Sound healing is the practice of using vibrational frequencies to heal the body on a cellular level. Sound healing works in the framework that all matter vibrates at a specific frequency, and that dis-ease, depression, anxiety, stress, or heavy energy, causes humans to vibrate at a lower frequency. Also known as vibrational medicine, the practice utilizes the human voice as well as objects that resonate- singing bowls, tuning forks, gongs, drums- to go beyond relaxation and stimulate healing.
Discover your new favorite sound healing tool by reading about the most common ones below.
:: SOUND MAKERS ::
Generally speaking, hand drums produce a low, deep and consistent sound. It’s the type of sound that you can hear from a mile away and be drawn to. It speaks to me on a soul level… like the beat of the drum is the heartbeat of the collective and of Pachamama.
Hand drums are simple to play, as all you really need is the drum and your hand or a drum beater. To play, start by focusing on gently hitting the center of the drum every four counts then get creative! Beat around the edges, drag your hand or the beater up and down the drum to create a “scratchy” sound, beat lightly or get loud… it’s all you!
TINGSHAS & SINGING BOWLS
You may have heard the sound of a tingsha or singing bowl at the last yoga class or sound healing you attended. These high vibrational instruments have become very popular over the years, being a staple in any setting meant to induce relaxation.
Tingshas are small cymbals, joined together by a strap or chain and are struck together producing a clear and high pitched tone.
Singing bowls are bowls that produce sounds from deep to very high, depending on how they are struck, shaken, or scraped, the size of the bowl, and the type of mallet used to strike the bowl.
Personally, I love to use a tingsha at the beginning of any meditation, yoga class or sound healing to set the tone of the room and help the mind and body begin to relax. Then I will use various singing bowls throughout the session- playing them around the body, gently on top of any chakra, or to have a consistent sound as other instruments are being played.
Rattles produce a sound when shaken. The sound may vary depending on the size of the rattle and what or how much material the rattle is filled with. Traditional rattles are made of objects of the Earth and typically have beautiful imagery or unique attachments carved into or on them. These features help to keep the connection to Spirit at the forefront of your consciousness when you are using your rattle.
Shamans use the sound of a rattle to enter trance states for healing and accessing other realms to receive information for causing shifts in their own and other peoples’ energy fields. I love to use a rattle to cleanse my own energy field and any space I am working in, ensuring there is no stuck or negative energy remaining before a ceremony or ritual.
Rattles are a great tool to have as the sound is perfect for all these needs, and has the benefit of not travelling too far- it won’t disturb your neighbors at home, or bring unwanted attention outdoors!
WIND & WHISTLING INSTRUMENTS
This category of instruments spans wide and includes flutes and pipes, didgeridoos, whistles and more! Sound is produced when a stream of air from the breath is sent into the instrument. Each instrument is a bit different in the physical makeup on the outside and on the inside. This allows the sound to vary in pitch and produce all sorts of fun vibrations!
Personally, I love wind and whistling instruments because you can set an intention of the emotion, feeling or idea that you are desiring to spread then literally program your breath with that intention. Then play it. I encourage you to try this out when you find your new wind companion!
BELLS, PERCUSSION & MORE
Bells, shakers, tuning forks, oh my! Bells and shakers produce a sound vibration when shaken- pretty simple huh? Tuning forks are two-pronged forks formed with a U-shaped bar made of metal. It resonates at a constant pitch when it is struck against a surface or with an object.
Fun fact, tuning forks are actually the traditional source of a standard pitch to tune other instruments!
:: THE SOUND OF YOUR SOUL ::
Sure, yes, there is a method to making music. You can learn how to read music, how to have rhythm, to play with other people… but do you need to be an expert to play music? Absolutely not! It is our nature to create by tapping into our intuition and playing from that place. Choose the instrument that’s calling and play it, baby!