From our first heartbeat to our last breath we are governed by a multitude of rhythms. The seasons mark the passing of time and stimulate our urges toward the inner and the outer world. Our life path and its stages prompt our ways of being. Similarly, tempo mirrors and governs our state. The question that arises though is “are we in rhythm”? The drum, as a therapeutic tool, has the ability to bring us back into a more balanced rhythm and to give us the ‘rhythmic vitamins’ we so often crave as a counteraction to the imbalance we can so often experience in our busy lives.
From the use of ‘entrainment’ to Shamanic Journeying and even sonic massage, the drum has much to offer both as a passive recipient and as a collaborative drummer.
Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls
Made from pure silica quartz crystal, these bowls originated in California. They were manufactured as chalices in the production of microchips. Occasionally contaminants were found in the bowls and they were discarded until a curious boffin noticed that they produced a sound (and what a sound it is). From Silicon Valley the bowls found their way into the hands of Californian Sound Workers and the rest, as they say, is history. Nowdays the bowls are manufactured specifically for Sound Therapists either in a centrifuge (producing an opaque bowl) or hand blown (producing a smaller clear bowl). All bowls are made from pure quartz crystal.
Energetically and vibrationally, quartz crystal has unique properties and the sound and character of the bowls reflect this in both sound and ‘feeling’. Their character has been described as ‘crystalline’ and ‘other worldly’. The bowls produce an almost pure sine sound wave and are, as such, devoid of harmonics. This means that, unlike the Himalayan Singing Bowls, they produce an identifiable and clear pitch. For this reason the bowls (with their very lengthy sustain) are uniquely placed when working with harmonic intervals and the effects they create (for more on intervals and their therapeutic qualities see my article in the journal section of the website).
My collection consists of a full ‘Chakras Set’ and octave duplicates – totalling 12 bowls.
The Healing Powers of Sound.
Sound Therapy refers to a range of therapies in which sound is used to treat physical and mental conditions. Indigenous societies around the world have traditionally used sound in healing ceremonies, including drumming, hand-clapping, singing, dancing, and pulsating since the beginning of time.
Sound Therapy techniques vary but all involve the application of sound waves and harmonic vibrations to the body through the use of instruments, including the human voice. Sound helps to facilitate shifts in our brainwave state by using entrainment. Entrainment synchronizes our fluctuating brainwaves by providing a stable frequency which the brainwave can attune to. By using rhythm and frequency, we can entrain our brainwaves and it then becomes possible to down-shift our normal beta state (normal waking consciousness) to alpha (relaxed consciousness), and even reach theta (meditative state) and delta (sleep; where internal healing can occur).
Imagine receiving a gentle bath of sounds allowing your body to let go and move into a deeper state of relaxation.
Sound Therapy is effective in not only achieving a state of relaxation but it also has a way of moving through blockages in the body. Sound Therapy has been known to help treat such conditions as stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, sleep disorders, pain and autism.