energy,


3rd CHAKRA

Navel – Manipura Keynote: E Vowel: Oh Frequency: 320 Hz. Bija: Ram Element: Fire Shabd Sound: Roaring Fire Element: Fire Energy: Power


4th CHAKRA

Heart – Anahata Keynote: F Frequency: 341. 3 Hz. Vowel: Ah Bija: Yam Element: Air Shabd Sound: Wind Energy: Compassion, Love


5th CHAKRA

Throat – Vishuddhi Keynote: G Frequency: 384 Hz. Vowel: Eye Bija: Ham Element: Ether Shabd Sound: Crickets Energy: Communication, Creation


6th CHAKRA

3rd Eye – Ajna Keynote: A Frequency: 426.7 Hz. Vowel: Aye Bija: Sham Element: All Shabd Sound: Bells/Space Energy: Insight, Wisdom

7th CHAKRA


Crown – Sahasrara

Keynote: B

Frequency: 480 Hz.

Vowel: Eee

Bija: Om

Element: All

Shabd Sound: Om

Energy: Transcendence


Beta


Beta state is associated with peak concentration, heightened alertness, hand-eye coordination, and visual acuity.

  • Peak-concentration

  • Heightened alertness

  • Cognition

  • Visual acuity

Alpha


Alpha state is a place of deep relaxation, but not quite a meditation. In Alpha, we begin to access the wealth of creativity that lies just below our conscious awareness – it is the gateway, the entry point that leads into deeper states of consciousness.

  • Relaxation

  • Quietly Alert

  • Introspective

  • Creativity

  • Visualization

Theta


Theta is known as the twilight state which we normally only experience fleetingly as we rise up out of the depths of delta upon waking or drifting off to sleep. In Theta, we are in a waking dream, vivid imagery flashes before the mind’s eye and we are receptive to information beyond our normal conscious awareness. Theta has also been identified as the gateway to learning a memory.

  • Waking-dream

  • Vivid imagery

  • Meditation

  • Memory

  • Intuition

Delta


Delta is associated with deep sleep and long trains of thoughts about nothingness or energy without form. During delta, we plug into our source, the Universal Energy Field, and use the energy to revitalize our mind and body.

  • Detached Awareness

  • Healing

  • Deep Sleep

Binaural Beats


Binaural beats can be used for a variety of purposes such as meditation, lowering stress levels and anxiety, increasing focus, relieving pain and aches, improving sleep, and overcoming depression.

If you listen to a tone of 200 Hz in your left ear and a tone of 205 Hz in your right ear, your brain will automatically perceive an illusory tone and produce a new frequency of 5 Hz (205 – 200 = 5 Hz). This third tone is called a binaural beat. It is a frequency follow response where the brain automatically aligns the brainwaves to this frequency. The binaural beat is an auditory tone perceived by the brain when the frequency difference is less than 40Hz and both tones are within the frequency of 1500 Hz.

Vocal Toning


This type of sound healing involves using one steady tone to balance your cells and open your energetic pathways. Vocal toning is very intuitive – it’s something we do naturally, like releasing an audible sigh of relief. That’s why many cultures throughout history – from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks to indigenous tribes – have a form of vocal toning.


Of course, there’s a good reason for this. The voice is the only tool more powerful than the gong, especially your own voice, because you are self-generating the healing vibrations to shift energetic blocks. That’s why many mantras are so powerful – they are specific tones and words that harness the energetic capacities the ancients knew.

Vocal toning uses seven tones based on vowels. Each one is connected to a particular chakra, or area of the body. Using a specific tone allows you to access a particular point of the body and begin to heal it. For example, an “ah” tone reaches the heart chakra while an “ee” sound goes to the crown chakra.

What is a Sound Bath?


What is a sound bath? The practice of sound bathing is the practice of being deeply immersed in sounds and vibrations that have the power to cleanse and heal. It is a journey of self-discovery through deep relaxation and meditation.


A sound bath is a holistic approach to relaxation and healing. It can be a perfect escape from the modern stresses of life. A sound bath can cleanse the soul and restore balance. Sound has a great influence on our emotions and health and can make us feel happy, energized and relaxed.


History of the Sound Bath


When we open up the history books to learn about the origin of sound bathing, we are taken back to the age of the ancient Greeks. Back then, sound frequencies were often used to treat various health ailments, including indigestion, mental disturbance, and insomnia.

