More Information on Sound
Sound has been used for thousands of years in indigenous cultures all over the world, to heal and transform the body, mind, and spirit. Ritual, rites of passage, initiation, meditation and healing have all used sound to facilitate this. These ancient instruments are thought to hold powers of healing within them. Application of these instruments to the body and around the body (energy fields) with the intention of health and harmony, have the ability to transcend normal consciousness and experience bliss and a stressless state. When in this state, the mind, body and spirit can heal and rejuvenate.
"Music has touched the human soul across all boundaries of time, space, and genre....Perhaps, in its vibratory nature, music opens us to a greater appreciation of our essential connectedness to the cosmos, our oneness with all that is."
Prof. Balfour M. Mount
Sound can travel through our bodies very effectively, as we are, on average, comprised of 70-80% water. The powerful affect that sound can have on water can be seen in the work of Dr Masaru Emoto, who has demonstrated how the structure of water or ice crystals can be dramatically altered when sound carrying an intention is directed towards water. Sound can be a conduit through which healing energy can pass into the physical body, and move easily to areas which need healing. Different frequencies can have different affects.
"A person does not hear sound only through the ears; he hears sound through every pore of his body. It permeates the entire being, and according to its particular influence either slows or quickens the rhythm of the blood circulation; it either wakens or soothes the nervous system. It arouses a person to greater passions or it calms him by bringing him peace. According to the sound and its influence a certain effect is produced. Sound becomes visible in the form of radiance. This shows that the same energy which goes into the form of sound before being visible is absorbed by the physical body. In that way the physical body recuperates and becomes charged with new magnetism."
Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Sound baths bring the therapeutic application of sound frequencies to the body/mind of a person with the intention of bringing them into a state of harmony and health.
Sound can be transmitted to a person in a number of ways:-
Through using their own voice
Through using their voice with other voices
Through using their own voice while listening to music
Through listening to another person’s voice or a number of voices
Through listening to an instrument or instruments
Through listening to music or sound through a loudspeaker or headphones
How Does Sound Healing Work?
Each organism has its own vibratory rate. Every object in the universe has its own unique resonant frequency. Tap a wineglass and it will emit a ringing sound determined by its size, shape and the thickness.
When an opera singer vibrates a glass with her voice the singer has matched her voice to the resonant frequency of the glass and set it into vibration. As the singer increases the volume of her sound the resonance becomes too great for the forces that hold the glass together and it shatters. Luckily, our bodies are more flexible than a glass! The cells of our body enjoy the vibration of sound.
Modern medicine now uses sound waves to break up kidney and gallstones in the body. The machine used is called a Lithotripter. This machine bombards the stones with a specific sound frequency for one to two hours. The patient is admitted in the morning and discharged in the evening. Generally no anaesthetic is needed. With most patients only one treatment is necessary to break the stones down. The pulverised stone is passed out of the body through the urine.
Every organ, every bone, every cell in the body has its own resonant frequency. Together they make up a composite frequency like the instruments of an orchestra. When one organ in the body is out of tune it will affect the whole body.
Through the principle of resonance it is possible to use sound to bring the body back into harmony hence avoiding the need for drugs or surgery.
In 1665 a Dutch scientist Christian Huygens, 'discovered' the principle of 'entrainment'. This principle states that whenever two or more oscillators in the same field are pulsing at nearly the same rate, they tend to lock in and begin pulsing at exactly the same rate. The powerful rhythmic vibrations from one source will cause less powerful vibrations of another source to lock into the vibration of the first source.
Systems theory states that; "the less diversity there is in a system the more energy it will conduct." It takes less energy to pulse in cooperation that in opposition. The composer Paul Hindemith said "People who make music together cannot be enemies, at least while the music lasts!"
Nature seeks the most efficient state. We see the law of entrainment in action when birds fly together in migration; they will flap their wings together and glide at the same time to save energy. Women who work or live together will often find that their menstrual cycles will synchronize.
