06 Oct GUEST POST: THE POWER OF SOUND HEALING BY FLO LAM-CLARK
Yoga teacher and sound healing practitioner Florentina Lam-Clark shares her experience and insights on the healing power of sound.
“Float with the sound.
Melt with it into divine silence.
The sacred power of space will carry you
into the dancing radiant emptiness
that is the source of all.
The ocean of sound is inviting you
into its spacious embrace,
calling you home.”
Yukti Verse 16, “The Radiance Sutras”, by Lorin Roche
Many years ago, on our travels around the world, my husband brought a beautiful Himalayan Singing bowl from a Tibetan monk in Dharamsala, India, who had toned and chanted over it as it was made. It has a beautiful deep, rich harmonious sound, resonating predominantly with note F and F sharp– the Heart chakra and Thymus gland, which I only found out when I trained in Sound Healing with the bowls 25 years later!
I would use it to clear the space before and after working with clients during energy work and in meditation workshops. Over time, together with tingshas, tuning forks and a couple of other Himalayan bowls we acquired along the way.
But my journey with sound really started three years ago, when I attended an all-night Psychedelic Gong Bath at the Old Baths in Hackney Wick, that I was inspired to learn more. Around 50 people arrived with rolled up blankets, mats and blow-up mattresses ready for the sonic journey through the night. It was the biggest sleepover I have ever been to!
Three skilled and experienced Sound Healers took us on a journey through the elements, starting with deep mesmeric, earthy tones of shamanic drums and didgeridoos, and the otherworldly sounds of the gongs. The foundations were laid for our sonic venture. Flowing through the water element, the ocean drum’s rolling wave-like sounds transported us to the ocean, there were waterfalls and sounds of rain, to intense loud and fiery sounds of thunder, and then floating on the immersive ethereal tones of the crystal singing bowls, where I was gently carried to the angelic realms.
What struck me was how physical, emotional and spiritual this sound journey was. At times pains appeared in my body, with wriggling discomfort and then would transform into a feeling of being lighter than air, a floating sensation and deep waves of relaxation washing over me. There was intensity, then softness, the feeling of flying, visions and colours, geometric shapes spiralling in bursts, expanding and contracting. And all drug-free! I absolutely adored the experience. In the morning I had such a deep sense of peace, calm and connectedness. I felt the “unstruck” quality of Anahata Heart Chakra, which means to be untainted, unbound by the mundane preoccupations, fears, worries and concerns that we normally carry. It had such a profound effect on me that it inspired me to search out a course where I could learn. I enrolled in a practitioner course in Himalayan and Crystal singing bowls, to work with people on a one-to-one basis and in groups.
One weekend on the course, I arrived feeling an ache and discomfort in my lower back, part of the training was to give and receive sound healings, and whilst receiving the sounds from the Crystal Singing bowls, I felt an immersive trance-like peace and relaxation. Shortly afterwards my ache had gone, the positive effect felt magical and my affinity with the crystal singing bowls has grown ever since.
We know healing with sound goes back to ancient civilisations such as The Egyptians, who are said to have knowledge of sound healing, as well as indigenous peoples around the world. The ancient yogis chanted the Vedas and in the practice of Nada yoga, mantras are considered to be vehicles of inner sound that transport the mind to states of enlightenment.
Shaman healers also use sound to enter transcendent states of being. I once had the opportunity to pay a visit to a Shaman in in a small village in Sri Lanka, and witness how the continuous repetitive beat of the drum was used to take him into a state of trance, where he was able to channel important healing information. It was an incredible experience.
Modern Sound healing
We have seen such an explosion and popularity in Gong baths and Sound Baths, and it’s not hard to understand why. In air, sound travels at 340 metres per second, compared to water, where it travels at 1,500 metres per second. As the human body is comprised of 70% water, it makes us good conductors as well as instruments of sound. We are therefore very responsive to the frequencies of Sound Healing. Inside our bones are crystalline properties that vibrate to the sound waves, creating a visceral, tangible response.
Quantum Physics recognises that we are mainly energetic vibratory beings. Every cell in our body emits a frequency, when we look at an atom, we find electrons, protons and quarks oscillating around the atoms in a force field. We are comprised of more space than matter, at the microscopic level we see only 0.01% of solid matter, the rest is 99.9% vacuum space within which an electro-magnetic field emanates from our core. We are resonating and vibrating all the time and emitting a frequency, literally sending out and receiving signals. That’s pretty mind-blowing to think about!
