Why we need Sound Therapy

  Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, with Tibetan singing bowls in a Manhattan office in 2005, advocated natural and traditional medicine.     CreditJoyce Dopkeen/The New York Times

Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, with Tibetan singing bowls in a Manhattan office in 2005, advocated natural and traditional medicine. CreditJoyce Dopkeen/The New York Times

More and more people are becoming interested in using sound as a therapy. It is nothing new as it is a return to ancient cultural practices that used chants, singing bowls, drums and other vibrational instruments to restore health and relieve pain. Also known as vibrational medicine, the practice employs the vibrations of the human voice as well as objects that resonate-tuning forks, gongs, Tibetan singing bowls and crystal bowls, to go beyond relaxation and stimulate self-healing. 

The potency of sound not only promotes relaxation, which is tangible after a gong bath, but it can relieve ailments, from common aches and pains to the anxiety that accompanies chemotherapy. Every object has a natural vibrational rate and this is called resonance - we use this a great deal in conversation now 'it resonates with me' and this isn't just a new way of expressing ones connection with things. It is because we are more aware of the importance of being 'in-tune' both with ourselves and our world. One of the basic principles of using frequency as a transformative and healing modality is to understand that every part of the body is in a state of vibration-every organ, bone, tissue and system has its own unique frequency so that being in good health means being in harmonic health. If a frequency is counter to our health it creates disharmony with other parts of the body, creating dis-ease. 

An area of health that we are interested in exploring  at Studio Britford is sound pollution. Living in a city or even a small town means that we are living with noise. The etymology of 'noise' derives from the Latin 'nausea'. We are bombarded by upsetting ad stress-inducing sounds every day. Road traffic, sirens, car alarms, rubbish trucks, large lorries, construction equipment, mobile phones, loud music, the list goes on. Noise pollution is among one of the most perversive pollutants to which we are exposed. 

Having regular exposure to a form of Sound Therapy, be this Acutonics, Tibetan singing bowls or gong baths, is immensely good for ones overall health. The drop into relaxation increases with each session as the sound penetrates deeper into the body, releasing and working through blockages. The humna voice is perhaps the most powerful of all healing modalities and we hope to have regular voice workshops to help overcome the great fear many of us have in finding our true, authentic voice and.....singing infront of others!

Dr Mitchell L. Gaynor (who died last year) was an oncologist and clinical professor of medicine at Weill Medical College, Cornell University and author of 'The Healing Power of Sound'. He suggests that when the heart rate is steady and breathing is deep and slow, stress hormones decrease. This is significant because stress can depress every aspect of the immune system. He distinguishes between curing and 'healing'. To 'cure' is to physically fix something, to 'heal' refers to wholeness, a union of the mind, body and spirit. Sound healing is integrative medicine-it compliments science.  

Interesting fact: Musical intervals and the body:

In examining the human body, the anatomical proportions resemble the waveform expression of musical intervals.  For example, the distance between one’s extended toe to the top of the sacrum, relative to the top of the sacrum to the top of the head is 3:2, the same ratio as the interval of a fifth (the note C to the note G).  These musical ratios exist throughout the body.

“Proportion is not only to be found in numbers and measures, but also in sounds, weights, intervals of time, and in every active force in existence.”

–Leonardo da Vinci

 

New additions to the Paiste gongs:

We have 3 more Kyeezee, also know as Burma Bells to join the 12lb large one that dates from 1904. The tones of these smaller bells compliment each other and together and apart give a complex and lovely low 'dong' with little overtones and no splash. 

Although there are several types of Burmese gong, the most common are the temple gongs and the triangular-shaped Kyeezee or 'spinning' gong. You will hear the smaller of the Kyeezee move around the room during a Gong Bath as it is easily transportable and as it spins it gives a warbling effect. The Kyeezee is a triangular shaped piece of bronze, often decorated and carved and is quite thick in the cross-section. They are often used in meditation. 
Below is an excerpt from Far Cathay and Farther India (1893) by Alexander Buxton MacMahon which shows how meaningful and valuable the kyeezee has been. From getting back a captive, to an item to salve the pain from being jilted by your lover, the kyeezee was there.
"Their passion for the possession of kyeezees is so pronounced that it is said instances are by no means rare of their bartering their children and other near re lations for them, in subservience to a superstition that the deep-sounding note of these monotoned instruments propitiates the Nats and averts evil from themselves. In the settlement of serious quarrels, or in the redemption of captives, the in demnity with them always takes the shape of a kyeezee, with buffaloes and pigs as a make weight, just as in Western countries a concession of territory or perhaps some men-of-war is insisted on. In their social disputes also it forms an important feature, for according to Dr. Mason a girl who has been jilted can claim from her false lover a kyeezee for her body, another for her head, and a gong to cover her face for shame."


 The smallest Kyeezee on the right spins and as it does so the warbling tone speeds up and when it gets to the top of the string and begins to reverse, the warbling tone slows down.

The smallest Kyeezee on the right spins and as it does so the warbling tone speeds up and when it gets to the top of the string and begins to reverse, the warbling tone slows down.

 The 12lb Kyeezee with inscription 

The 12lb Kyeezee with inscription 

 A Kyeezee hanging from a chain in a wooden monastery in a small village in Burma. 

A Kyeezee hanging from a chain in a wooden monastery in a small village in Burma.