Sound Healing with Singing Bowls
One of the great attributes of singing bowls is there ability for the individual to create their own healing treatments for themselves. There are no clearly-defined rules when using sound treatment and it is important to note the intent is more vital than the usage of a specific bowl. Many therapists feel it is the intent that truly powers the sound and the intended healing behind the bowl being used; so getting into the right state of mind is imperative when beginning sound healing.
While everyone has their own way of performing a sound healing, there are a few points that people use to get started. When getting treated with sound some practitioners like to talk to their clients to get a feel for the individual person and what might be ailing them, others make a point not to talk at all before or after the healing to make sure not to disturb the chakras. However, if there are multiple treatments it might be beneficial to talk about the experience with the practitioner so as to help better facilitate the experience.
A sound healer, or someone providing sound healing, needs to be prepared to deal with people who have many different levels of feeling and emotions, many of which are deeply set. The therapist must be equipped to handle such emotions if they are to help restore the patients to feeling of balance. It is also important that the therapist be sure to keep a close eye on their patient to make sure they are comfortable and benefiting from the experience. If the patient is relaxed, breathing easily and has somewhat of a smile on their face then they are probably open to the sounds and are taking it all. But if the patient looks pale, is not relaxed and is appearing to hold their breath then some relaxation techniques and breathing exercises might be necessary before continuing with the sound healing. It is important to note that those who have a problem relaxing and letting go of their mind might be fearful of the lower tones that some of the larger singing bowls have, but if they remain still and quiet the reverberations tend to disappear and the patient is able to appreciate the sounds and the relaxation that comes with slow humming. For many people, falling asleep is very common and it is sometimes considered a safety release for those who are incredibly stressed. By falling asleep many healers feel it allows the patient to better absorb the healing powers of the singing bowls by shutting off their mind and thought processes; allowing the sound to flow more easily through the mind and body. Many therapists will also use several instruments other than the singing bowls including tingshas, bells and gongs.
Experiencing a Sound Healing
When the patient arrives for the sound healing the singing bowls, tingshas, bells and gongs should already be in place in and around the treatment area. Anywhere from 15-30 bowls and 3-7 tingshas can be used in this process. The patient will lie down either on a massage table or on the ground. The larger, deeper sounding bowls should be placed near the legs and feet of the patient and the smaller lighter sounding bowls and tingshas should be placed closer to the upper part of the body and head.
To begin the sound healing the therapist will alternately and softly strike the tingshas and smaller bowls while holding and striking a larger bowl above the patient and moving it from the feet to the head searching for areas of unbalance or distortion. To locate such areas the therapist closely listens to the bowl for variations in the sound vibrations. After discovering an area of unbalance the therapist will pause overhead and gong the bowl with three variations of pressure trying to saturate the area of distortion with high, medium and low tones from the bowl. When the area has regained its balance the bowl will regain its typical and full range and he or she can move on with the sound healing.
After listening to and locating unbalance all over the body the therapist will begin to gong the bowls placed around the body and may give the feet a sound treatment by placing the ankles on a pillow and holding a bowl against the tops and bottoms of the feet so that the person may feel the vibrations. Other methods the therapist can use would be the placement of singing bowls on the patients stomach or chest. After getting the bowl to sing the therapist may gently place the bowls on the body, letting the reverberations echo throughout the stomach or chest cavities.
After completing the sound healing for the front of the body the therapist will have the patient slowly roll over and lie on their stomach. A larger thick-sided bowl which produces deep tones may be placed in the middle of persons back, with a smaller lighter sounding bowl placed on the upper back. The two bowls will then be alternately struck, with some high-sounding tingshas being lightly gonged and slowly passed over the whole body, by doing this it should allow for any energy blockage to start flowing freely again.
The tingshas and sometimes gongs are used to end the sound healing session as they are meant to provide a grounding effect for the patient. It is important the patient feels grounded before they leave and some therapists even provide a neck massage and some suggestive words to make sure the patient has completely returned to the present and they can go back home and make a comfortable return to daily life. A sound healing session can take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half, but longer sound massages can take upwards of two and a half hours; it all depends on the stress levels of the patient and what is required to bring that person back to balance.
Other Sound Healing Applications
1) Breathing Exercises
2) The Lemniscate treatment (a sound healing massage where a singing bowl is moved over the body in a figure-eight pattern to restore the bodys energy balance).
3) Intense treatment with various gongs
4) A facial massage
5) More focused aura healing and chakra treatment
6) Harmonizing the left and right half of the brain
7) Directed mediation or image exercises
Self Sound Healing
Conducting a self sound healing massage is difficult since you are unable to completely relax because you have to gong the bowls yourself, but it can be done in a way that does provide a certain sense of relaxation. One method would be to play a recording of singing bowl music, and then you can fully give in to the sound. It is important to read any instructions that may come with any singing bowl recordings and it is usually recommended to listen to the sound through speakers instead of headphones. Another method that you can use is a simple sound healing massage. Make sure you wont be disturbed during the healing process. Lie down on your back, take at least three deep breaths and try to relax as much as possible. Place a larger deeper sounding bowl on your stomach about two finger-widths below your navel a point that is near the perfect middle of your body. Exhale quietly and gong the bowl letting the vibrations pass through your body.
After completing this exercise, experiment by placing bowls on other points of your body including the seven chakra points. The larger bowls with lower tones tend to work better for the chakra points that are lower on your body and the smaller bowls with higher tones are generally for the points higher on your body. It is important to note that after the reverberations have been silenced you remain lying down and you enjoy the sounds and vibrations that you felt as well as the silence that now envelops the room. At the end of any sound healing session it is imperative that one must be able to enjoy the silence in themselves in order to be able to reflect on yourself and how you can carry this feeling of peace and relaxation throughout your day and workweek.