The principle of entrainment can be experienced when one sings in a choir. If you are singing next to someone with a strong voice it is easy to sing your part. If the person with the strong voice is singing a different part to you it becomes much harder to hold your part.
If you sing a strong clear harmonious sound to a person who is sick or out of balance their body will lock into your powerful healing sound. The principles of resonance and entrainment are both at work in a sound healing treatment.
Recent scientific research has identified specific sound frequencies, which relate to different parts of the body. Therapeutic application of the appropriate sound frequencies can help disorders in those parts of the body.
If a part of our body is out of balance we can retune it like tuning a piano. If a piano is out of tune, do we drug the offending key or rip out the offending piano wire? This is precisely what we do to the human body.
Rudolph Steiner said: - There will come a time when a diseased condition will not be described as it is today by physicians and psychologists, but it will be spoken of in musical terms, as one would speak of a piano that was out of tune.
Jonathan Goldman in his book 'Healing Sounds - The Power of Harmonics' says: - "When we have learned techniques for harmonic toning, the human voice is able to create nearly every frequency, at least within the bandwidth of audible frequency".
Jonathan offers the simple formula: - "Frequency plus Intention equals Healing". If we can find the right sound frequency coupled with the right intention then healing will occur.
Intention is another important principle underlying the way sound healing works. If we sing a pure sound to another person with a pure intention then healing will occur.
Every action we perform has a conscious or unconscious intention behind it. We can see the principle of intention at work when a mother sings her baby to sleep. In a Sound Healing treatment, the sound carries our intention to the person receiving treatment.
Research in the USA has shown that certain sounds are under stress in our voices. These sounds correspond to imbalances in our bodies. Changing our voice pattern changes our brain wave frequencies and reduces illness.
Removing the stress frequencies in the voice has helped to reduce high blood pressure; it has helped diabetes, emphysema, and eye problems, reduced pain and speeded up the body's healing.
Our voice is the ultimate healing instrument. All of us have the ability to create pure tone and vocal harmonics. There is a Sufi saying that "The voice is the only instrument made by God. All other instruments were made by man."
Toning is an easily learnt skill that begins to free the voice again. Regular toning helps to re-energise the body and restore health to the mind, body and spirit. There is a saying in Germany that ' bad men don't sing'!
When groups of people tone together, it produces a tremendous feeling of connectedness.
Laurel Elizabeth Keys in her book 'Toning the Creative Power of the Voice' says: - "A whiny weak voice will suck in negativity, attracting lingering illness like cancer, asthma, allergies, tumors, rheumatism and arthritis. No healing will be possible until the person reverses their tonal pattern".
Laurel discovered toning by accident. One day her body became filled with a sound so great that she had to express it: - "Each time I toned, my body felt exhilarated, alive as it had never felt before, a feeling of wholeness and extreme well-being".
EVERYTHING IN NATURE IS VIBRATING.
Our body has a whole number of rhythms:-
Heartbeat - normally between 60 and 75 beats per minute (Resting 60 / Average activity 72)
Breath - normally 14 to 16 breaths per minute
Cranio-sacral pulse - 8 to12 times per minute
Gastrointestinal tract - contracts once a minute
Stomach - contracts every three minutes
Brain waves - waking state 18 to 22 cycles per second (see earlier in the book)
Body temperature - changes from day to night
All these rhythms will be affected by the drumbeat.
When we are in a state of stress our heart beat can increase to 87 beats per minute. When we are deeply relaxed this rate will fall to around 57 beats per minute.
The regular rhythm of the drumbeat will entrain our heartbeat to its rhythm. In a healing session we may take a person's pulse to determine their heart rate then begin playing at that rate. Over a period of ten minutes we can gradually reduce the drum beat rate to help the person to relax. We can watch their breathing rhythm to gauge how quickly their heart rate and breathing rate has entrained to our beat.
(Article written by Simon Heather who is Principal of The College of Sound Healing.)