Do you ever struggle to sit still and relax because your mind won’t stop thinking?
Would you like an easier way to meditate?
Combining sound with deep breathing is an easy way to help quiet a busy mind. Listening to relaxing music or the sounds of nature enhances well-being by calming our nervous system and creating a state of ease and flow.
With busy lifestyles soothing sounds reduce stress, anxiety and improve one’s mood. Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of music in lowering blood pressure, heart, and respiratory rates. The use of sound also increases the immune response and boosts our natural opiates for pain relief.
Sound has been used for generations by many cultures to bring peace and balance. Beating a drum, playing a singing bowl, or chanting a mantra all have harmonizing effects. For quieting the mind, the singing bowls are simple tools that re-direct one’s mind to relax and support focus for meditation.
Both Tibetan metal singing bowls and quartz crystal bowls emit sound waves that are physically, palpable vibrations. When the bowls are struck or sung with a padded mallet, pleasing overtones entrain the body and mind to calm. These vibratory sounds have been shown to induce meditative brain wave states of relaxation.
An observational study in 2016 examined the effects of Tibetan singing bowl meditation on 62 adults for mood, anxiety, pain, and spiritual well-being. Following the group sound meditation the participants reported significantly less tension, anger, fatigued and depressed mood. Feelings of spiritual well-being significantly increased across all participants.
Another study by oncologist Mitchel Gaynor, MD, showed that listening to certain forms of music raised one’s immunoglobulins levels (index of your immune system), showing that certain sounds support the body on a cellular level. Along conventional treatment, Dr. Gaynor included sound healing as a complementary therapy for cancer patients. His patients were instructed to play their own singing bowls daily for relaxation and immune support.
In addition to using singing bowls as a tool for meditation, one experiences a full body sound massage to help release stress and feel rejuvenated. During a sound massage the practitioner plays the bowls on and around the body, producing multiple soothing tones and vibrations. Gongs, tuning forks, and chimes may be incorporated into the sessions to support deep relaxation and peace.
How can you get started with sound meditation? Visit a local store in your community and try out a singing bowl. Playing it daily can help you feel more centered, relaxed and in-tune with yourself.
Cathleen Kuras is a Certified Clinical Musician and Licensed Massage therapist at the Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic/Oasis Health Spa. With over 30 years of experience, Cathleen incorporates a holistic approach to supporting one’s health and well-being. Her sessions involve a blending of therapies to support all ages and stages of life including Vibro-Acoustic Harp, Group Sound Meditations, and gentle touch therapies such as Cranial-Sacral, Lymphatic Drainage and Visceral Manipulation.