We know that sounds are stimulating and we also have the technology to be able, in fact, to recharge people with them. -Dr.Alfred Tomatis, Surgeon, Sound Researcher and Author
Sound has tremendous effects on your mind and body. It affects the nervous system, emotions, and is also linked to memory, activating either a sympathetic (fight-or-flight) or parasympathetic (rest & digest) response. The sympathetic response manifests into stress and anxiety and the parasympathetic response into calm and relaxation. Think of what the sound of a large, growling dog, nail on chalkboard, a crying child or the sound of the ocean waves do to you. And what about a once favorite love song back from your high school days? Where does that take you? And what about the sound of your alarm clock? How would you start to look and feel if you lived on the ocean? And what if you lived in the middle of continuous traffic and other noise pollution? Do you think there would be a difference in the quality of your mind and well being?
We know that everything is made up of atoms, and that atoms are in constant motion (which we refer to as vibration), the speed of which determines whether things appear as solid, liquid or gas. Sound and thought are also vibration, and they affect how atoms crystalize into form. That form can be the printout of us, our organs, our bones.
Not surprisingly, these sound waves, or vibratory frequencies, have an impact on our health. When we are dis-eased, it means that our cells are no longer vibrating at optimal frequencies. What that means is, dissonance leads to dis-ease.
Our bodies can be recalibrated through entrainment (basically, synchronization) of the brain waves and nervous system to the high vibrational frequency of sound healing instruments. Entrainment is how the heartbeats of a mother and child sync up when they lie together. Or how women's menstrual cycles sync up when they live together. Or how the balls of a pendulum begin to swing together. Entrainment can happen both ways-- to uplift or to lower the mind-body frequency. We can use this understanding by becoming self-aware of how our bodies feel and by making informed choices to expose ourselves to frequencies or sound waves that add to our well-being rather than subtract from (like turning on the local news or engaging in gossip).
First, let me point out that modern science is now in agreement with what the ancient mystics have told us—that everything is in a state of vibration, from the electrons moving around the nucleus of an atom, to planets and distant galaxies moving around stars. As they’re creating movement, they are creating vibration, and this vibration can be perceived of as sound. So everything is creating a sound, including the sofa that we’re sitting on, or this table, or our bodies. Every organ, every bone, every tissue, every system of the body is creating a sound. When we are in a state of health, we’re like an extraordinary orchestra that’s playing a wonderful symphony of the self. But what happens if the second violin player loses her sheet music? She begins to play out of tune, and pretty soon the entire string section sounds bad. Pretty soon, in fact, the entire orchestra is off. This is a metaphor for disease. I have the greatest respect for traditional allopathic medicine. But with regard to our string player who’s playing the wrong music, allopathic medicine currently has the approach of either giving this player enough drugs so she simply passes out, or cutting her head off with a broad sword—analogous to surgery. I ask the question, “What if we could somehow give the string player back her sheet music?” What if we could somehow project the correct resonant frequency to that part of the body that is vibrating out of harmony, and cause it to vibrate back into its normal, healthy rhythm, restoring it to a condition of health? That’s the basic principle of using sound as a healing modality.
Sound Instruments we use at UYC:
34" Paiste Gong-- the sound of the gong is so complex and unpredictable as each tone reverberates back and forth, overlapping each other, that the brain doesn't know what to do with it. New neural pathways and brain patterns are created while our brain entrains itself to the sounds and accesses the parasympathetic response of calm and relaxation. It is a powerful healing modality that soothes the frayed nervous system and begins to repair dis-ease. More on gong therapy: Spirituality & Health: Purify with Gong Healing, by Teresa Bergen. Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls-- they clear blocked and stagnant energy from our energetic structures. "Not all sound affects our systems the same way, says Beverley Wilson, owner of Mt. Shasta’s Middle Earth Crystal Room. While Tibetan bowls 'are absolutely wonderful,' she says, their sound 'doesn’t penetrate our bodies in the same way because we have very little metal in our bodies.' On the other hand, Utz points out that we are primed to receive the sound that crystal bowls make in our bodies because we are water and our bones have a crystalline structure that creates an entrainment between sound and body." -- from the Yoga Journal article Why are Crystal Singing Bowls Everywhere Lately? by Michelle Marie Wallace.
Sacred Drumming-- "The reason rhythm is such a powerful tool is that it permeates the entire brain. Vision, for example, is in one part of the brain, speech another, but drumming accesses the whole brain. The sound of drumming generates dynamic neuronal connections in all parts of the brain even where there is significant damage or impairment such as in attention deficit disorder (ADD)." from Ancient Healing Approach: Drum Therapy.
Mantra Meditation/ Our Voice-- "One of the most powerful instruments for healing and transformation is the human voice. Singing, overtoning and the chanting of mantras profoundly affect our well-being due to their therapeutic and calming influence... mantras are energy based sounds that vibrate throughout the body and chanting these sacred sounds..can bring us to a higher level of consciousness. The human body is over 70% water and since sound travels five times more efficiently through water than through air, it is an excellent conductor for sound and vibration." --Harmony of the Spheres: Science of Sound, Sound's Amazing Power to Heal and Transform. Mantra Meditation serves to shift negative thought patterns by recoding over the sabotaging mantras that we often play in our heads over and over again. These sabotaging mantras are usually a version of "I'm not good enough," or "it's my parents' fault." Mantra meditation raises the vibratory frequencies of our inner biome, strengthening our nervous and immune system functions as well as our overall sense of well being. What we manifest around us matches the frequency at which we vibrate, and chanting is a powerful tool that is with us all the time that can elevate our vibratory frequency. Mantra meditation also strengthens the heart center, expressive ability and our magnetic field.