Sound Healing: How an Ancient Practice Provides Modern Day Relief
By Cindy Lilly
Balance, harmony, a calm and clear state of mind. These are qualities many of us desire, yet they often seem impossible to find in our busy, stressful, everyday lives. The truth is our natural state is one of harmony. Modern day life, with its demands, expectations and distractions simply pulls us away from our naturally peaceful place. On top of that, with our full schedules and long lists of to dos, it can seem overwhelming to try to fit in time to unplug from the things that overwhelm us and plug into the practices that bring us back to our healthiest, most optimal states. One of these is sound healing.
Also known as sound therapy, sound healing is an incredibly soothing and relaxing experience (perhaps making it a little more desirable to schedule in)! The concept of sound therapy has been around for thousands of years and is based on the idea that every part of your body creates a vibration that resonates in a certain way. Vibrational healing is based on the idea that everything in the universe – including our bodies – is in a state of vibration.
The role Sound Healing can play in optimal health and wellness…
When your body is out of balance, diseases can result. That is, illness is caused by blockage which stops the organ in question from vibrating at its healthiest frequency. Sound healing works by sending sound waves throughout your body, which brings harmony through oscillation and resonance. This helps restore your body’s natural balance, which in turn helps you heal.
Singing bowls are often utilized in the course of sound therapy. Crystal singing bowls are one type of bowl commonly used. These are also known as quartz singing bowls or glass singing bowls. Various alternative health practitioners believe the use of these bowls can have a significant beneficial effect on the healing of your mind and body, especially when combined with positive affirmations in the forms of mantras and chants.
One of the reasons for the use of crystal singing bowls is the belief that our bodies are made of crystalline structures. For this reason, it is believed that crystal singing bowls significantly affect all the organs and cells of your body. In addition, some alternative health practitioners believe your brainwave frequencies and state of consciousness can be positively charged by the vibrations that are created during sound bowl mediations.
What are crystal singing bowls?
These are clear or frosted and are made in a variety of sizes ranging from 5 to 24 inches. Clear crystal bowls are generally lighter, smaller and can be played while being held in hand. During the manufacturing process, crystal bowls can be “programmed” to create specific sounds using digital technology, depending on individual needs. When played simultaneously, some bowls harmonize with each other. Crystal singing bowls are made of pure quartz (essentially 99.8% silicon quartz) and sand in a spinning mold, in a process that heats the mixture to about 4000 degrees.
The body has a natural affinity to quartz. On a molecular level, our cells contain silica, which balances our electromagnetic energies. The crystal acts as an oscillator – magnifying and transmitting a pure tone. As the sound affects brainwave activity, one can enter into an altered state of consciousness. As different parts of the brain are affected, it is probable that they release different hormones and neuro-chemicals.
Each quartz singing bowl is digitally matched to the musical scale – C, D, E, F, G, A, B – which relates to different chakras, or energy centers, of your body. Bigger bowls produce deeper sounds that have a more grounding effect and resonate more strongly with the physical aspect. Smaller bowls have a higher pitch which stimulates higher chakras and resonates more with the spiritual aspect.
The roots of Sound Healing
Singing bowls began their journey in the ancient time of Buddhism. It is believed that singing bowls were an integral part of practicing Buddhism. Notwithstanding these origins, sound therapy has traveled across many religions and cultures throughout their history.
The significance of sound, and its important role in supporting the human spirit and our physical, mental, and emotional health, has been well known throughout the generations. Our ancestors practiced sound and vibration therapy to resonate with the body’s energy centers or chakras and support optimal health.
Some energy health practitioners also claim that crystal singing bowls are most effective relative to other metal bowls on the theory that metal is foreign to the human body. Further, it is believed that crystal singing bowls are aligned to match the frequency found in the human body and that this makes them the most dynamic and modern type of tool used for sound bowl therapy. It is also for this reason that many believe that crystal singing bowls are the best singing bowls.
You really have to try this for yourself – not only will you have the space to completely relax and unwind, you’ll be transported on a journey to greater health and healing!
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Cindy Lilly, eRYT500, is a Columbus, Ohio based yoga instructor who is passionate about sharing the healing benefits of yoga. Through thousands of hours training in a variety of styles including yin yoga, restorative yoga and meditation, she has developed a style that centers around relieving tension from the body and stress from the mind so that the channels for health and healing open up for each student.