There are many types of sound therapy however the following discussion will be limited to tools and techniques researched, designed and approved by the Vibrational Sound Therapy Association.
As described by the Vibrational Sound Therapy Association, Vibrational Sound Therapy (VST) induces a state of deep relaxation through the combination of powerful vibrations and tones. Using therapeutic singing bowls directly on the body, induces sound waves directly into the bodies tissue, as well as providing soothing ambient tones, sending you into deep relaxation that some have described as a dreamlike, trance or meditative state.
Vibrational sound therapy has profound effects on the body, and the mind. The more your muscles relax from the vibrational frequencies, the more your mind relaxes from the repetitive tone and frequencies. Relaxation is not only a physical state but also a state of consciousness as your mind relaxes and slips from your awake beta state to alpha state to delta, or theta states, your cells are given an opportunity to heal and rejuvenate. Your breathing, and heart rate will start to slow down, and your body absorb the waves of vibration into its tissues and cells. As the heart rate slows, blood pressure falls, and arteries expand giving rise to the feeling of warmth. Insulin levels will rise, and the cholesterol levels will fall. Your immune system is at its best when you are in a relaxed state which allows the body to repair itself instead of responding to outside concerns.
The theta brain wave state is associated with meditation, sleep and deep relaxation. The delta brain state is a deeper form of sleep, and is also associated with hypnosis. Most people will slip between these states, in and out based on your position and bowl placements.
After waking from a state of deep relaxation it takes some people a few minutes to reorient (fully awaken) themselves. People often report a feeling of mental and physical relaxation that they carry with them after the session is over. Relaxation and meditative states of mind have also been shown to increase the threshold for emotional response, helping us control our emotional responses to our outside influences. Like meditation and hypnosis, VST can help us be more internally aware, while being more present in the moment, and more connected with our surroundings.
VST is enjoyed fully clothed and you can choose to be covered with a blanket for warmth if desired. Only the singing bowls will touch you as they are placed at location upon your body.
Since our cells are made of mostly water, it is best to be well hydrated in the 24-hour period before the session to assist your cells in transmitting and absorbing the frequencies of the singing bowls.
A session is usually 30 to 60 minutes long. A client intake form will be completed and discussed during an initial session with a Vibrational Sound Therapist to discuss any particular problems or issues they are experiencing to help determine the session goals.
The Therapist will discuss the placement of the bowls on the body and the position (face up or face down) of the body on the table.
For the actual session, the client will rest comfortably on a therapy table with their shoes removed. Unlike massage therapy, no articles of clothing are removed and a client is always fully clothed; loose, comfortable clothing is suggested. A blanket may be used to cover the client if desired.
The session will then proceed with the Vibrational Sound Therapist signaling the start of the session with Tingshas. Beginning at the persons feet bowls are placed at specific locations to send intentional healing frequencies into the body and mind by using the measured strike technique. The session will be very pleasant and relaxing. The client might feel like they are dreaming or in a deep sleep. At any time if the client is uncomfortable or needs to move, adjustments will be made and the session will continue. The session will end with the chiming of the Tingshas. The client will then sit up slowly and consume some water until fully physically and mentally alert.
WHAT IS IT USED TO TREAT?
Vibrational Sound Therapy is a method of deep relaxation that can relieve stress and improve emotional well-being. VST is not meant to diagnose or cure any diseases. Many people use VST as part of a wellness routine. The applied use of sound and intention can be a pathway to the meditative state that is both therapeutic and enjoyable. VST is a great tool to use as a complement to traditional medicine.
HISTORY OF HIMALAYAN SINGING BOWLS
The history of Singing bowls goes back more than two thousand years in the Himalayan region that encompasses India, Nepal and the region held by China that was once known as Tibet.
The most popular name for these instruments are Tibetan Bowls but this is not exactly accurate. At the time the bowls first started to appear in the Himalayan region, the people of the Tibet did not have the knowledge, or the resources to produce fine metal objects.
The bowls were initially native to Nepal, and India, and were only later brought to Tibet. Here the bowls were welcomed by the predominantly Buddhists inhabitants of the area and became associated with Buddhist religion even though the bowls were not a prominent part of the ceremonies of this religion. The bowls were sometime used to hold offerings, or burning incense but were mainly used as a utensil for things like the cooking and storage of food and goods.
There are many stories claiming bowls as antiques, bowls made by monks, and bowls made from the 7 sacred metals (gold, silver copper, tin, iron, lead and mercury). These claims are rarely if ever backed up with written documentation, but are used for marketing purposes.
From ancient wisdom and tradition to the 21st century precision Zen Bowls were designed specifically for therapeutic applications. Therapeutic grade Zen Bowls are world-class instruments, specifically engineered to provide vibration over sound. The bowl sizes and vibrational characteristics are matched to appropriate body zones. The Zen Therapeutic Bowl series were designed for use in hospitals and are the safest singing bowls on the market today.
Zen therapeutic bowls are made from virgin metals (80 percent copper and 20 percent tin) with less than 0.001 percent impurities, a purity of metals never before seen in bowl manufacturing. The purity of metal provide uniform and consistent results, which provides a powerful high quality sound vibrations. Zen Bowls are handcrafted in Nepal, by artisans who are paid higher than a living wage and are provided health care and health and safety training annually.