Harmonizing the Left & Right Hemispheres of the Brain
For many adults, the left hemisphere of their brain is the more dominant of the two sides. The left hemisphere tends to deal with more logical thinking including mathematics and analysis, as well as being home to the speech center of the brain. While the right half of our brain is more creative based; dealing with feelings, visual perceptions, music, dreams and spirituality. In western cultures the right brain tends to be less valued compared to the thought processes of the left side. Interestingly enough however, western societies allow children to use their creative sides of their brain, and in fact even encourage right brain thinking up until the age of about 5 years-old. However as one gets older society tends to better reward those who think logically with their left brain. Coincidently, adults have a hard time using the right half of their brain, producing creativity blocks and repressing feelings and emotions.
One of the many healing qualities of singing bowls is trying to bring balance and synchronization back to the hemispheres of the brain. In perfect situations both of the brain hemispheres are in harmony, however in the busy work weeks that so many people endure day in and day out, it becomes easier for our brain to fall out of balance. Sound healing with singing bowls aspires to stimulate the underdeveloped right side of the brain so that balance may be restored.
In order to better understand the brain, it is important to realize the two halves of the brain often independently of each other both produce brain waves, which are all associated with different states of consciousness.
Beta Waves (between 13 and 30 hertz) Beta waves are often associated with work including heavy activity and intense thinking. Almost everyone produces beta waves throughout their work day, with the waves usually emitting from the left side of the brain.
Alpha Waves (between 8 and 13 hertz) Alpha waves are usually connected to relaxation, mediation and a sense of calmness. It is often linked to feelings of love, creativity and satisfaction.
Theta Waves (between 4 and 7 hertz) Theta waves are related to the point in between waking up and sleeping or just a light sleep. Theta waves are also associated with deep relaxation, day dreaming and imagination. Some who enter hypnotic trances are putting off theta waves.
Delta Waves (less than 4 hertz) Delta waves take place during dreamless sleep. These waves generate a deep trance-like state sometimes enabling the person to recall deep repressions.
In order to achieve harmony between the two hemispheres of the brain and therefore a balance in your life it is important to try to achieve a desirable alpha state in everyday life, all the while making sure to exercise the right side of the brain. Anneke Huyser, author of Singing Bowl: exercises for personal harmony, suggests using relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, listening to soft music and guided visualizations; all of which can be complemented by the use of singing bowls.
Very little is known about the effects singing bowls can have on brain waves, but experiments and tests have shown that with only 20 minutes of sound therapy from a singing bowl, many people coming from a high stressful situation, including work or a traffic jam, were able to reach a relaxed state; with many of them being able to reach theta waves and a few even being able to peak into delta waves. With continued use of singing bowls and sound healing it is possible to make alpha waves the most prominent of your brain waves when confronted with high stress situations that would have caused increased pressure in the past. As always, the intent of the person is the most imperative part of relaxation techniques and the search for synchronization between the two hemispheres of the brain; and as long as a person is willing to open up their mind and body to the resonance of the singing bowl, healing effects can mend and sooth the soul into a sense of peace and harmony.