How does Sound Healing Work?
Our energy field reflects our state of health. When we are vibrating at an optimum level of being, we experience high vitality and wellness. A field that is toxic and heavy, creates discordant frequencies that if unaddressed, will weaken the innate immune system and capacity to heal, and will lead to physical manifestation of disease.
So, whenever you are feeling stressed it is interesting to note, how you are experiencing this. Is it in your physical body? Do you have aches, heaviness, knots? Your emotions? Do you feel more reactive, less resilient? It’s important to know that the realm of the mind and our thoughts, is of a high resonating frequency, and finer than the density of the body, so if we are feeling negative, tired, lack lustre, this is a sure sign that our energy system is being depleted somewhere.
Sound Healing is energy healing. Most people come to experience the healing sounds in a Sound bath, however the therapeutic effects of sound healing can be applied on a 1:1 level, like a sound massage! I am trained to provide 1:1 sound healing sessions with either Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls or Himalayan Singing bowls.
Quartz Crystal bowls are produced by using 99.8% pure crushed and powdered silicon quartz crystal. Each Crystal Bowl is attuned to a specific pure note. Antique Himalayan (also known as Tibetan) bowls are traditionally made with 5 metals, so you will get a mixture of tones from each singing bowl. Smaller bowls can actually be placed on the body and used to massage whilst being sounded, so the resonance can felt through the muscles and bones. Sound vibration combined with the intention of bringing mind, body, emotions and soul into a state of health and harmony, is a very powerful way of accessing healing. I have found the singing bowls to be very effective at reducing high stress levels and anxiety. When a person is “off key” or sick, the clear harmonious sound frequencies act like “tuning forks”, and the body will lock into those healing sounds in accord. This is known as “resonant entrainment” and will bring the person back into balance and alignment on all levels of being – sound is like food for the soul. It has a way of connecting us to our primal essence.
1:1 Sound Healing
As we are working with the energy body in a 1:1 sound healing session, the approach to healing is from an energetic model of health, the Chakra system, which is the blueprint of the energy body. Each Chakras resonates with the musical scale, starting with note C – base chakra, note D sacral chakra, note E Solar Plexus, note F Heart, note G, Throat, note A, 3rd Eye, note B, Crown Chakra. An assessment of the chakras is made to determine which frequencies to use in a healing. Receivers can choose to receive either a sound healing with the Himalayan Singing bowls or the Crystal Bowls.
Sound has an immediate effect on our being, resonating with the frequencies of our cells, organs and biochemistry. Sound is measured in Hertz just as are our brainwaves are, so the healing intention of applied soundwaves, helps to shift brainwave patterns, shifting them from the normal waking state of Beta level and “fight flight” mode, to Alpha, Theta & Delta levels, where relaxation and natural healing takes place. This has great value on reversing the stress release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in the body, which makes Sound Healing a good therapy for stress, anxiety and releasing pain.
The benefits of Sound Healing
- Deep relaxation
- Immersive journey of sound
- Eases physical tension and pain
- Clears mind and body of stagnant or blocked energy
- Can help to inspire creativity
- Uplifting, clearing and relaxing
- Creates coherent, resonant entrainment of cells for optimum health
When receiving sound healing with singing bowls, some people go on a sound journey and are transported to a deep place of peace, there can be physical sensations of tingling, release of blocked or stuck energy, or the release of physical tension and pain.
The sounds can bring visions or can be a very visual experience or help to connect to inner wisdom and the inner resourcefulness of intuition, they can bring clarity of mind, a lightness of being that is full of ease and tranquillity.
Each person’s experience can vary and is unique. When embarking on the Sound Healing experience, one healing session can be a wonderful support to wellbeing, for more of a therapeutic approach and dealing with a particular issue, it is recommended to have three weekly 1:1 session initially, as each session builds on the last and is a progressive journey.
It is truly a wonderful way of receiving healing and I am always struck by the deep peace that ensues after a sound healing. I do feel very blessed to be able to work with these beautiful instruments of sound and I am so looking forward to when we will be able to experience it together.
Yogahome first-ever OPEN STUDIO & TASTER DAY is coming up on Saturday 16 October from 2:30 – 5:30pm.
During the course of the event, Florentina Lam-Clark will be offering six Sound Healing group sessions, you can be book here.
Or bathe in the sounds of the gong! Join one of our Relaxation & Gong Bath taster sessions at either 3:30pm or 5:00pm. Book here!