It was believed that sound waves could calm the nervous system and balance the physical and spiritual aspects of the body. It was believed that a holistic approach which utilized the power of sound could help to relieve stress, insomnia, anxiety and depression.


In addition, sound healing has been used in various other cultures for healing and wellness, and has led to the creation of various ancient instruments, from Tibetan singing bowls to Aboriginal didgeridoos. For thousands of years, these instruments, along with chants and mantras, have been used to balance the chakras by awakening consciousness. Healing with sound is the most ancient and natural form of healing.

At the end of the 19th century, researchers began to study the application of music in medicine and healing. Those early studies study revealed that music can affect physical responses, and reduce blood pressure and heart rate while improving the metabolic process.

How Sound Bathing Works


Sound has a powerful impact on our lives and is all around us. Whether or not you use sound-producing instruments such as singing bowls and tuning forks, there is always music around you. Even a simple walk in nature will surround you with the harmonic music of the wild. Music provides relief from pain and discomfort and makes you feel relaxed.


Sound bathing is the practice of intentionally creating waves of harmonic sound which envelop and surround the body. Whether you are actively participating in the creation of the sounds or acting as a passive receiver, you will feel the healing effects of sound bathing.


Sound healing practitioners use different methods of sound therapy to enhance emotional and physical well-being. These practices are based on the belief that sounds and vibrational forces can directly influence health and well-being.


According to quantum physics, every cell is made up of small pieces of vibrating matter joined together by magnetic forces. It is believed that during illness or disease the vibration in the cells is less effective or there is a reduction in the frequency of the vibration. Alternative health practitioners theorize that when your body is exposed to healing sounds, the sound vibration helps to raise the frequency of your body which brings health and spiritual enhancement. This is the basis for the belief of alternative health practitioners that sound therapy helps you to achieve an optimal vibration.

Sound Healing Tools


Energy healing practitioners use different instruments or sound tools to create different frequencies depending on a person’s particular needs. These vibrations influence different energy fields of the body affecting the chakra or aura to bring balance to a person’s life force energy (prana). This encourages physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth and healing.


These are some of the tools commonly used during sound bathing sessions:


Tibetan Singing Bowl - This sound tool has its origin in ancient Tibetan Buddhism and is made using different metals. Practitioners strike the bowl with a mallet to create a vibration that helps to balance your energy. Singing bowls used in sound baths are often referred to as sound bath bowls, and sound baths which rely largely on the use of Tibetan singing bowls are often called Tibetan sound baths. Singing bowls are known to have excellent health benefits and have been used since ancient times.


Crystal Singing Bowl - These bowls are made of quartz crystals. Crystal singing bowls are designed to produce a specific tone to align with your specific energy center. Crystal singing bowls are often used in sound baths in conjunction with other crystal singing bowls or Tibetan singing bowls.


Tuning Forks - These are made of steel and produce a single precise tone. The practitioner will often tap the fork and hold it near your body.

Crystal Pyramid - Quartz is molded into the shape of a pyramid. The practitioner uses a mallet to strike different parts of the pyramid that produces a ringing sound which helps balance your energy.

Chimes - It is believed that wind chimes can cleanse your aura. They are commonly used by practitioners in feng shui.

Gong - This tool plays soft sacred music in a geometric pattern. It is also believed that loud sound vibration from a gong can release stuck or trapped energy from your body.


Drum - In many ritual practices, drums are used as a symbol of divinity. Drums help to heal by improving focus and stimulating your energy center.

Digital Sound - In this modern age, sound bathing can be performed using digital sounds generated by smartphone applications or digital recordings. Although this method is not as effective as vibrations that are produced in your physical presence, they can still help to relax and balance your chakra.


How to Prepare for a Sound Bath


Preparing for a sound bath means preparing for physical and emotional cleansing and healing. Bringing any emotions or thoughts to your sound bath session can inhibit the healing and cleansing process. Be aware of your thought process and try to avoid distraction in order to be fully present during the practice.


Being mindful in anticipation for your sound bath will help relax and prepare you for the process of sound healing.


Some things to consider before a sound bath:

  • Keep hydrated throughout the day. Sound waves travel better through water. When you are well hydrated, you will have a better experience.

  • Eat light and healthy food. A sound bath becomes more impactful when you have an empty stomach.

