Chocolate is so delicious partly because it releases feel good endorphins that, well, make us feel good. A pleasure, unfortunately, with some unwanted side effects. But if you are in need of a guiltless fix then perhaps singing bowl therapy is for you. Singing bowls produce sounds that effortlessly take us to a happy place where our endorphins live. Listening to the unearthly harmonies also takes you into a deep state of relaxation akin to meditation, without the painstaking effort to focus and control our thoughts.
Singing bowls refer to the ancient instruments called Tibetan Singing Bowls and the more recent crystal singing bowls. Both are used by sound therapists around the world in a modality called sound therapy for both healing and relaxation.
Deepak Chopra endorses sound therapy and says, "The body is held together by sound; the presence of disease indicates that some sounds have gone out of balance."
The medical director of the Deepak Chopra Center in California, Dr David Simon, found that "the sounds from Tibetan Singing Bowls, as well as chanting, are chemically metabolized into 'endogenous opiates', which act on the body as internal painkillers and healing agents."
Another proponent of sound therapy is Dr Mitchell Gaynor, the director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in New York. Dr Gaynor pioneered the use of sound in the early 1990s, including Tibetan and crystal singing bowls in his care of his cancer patients. As he explains in his book The Healing Power of Sound: Recovery from Life-Threatening Illness Using Sound, Voice and Music (Shambhala, 1999), "One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. I believe that sound can play a role in virtually any medical disorder, since it redresses imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning."
According to the law of physics, everything in our universe vibrates whether we hear it or not - the chair you're sitting in, your pets, your organs, your cells, the food you eat, in fact, everything animate or inanimate - each resonating at a different rate.
When we experience good health our body and its parts are vibrating at their optimum frequency and we are "in tune". But in our fast paced and stressful world, we are constantly bombarded by energy that is less than harmonious, which affects our energy systems and alters our frequency causing us to go out of tune. When an organ, or other part of the body, is vibrating "out of tune" or non-harmoniously it can manifest as discomfort and eventually disease. A body is in a healthy state when each cell and each organ resonate in harmony with the whole being.
Sounds from the singing bowls played harmoniously together entrain the brain to move into the Theta brainwave frequency, which induces deep states of relaxation and states of peace. It is here that the frequencies engage the nervous system and inhibit the stress and pain response and allow the body to heal and rebalance.
Sound Therapy has been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure, stimulate the immune system, reduce stress, reduce pain and stimulate the production of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.
Sound therapy may be at the cutting edge of healing and will one day, like yoga and meditation, enter the mainstream.
A sound healing session or a sound "bath" relaxation session is vibrational chocolate and some say just as addictive.
Miranda Munro is a sound healer based in Toodyay Western Australia - kyela.com.au