The healing and inspirational properties of sound have probably been used by humans since the animistic healers used sticks, stones, and call-and-response during ritual traditions at the dawn of humankind.
Chanting and reciting mantras, using tuning forks and singing bowls, singing and humming, and call-and-response have been incorporated in religious traditions and healing therapies even before science began to investigate resonance, the sound frequency/vibration inherent in everything in our world — from rocks to trees, to the food we eat. According to laws of physics, everything vibrates, and that vibration must cause sound waves.
“Whether or not we hear it, everything has a sound, a vibration all its own.” — Joshua Leeds, The Power of Sound (Healing Arts Press, 2001).
Resonance is the frequency at which an object naturally vibrates, and healing traditions based around sound therapy are based on restoring the natural resonance of our body, and the belief that unbalanced resonance creates illness and disease.
According to researcher Stephanie Rosenbloom, “…healers, sometimes called sounders, argue that sound can have physiological effects because its vibrations are not merely heard but also felt. And vibrations, they say, can lower heart-rate variability, relax brain-wave patterns and reduce respiratory rates.”
According to Karen Olson’s article “The Healing Power of Sound” singing bowls are used by Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, an oncologist and assistant clinical professor at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College in New York. He writes in his book, The Healing Power of Sound: Recovery from Life-Threatening Illness Using Sound, Voice, and Music (Shambhala, 1999), “I believe that sound can play a role in virtually any medical disorder, since it redresses imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning.”
Check out the video of how one massage therapist incorporates singing bowls, then read more about sound therapy and how it can work with massage in the blog below.
“Sound travels about four times faster through water than it does through air. Since our bodies are about 70 percent water, sound becomes a first choice for a natural therapy. Matching the frequencies of healthy resonance can provide stress relief. Adding sound therapy modalities is an easy, natural way to achieve this goal. Once stiff muscle and trigger-point areas are identified, the appropriate sound modality can be introduced for release and relaxation.”
Image courtesy of: wezm