  • Set your intentions and be positive.

  • Wear warm, comfortable and flexible clothing.

  • Try to arrive 15 to 20 minutes prior to your sound bating ceremony. Settle yourself in the space with a calm mind.

The Sound Bath Experience


Sound baths are offered in either individual or group sessions.


During a sound bathing session, everyone will feel intense vibrations surrounding their body. Some will receive those vibrations and feel themselves moving to a meditative state. Others may experience emotional release.


During sound bathing, the facilitator may use a variety of tools to create sonic space, which is the frequency range that an instrument or a vocal sound takes up when it is played. Generally, a collection of singing bowls are used, although some sessions may also use tuning forks, chimes and drums. Each instrument creates its own frequency which will help guide you to providing a meditative and healing experience. These sound waves are known to trigger the creation of theta brain waves, which are associated with deep relaxation and healing.


Sound bathing generally starts with a light breathing exercise which gradually quietens the mind. Students lay down in savasana to feel comfortable and relaxed. The session may last for 60 to 90 minutes. At the end of the session, everyone is brought back using some focused breathing.


Every person experiences sound bathing differently. It may shift some into a state of deep relaxation or an altered state of consciousness, or some may even find themselves falling asleep, which is fine. The room will usually be dimly lit to set the mood.


Different sound bath instruments serve different purposes. Crystal and singing bowls help to keep energy grounded, resonate with the chakras and allow students to attain a meditative state. Bells and gongs help to remove deeply stuck energy.

Healing Properties of the Sound Bath

Experiencing deep rest, relaxation and bringing balance to the chakras is the goal of the sound bath. The harmonic vibrations produced by singing bowls, gongs or other sound bathing tools are intended to stimulate alpha and theta brain waves which resonate and trigger the deep meditative state of the brain in a way that stimulates healing. When done regularly, sound bathing can have profound health benefits. The following are a list of some of the health benefits of sound bathing: Helps to release stress and anxiety - Sound vibrations help to reduce anxiety and stress. They also help your brain enter a deep meditative state, which creates an environment conducive to cleansing and healing. In fact, studies have shown that meditative therapies can reduce anxiety and that relaxing music can reduce stress and anxiety. Decreases blood pressure and balances your nervous system - The sound vibrations produced in sound baths bring physiological as well as psychological benefits. When you enter a mindful meditative state, your blood pressure and heart rate are reduced. In fact, research published in the Journal Of Psychiatric Research found that mindful meditation practice can decrease the physiological markers like heart rate, systolic blood pressure and cortisol levels. Helps you to focus better and achieve a deep meditative state - Meditation has many healing benefits but attaining a full meditative state with a completely clear mind is not easy. The vibrations produced during a sound bath compel you to focus on the intense sounds, which helps you keep your mind clear of thoughts and distractions. As a result, a sound bath is a simple way of attaining a full meditative state. Helps balance your chakra and makes you feel relaxed - Sound bathing creates a completely safe and relaxed space. When you are lying in savasana, a comfortable and restorative pose, sound bathing can allow your body to feel more relaxed. It helps your mind let go of thoughts and rejuvenates and recharges you. Helps you find inner peace - A sound bath helps you completely reset your mind and reconnect with yourself. The healing vibrations expand your consciousness and bring inner peace. In fact, studies have revealed that the use of Himalayan singing bowls in meditation practice greatly enhance physiological and psychological responses before attaining complete relaxation.


Where to buy Instruments


https://gongs-unlimited.com - they have another site for just crystal bowls and percussion instruments but you can find great selection of tuning forks on here too.



Garden of Light on Bank St in Ottawa sells Tibetan Bowls


Tuning Forks


In my kit: Sonic Slider 111 hz Om 136.1 hz Otto Tuner 128 hz 528 hz Pineal Gland Tuner Crystal Resonator


Forks I commonly use in my sessions:


Masculine/Feminine Balance set

Holy Healing set

Clear Path set

Binaural Beats set

Solfleggio set

Rubber balls for Tuning Forks: https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/1060669188/color-removable-balls-for-tuning-forks?ref=yr_purchases Intuitive Sound - Theda Phoenix Rebecca White Raven - Ottawa Sound Healer and she sells instruments https://rebeccawhiteraven.com

Music I play in sessions and journeys:


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