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The Healing Power of Sound

Throughout history, Indigenous cultures have used the power of sound vibration to heal – through drums, bells, gongs, singing bowls, early musical instruments and the human voice (chanting and singing). Everything that moves has a vibration, and wherever there is sound there is vibration. According to Suren Shrestha, “When we use sound coupled with intention, which is the most important aspect of healing, we can direct sound vibration to raise the body’s vibrational frequency.” (“How to Heal with Singing Bowls”) Every cell in our bodies vibrates with movement. Our bodies are also made up of about 60 percent water. Did you know that sound travels faster through water than through air? Sound vibrations can help to release energy blockages in the body, improve immunity, synchronize our body and mind, and help us release negative thought patterns and traumas.

My personal sound journey began with voice and drumming – learning some of the powerful songs of indigenous people in the United States, and listening and dancing to the drums at Powwows.

As I got older, I studied Middle Eastern and North African and Indian rhythms through dance and drumming. Then, mantra became an important part of my meditation practice. More recently, I trained as a sound healer with tuning forks and Tibetan and crystal bowls.

In Yoga, healing with sound is called Nada Yoga. According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, “One who desires true union of yoga should leave all thinking behind and concentrate with single-pointed attention on the nada (sound).” The Gheranda Samhita states, “Put the self in the sound and the sound in the self. When the self is sound all else falls away.” In Ayurveda, much like in Chinese medicine, it is believed that by stimulating various marma points in the body along various energy channels (nadis and chakras), one can facilitate healing, relaxation and balancing or harmonizing energy in the body. This can be done with pressure like acupressure, massage, or with the use of sound – either mantra or tuning forks placed at the marma points where healing is needed. This is more complicated than healing with the singing bowls as it requires an understanding of how energy flows through the marma points and nadis as well as a basic understanding of the doshas and gunas and how the body might become out of balance as well as how to restore balance.

Sound baths have become popular because of their relaxing and healing effects on the body and mind. They are a great way to experience the healing power of sound in a general group setting. But more specific and powerful healing can be achieved in a private sound healing session, where there is an intake form, and the healer uses sounds specific to the client’s needs. This is where marma point and chakra therapy can come into play using tuning forks and/or mantra as well as Reiki or healing touch. If you are interested in learning more about how sound healing can help you, please contact me at

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