A Little History Lesson…
Singing Bowls originated eighteen thousand years ago in a pre-Buddhist shamanic tradition, Bon Po. Not much is known about how they were used at that time, as the earliest surviving documents referring to the tradition derives from 9th Century BC. Today they are manufactured in Bhutan, Nepal, India and Tibet but also in Korea, Japan and China. Traditionally they are hand-made from the alloy of elements such as gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, tin and lead. These metals symbolize energy of some of the planets in our Solar System together with the Sun and the Moon. Crafted from this “heavenly” mix, singing bowls have been used for centuries for healing and transformation of consciousness.
The science behind vibration…
Scientists are now discovering the physics behind these powerful healing tools. One cannot neglect the impact of the sound of the singing bowls and their ensuing effects. Contemporary science can measure this impact, thus confirming their influence on health.
Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, Director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in New York has been using sound, including Tibetan Singing Bowls, in conjunction with cancer patients for many years:
If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies. One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.
The Medical Director of the Deepak Chopra center in California, Dr. David Simon, found that the sound created by Tibetan Singing Bowls are chemically metabolized into ‘endogenous opiates’, that act on the body as internal painkillers and healing agents.
In line with our wise ancestors and medical doctors there are plenty of practitioners around the world recognizing the wonderful effects of metal sound bowls to help the human body restore balance. A few examples propagating the healing knowledge of “sacred sound” from singing bowls include the Peter Hess Institute in Germany, the Surana Moyca Morya organization in Slovenia (teaching Meridian Sound Massage) and the UK has its own College of Sound Healing.
But how do they really work?
Let us turn our attention to physics for some insight. Albert Einstein brought us a famous formula: the mass-energy equality formula. Put simply, matter is understood as concentrated energy. Another brilliant physicist, Max Planck, discovered the constant number linking energy and frequency, thus proving their equality. We can conclude that the frequency has a direct effect on matter and moreover it has a possibility of changing it. Going further we can say that every piece of matter, every one of us, every organ of our body is emitting some frequency or ‘energy’. If that frequency is “out of tune” it is not resonating with other organs and this causes disease in the body. The body is healthy if all its cells resonate in harmony with one another and as a whole, which means that they emit their natural frequencies. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, a healthy body is represented by an uninterrupted flow of energy and disease is due to a blockage in that energy flow. Singing bowls help to restore the natural vibration or natural energy flow.
The evident benefits of using singing bowls are as follows: one becomes more grounded, present in the “here and now”; relaxation; clarity of mind and a well rested, energized body. What occurs on a deeper level is still a mystery for some; however, a deeper understanding may be gained experientially by surrounding oneself in regular Sound Baths for the therapeutic values.
Singing bowls are affordable but when should you decide to get one? Be sure to check if the sound pleases you, the length of the sounds produced and if you can feel vibration in your body when the bowl is lying in your hands. As an alternative, you can try attending a sound bath or sound relaxation/meditation event where a specially trained person treats you with different sounds from various instruments such as gongs, shamanic drum, shamanic flute, conch, didgeridoo alongside singing bowls. It really is a magical experience.