As I sat in the ceremonial space, submerged in the beautiful sounds of the Himalayan Singing bowls and other ancient instruments, I knew there was something magical about this. Even before I understood the complexities of sound and its therapeutic benefits, I was mesmerised. This experience was a catalyst, which led me to discover Sound Therapy and how it affects us on all levels of our being.
What is fascinating, are the physiologically effects of sound in a therapeutic environment. We all know the soothing nature of a flowing river and how the hustle and bustle of traffic in a city can send us into stress and chaos. Or how we choose fast-paced music to motivate when we exercise and slow, meditative music to relax. Working with instruments that have been part of culture for thousands of years such as the Himalayan Singing bowls dating back 4,000 years, the Gong and even the Medicine Drum, it doesn’t take long to see why these instruments have been part of prayer, ritual healing and ceremony for so many years. Their incredible beauty and simplicity can call you back to your true self.
Combining these ancient technologies and drawing on the knowledge of sound wave properties, pitch, volume, rhythm, intervals and so on, we have the ability to create a space where deep relaxation and transformation is possible. Each instrument has its own unique sonic signature that affects the mind, body and spirit in particular ways. For instance, the Himalayan Singing bowls are rich in overtones, which create a warm and grounded signature and are often described as giving a ‘sonic hug’. While the Crystal bowls have a sustained pure tone that offer an expansive and ethereal quality.
Therapeutic sound is a wonderful tool for deep relaxation and has been found to relax the autonomic nervous system, allowing the stress hormones to reduce with a lowering of heart rate and blood pressure. Regular relaxation may have a positive effect on stress-related illnesses, muscle tension and pain and many people report feeling deeply peaceful, even blissful after a session.
In a therapeutic environment, sound is known to alter brainwave states through a process called entrainment. The lowering of brainwaves can result in an altered state of consciousness and through this process; a softening of the ego may be experienced. The vibrations have the ability to shift energy in the system, whether that may be on the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or energetic levels. This can manifest in any number of ways, from a release of pain or tension in the body, tears, flashes of insight even a stirring of emotions or memories.
Each sound experience is unique and as a tool, offers us the ability to reflect and be present with ourselves in the moment. Wherever you are, you’re surrounded by sound. So next time you’re listening to your favourite song or the birds singing, take a moment to be present and notice how it affects your mind, body and soul.
Article by Ania Przybycien
Ania developed an interest and love for the ancient methods of Sound Healing after discovering the many therapeutic benefits it offers. She combines her studies in Sound Therapy and knowledge from Yoga teacher training to create a space where transformation can take place.
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Event Details: Yin Yoga & Sound Healing Workshop with Hugh Lee & Ania Przybycien