Sound and Music Healing

Creation and Our Inner Sound

In ancient spiritual traditions the world over, creation is said to have stemmed from Sound. We are sound. We were created from Sound and our innermost Being still vibrates with that Sound. Ideally, this sound should still resonate freely throughout our body and psyche. But we tend to get out of tune and not be able to “hear” or resonate with our inner essential sound. This often gives rise to physical or psychological problems.

In my belief all healing is based on spiritual healing -- the return of a person to some measure of his or her inner essential sacred sound.

Healing with Sound and Music

Sound healing is used in some form in traditional cultures throughout the world. It seeks to heal all aspects and levels of a person -- physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Toning, chanting, listening to music, and imagery to music -- all are powerful tools to use for healing, resolving tensions and emotional blocks, reducing stress, opening to inner creative abilities, and connecting with our inner spiritual essence.

According to many sound healers, the most powerful healing modality is a person’s own voice through toning and chanting.

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Toning is a technique of using different pitches and vowel sounds to resonate and bring changes in the different aspects and levels of our being. Toning, especially with our own voice, can affect us at a deep cellular level as well as bring our consciousness into higher levels of insight and creativity.

Often we hold our feelings and old traumas tightly in our bodies, our breathing apparatus, and our muscles. When we do this, we cut off the free flow of energy and block the full awareness of our feelings. The feelings can get crystallized and repressed, and the physical body tense and restricted.

By resonating different parts of the body with toning, we can contact blocked feelings and memories. The sound helps these energies to vibrate freely and to gently and safely loosen and be expressed in sound. It gives the feelings a voice and allows a measure of our essential life energy to flow freely.

Through sound, we by-pass the verbal censor and speak directly from the body. It is hard to hide from ourselves when we are using sound. A feeling, a quality, a strength, an undiscovered part of ourselves can simply appear through the tones -- innocently, openly, and without judgment.

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Chanting, through the continual repetition of a few short words to a simple tune, has great power to quiet the mind, to focus the thoughts, and to bring the body and spirit into a state of balance and harmony. It can move a person beyond the mind to hear and communicate with his or her inner being.

The longer you repeat a chant, the more powerful it becomes. It can bring the mind into a hypnagogic state where it can open to the quality and energy of the chant. A person may chant in order to invoke and embody a quality such as strength, courage, or compassion. The chosen quality is embodied within the chant and represented by its words and rhythm. It can be invoked by the intention of the chanter and by the chant itself. By chanting repeatedly, the person can attune and resonate with the quality, and thereby can experience its energy embodied within.

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Listening to Music

Listening to music is also a powerful means of healing. There are different kinds of music found all over the world that can be used.

There are several ways of listening to music. One way is to listen to the music after going through an induction process to bring the body and mind into a relaxed receptive state. Listening in this way, the music can act as a mirror for our inner life, feelings, and memories. We hear what we need to hear in the music. We may see images, or feel sensations or emotions. We may hear our story in a different way, from another angle, and it may hold a special, unique meaning for us.

Another approach to listening to music is to choose music that appears to suggest qualities and attitudes that we want to realize in our everyday life. While listening, we can imagine being in a familiar scene, while experiencing those qualities. Listening is thereby combined with an active, focused use of the creative imagination. By opening to the energies in the music, we can allow the music to touch and stimulate the desired quality within us.

A third way of listening is, after quieting the body, emotions, and mind, to just open to the music and allow its energies to permeate our being. Here, we simply accept and absorb its energies. This is a more passive, receptive mode.

Listening to music you like, especially when combined with imagery, has been found to reduce stress hormones and raise levels of immune cells.

Pamela Harris, M.A., MT-BC

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