• Karla Neblett

Can sound vibrations heal?

A special yoga class

It was great to have 30 people join KarmaTree Yoga on Sunday! As it was the end of our first six-week block, Marc arranged an extra-special class with guest teachers. Tash guided us through sun salutations and introduced us to pigeon pose which is especially good for hips and glutes. After this, Nyima, from Tibet took over. He shared the story of his time in India where he ate one meal a day before leading us in chanting and sound healing using his incredible collection of singing bowls.

Can sound waves heal you?

Everything is made from atoms, every atom vibrates. When sound waves travel through air they cause the air to vibrate, this makes our eardrums vibrate and this is how our brains perceive sound. Our “brainwaves can be altered by various external stimuli… especially music”[1]. Music is “considered in vibrational terms as transferable energy, which impinges upon our body and senses.”[2] It can affect mood. It both rouses and relaxes us through stimulating particular brainwaves (alpha and beta).

Music can create alpha brainwaves. These brainwaves are proven to release serotonin (“the happy chemical”) in the brain, which is directly linked to our moods. If you are feeling relaxed, your brain will be running with alpha waves.

Low-frequency sound waves (inaudible to humans) have been shown to have a positive impact in relation to pain in people who suffer from fibromyalgia [3] and musical interventions have proven to have positive impacts on heart rate, respiration, perceived anxiety, depression and mood in neuroscience patients. [4]

Musical intervals are said to have a positive effect on health and “when we listen to all the intervals in the musical scale it is profoundly healing to our body and our mind”. [5]

Musical intervals are set in nature. If a violinist plays an A note on the A string, it will vibrate 440 times a second, if they go down an octave (the eight notes to make the scale which follow the musical intervals) to playing the A note on the G string, it vibrates 220 times a second.

That these musical notes are set in nature is mind-blowing. That every cell in the human body has its own resonant frequency (a natural frequency at which it vibrates) is incredible. According to tama-do.com, Fabien Maman conducted research demonstrating that acoustic sound could influence human cells, even exploding cancerous cells.[6]

What are the benefits of singing bowls?

In our class on Sunday, Nyima took a large singing bowl and chimed it in front of each of our faces. After this, he took an even larger bowl with water in and chimed, splashing water, onto each of our heads asking us to visualise being a tree with the water nourishing us at the roots.

Tibetan singing bowls are used to bring about deep relaxation and meditation. They are believed to emit the universal sound. The vibrations of singing bowls are thought to vibrate through the water and cells in the body creating a balancing and healing impact.

There is evidence that singing bowl sound meditation positively impacts psychological factors such as mood, anxiety, and well-being.[7] If a person is able to control stress and tension this can reduce risk of physical illnesses and negative coping mechanisms. Therefore, sound meditation using singing bowls can have both positive psychological and physical benefits.

Idea for the week: Music and sound is a beautiful way to positively influence mood. Try starting each day for a whole week by playing a favourite song.

Delight in meditation and solitude. Compose yourself, be happy. You are a seeker. - Buddha

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6130927/ [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6603256/#!po=3.52564 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325896 [4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20621273/ [5] Raghu, M. 2018. ‘A Study to Explore the Effects of Sound Vibrations on Consciousness.’ International Journal of Social Work and Human Services Practice. Vol 6. No 3. Pp 75-88. [6] https://tama-do.com/roothtmls/cell-research.html [7] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2156587216668109

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