Are you all feeling the amping of energies lately just as I am? Astrologically, we are in very interesting times. Time itself seems to be speeding up, information (and misinformation) is a constant onslaught, and change is not only imminent but mandatory. We’re all being asked to up our game. If we don’t take time out to empty and find our way back to neutral, we’re going to have a harder and harder time keeping up.
Toning is such a great way to clear your mind, body, and spirit of all the brouhaha. Even if you practice the following technique just minutes a day, you’ll feel the impact.
This particular exercise is adapted from one I learned from my mentor, Dr. Gene Nathan. It consists of three sounds and three centers:
Om dan tien (or lower belly)
Begin by placing your hands on your heart. Tone the sound ‘Ah’ aloud on any comfortable pitch. Do this three times. Then move your hands to your dan tien. Here you will tone the sound ‘Om” with an emphasis on the ‘mmm’. Do this at a lower pitch than the ‘ah’. Finally, place your hands on your forehead. Here, you sound a ‘Shh’. Repeat this cycle, three times at each center, for at least three cycles.
After each tone, notice how your energy is shifting. Take your time. Notice especially the connection that occurs between each center, each helping to reinforce and strengthen the others. And notice how the ‘shh’ quiets the rattled mind. Enjoy!
I know somewhere along my blogging journey I have shared the work of Andrew Kemp, creator of the Quantum K Healing Experience. I want to share it again for anyone who may have missed it. And even though he has withdrawn his Quantum K-2 in order to perfect it, the video is still available, and I find it quite powerful as it stands.
You will find many translations available on both his Vimeo page and on Youtube, so share this healing experience with your friends around the world.
Ready to settle down for the night and want a toning exercise that will quiet the mind and help prepare you for restful sleep? Give AH-OM-HUM a try.
It is very similar to AUM or OM, but there is a subtle yet powerful difference. These three syllables are a purification practice, perfect for releasing the day and all its constructs and entering the dreamtime.
Rather than toning AH-U-MM or OH-M, you are toning the three sounds, AH, OM and HUM (pronounced HOOM) in sequence all on one breathe to the end of a single exhalation. On the inhalation, rest and reverberate the sound in your mind. Then begin again with sounding on the exhalation.
Some of you may be familiar with the Buddhist mantra OM AH HUM. The sounds serve the same function. They just do so in a different order. I learned AH-OM-HUM in my trainings in Yungdrung Bon. You can experiment for yourself and find the sequence that works for you. Each way you do it will stimulate different aspects first.
Tuning forks, similar to those used to tune a piano, are also used as instruments of sound therapy. One system of using tuning forks called Acutonics is similar to acupuncture, but rather than inserting needles, special tuning forks are used along the meridians, or energy pathways, of the body. The vibrations created by the tuning forks are received through the body recalibrating organs and cells and bringing about a healthy vitality and restored balance.
Next Time: Individualized Composition & Improvisation
The Tibetans are masters at healing with sound. Tibetan bells, ting-shas, the shang, gongs, and other instruments are used to shake up the energy in the body and dispel disease, shift stagnated energy, or fill the body with healthy vitality. For example, ting-shas are special bells used to scan the body and actually change pitch or timbre to signify energies in the body that need to be cleared.
Himalayan bowls are sometimes placed on or around the body to allow their vibration to penetrate into the cells while bells and gongs are played near or around the body to shower it with intense, audible vibrations. Science has shown that these bowls emit alpha waves which are the same waves emitted by the brain in meditation. Achieving this state is essential to healing as it activates the body’s own wisdom to heal itself.
Next time: Tribal Instruments
The voice is by far the most versatile and sensitive of all the sound therapy modalities, and the range of healing offered is as individual as those who facilitate it. There are voice healers who help clients access their own voices either through singing, toning, chanting, speaking, or even movement. One needn’t be a “singer” to take part in this type of experience, but for those who are a little shy about singing solo, there are toning groups or workshops offered by practitioners. The results of such vocal exploration can be greater confidence to express oneself, richer vocal qualities, purer and more effective communications, stress-reduction, and an experience of joy.
A therapist may also use his or her own voice to help others. For example, a therapist may sculpts sounds by sensing subtle energy needs and matching or contrasting various frequencies that help a person move energy in various parts of the body. Still others may sing improvised melodies or lyrics that relate to healing a certain memory or experience in the client’s life.
Voice Analysis is another branch of voice healing with many variations. The premise for voice analysis is that changes in pitch, volume and speed of the expressed voice reveal strengths, weaknesses, and imbalances of the individual. These deficiencies are then brought into balance using frequencies or tones and exercises that can help by restoring the voice to its full power. Whether performed by a computer or a practitioner, voice analysis can bring a new awareness to the potential of one’s voice, our greatest tool for self-expression and creation.
There are other specialized modalities in voicework as well, such as Shamanic Voicework and Vocal Toning Meditation.
Next Time: Tibetan Instruments
As our lives become ever more complicated and the world around us continues to change at breakneck speed, more and more people are seeking different and deeper ways to connect and return to wholeness. The field of sound therapy, while ancient in its roots, is just now emerging into the mainstream in answer to this need, garnered by the support of ever-increasing clinical applications and research. So, what is sound therapy all about?
Sound is simply vibration. And science reveals what we can’t see with our eyes—that all of life is vibration. What appears solid, like a hard table, is actually comprised of vibrating atoms engaged in a musical composition of great mystery and complexity. Our bodies are no different than that table; we only appear solid to the limited perception of the eye. But unlike the dense table, the body is much more impressionable to shifts in energy.
Disease manifests when we fall into resonance with harmful vibrations, be they of mind, body or spirit. Sound therapy, by tapping into vibrations that are supportive and beneficial to our bodies, and through something called entrainment, brings the body back into a state of health. But just as you don’t need to understand how the internet works in order to send an email, you don’t need to comprehend the scientific or spiritual principles behind sound to benefit from sound therapy.
The world of sound therapy is rich and diverse. There is without a doubt something for everyone. But with all the choices, how on earth does one decide which form of sound therapy may help? This series is meant to provide background information to help you make your choice, but it is by no means exhaustive. Once you know what is available, follow your intuition, experiment, and trust your own experience.
Next time: The Voice