Like many people, I have been drawn to music my entire life. From banging on pots and pans as a child with Mom’s wooden spoons, to singing around the campfire, to playing the clarinet, saxophone and violin as a youth… I now find myself drawn back to my roots with music. I have attended drum circles for a number of years, and have graduated to facilitating them. All I really knew was I felt connected, energetically cleansed, and ALIVE when I stepped away from the circle and went home. The feeling of the drums vibrating through me lasted for hours, sometimes days, and it felt great! And why not? Think about it. Sound physically moves things, not just “energy”. Place something on top of your speakers and then turn them up loud, and you can watch sound move things. Bang a drum really loudly, and listen to the pictures on your walls rattle. The drums are the simplest way of seeing that sound moves energy, because it moves stuff in the physical realm. And it’s doing that inside of us, with our cells, our organs, our blood flow, our thought waves, our energy body (chakras and meridians). It’s shaking things up, and revitalizing us.
My next step was to move to Tuning Fork training. Because I had worked with the drums and energy for so long, it was an easy shift for me to understand how these incredibly fast, finely tuned vibrations, could move energy, and cause the physical and energetic body to respond. When we listen to the forks next to our ears, certain sounds resonate very deeply with us, and if we pay attention, we become aware of which part of our body we “feel” the sound in. Other sounds are disturbing to us, and we can feel those in the body too, and our impulse is to stop that sound, but if we follow through with it, we might find that something “shifts” by just being in that sound. I was amazed when I received my first tuning fork session from Kyle Glassford, because even though I couldn’t hear the forks when they were doing work over my chakras, I could FEEL it. They weren’t touching me, in fact they were up to a foot away from my body at times, but I could feel the fork spinning, or turning, or brushing. I was amazed at how sensitive my body was to sound that it couldn’t physically hear! Tuning Forks can’t be used for group meditations due to the high frequency of the sound – it’s not loud enough for groups, but they make for wonderful personal energy healing sessions.
Recently I have acquired a full chakra set of Crystal Singing Bowls *insert happy dance*. For me, it feels like bridging the gap between the drums and the Tuning Forks – because, like the drums, the sound is incredibly loud, with deep vibrations, I can feel it moving through my physical body, they move stuff in their direct vicinity, and like the forks, it is targeting specific areas of the body with the notes. Each bowl is tuned to resonate with one of the 7 main chakra centers in our body; chakra centers are all aligned with glands, organs, and the emotional body. What I learned with Tuning Forks, can be directly applied to the bowls. Through the use of raising up, and lowering certain chakra energies in the body, we can facilitate activation of specific healing, and personal development. The possibilities are endless – we can activate and heighten intuition, creativity, awakening and healing the inner child, improving patience, working through anger, etc. etc. etc. It’s not just about balancing the chakras – although that certainly is one of the wonderful and beautiful things that Crystal Singing Bowl sessions and meditations can do.
For anyone curious about what crystal bowls are made of – they are composed of 99.992% quartz, which is crushed, and then heated to a ridiculous heat (4000 degrees) and then molded.
Some Science-y Stuff
Sound initiates change in the immune, autonomic, endocrine, and neuropeptide systems. Organs, atoms, cells, glands – all levels of the body, large and small – absorb and emit sound. Our body, including our brain waves when in a relaxed state, vibrate at a fundamental frequency of about 8 cycles per second, and this entrains and attunes us to the basic electromagnetic field of the earth.
To look further into sound and healing, one would definitely want to explore cymatics, which is a study of patterns and shape, and sound. Dr. Hans Jenny, a Swiss scientist, first opened up the field of cymatics by studying vibration in physical form – using sand, iron fillings and other materials. The result of these studies was a plethora of kaleidoscopic images. I have seen some amazing videos on YouTube about cymatics – look it up, check it out, it really is ultra-interesting! If sound is creating these beautiful shapes and patterns in sand, what exactly is it doing on a cellular level with our bodies?
Medical doctors and scientists are now applying and translating the field of cymatics into medical science and practice. Mitchell Gaynor, M.D., director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the Stang-Cornell Cancer Prevention Center, wrote a book called Sounds of Healing. Dr. Gaynor uses Tibetan bowls and crystal bowls in his cancer treatments. His book and his personal work provides a thorough study of sound healing and a holistic approach to mind-body healing.
A few other examples in the medical field are Sir Peter Guy Manners, M.D.. He is an English osteopath, and is using cymatic therapy to create a near-ideal metabolic state in a cell or an organ. There is also Jeffrey Thompson, D.C., who implements a technique called “Sonic Induction Therapy”, using sounds from nature and primordial sounds to promote healing at the cellular level.
*thank you to Crystal Tones for this information*
Ok, Enough Science-y Stuff!
Science has come a long way in exploring the effects of sound and music in the body, and it still has a long way to go. The holistic healing community is way ahead of science, and so is our natural intuitive sense that leads us to enjoying music – whether it is songs on the radio, chanting and mantras, singing and clapping our hands, or singing a lullabye to an infant. Sound is soothing. Sound is healing. And our natural inclination towards sound suggests it has something that we really need.
~ Tracey Rogers, March 10th, 2015 ©