Sound Healing & Music Therapy
Sacred Sounds, Music, Rhythm, Turn Taking, Mirroring, Matching & Movement with Sound - Powerful Energy!
'Music is a form of Healing before it's an Art.'
'I think music was created to bring our vibration back to its intrinsic self.'
- Dr Marasu Emoto
What is Sound Healing?
Sound Healing is an ancient art of using different instruments including the human voice, to facilitate physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing.
Sound Healing is not limited to hearing the sounds because it is the vibrations or the sound waves, that penetrate the skin, bones and all the organs in our body. Every organ and part of our body vibrates at a different frequency and when not vibrating efficiently, this is when dis-ease can develop.
The voice is the most powerful healing instrument and a Sound Healing Practitioner uses their voice to scan the body to identify areas which are 'out of tune' and causing a blockage or a disruption of energy flow; and to 'heal' or start the 'healing process' of that area in the body. The Sound Healing Practitioner will also use other instruments during a Sound Healing treatment session such as gongs; singing bowls; bells; chimes; drums; rattles; a flute; Tuning Forks and many other ancient, sacred and what might seem like unusual, instruments.
Receiving a Sound Healing Treatment is a different experience for everyone and an experience that is very relaxing and often one where you will often find inner peace and feel the release, dissipation and resolution of past trauma, emotion, and physical and emotional scars and injuries. As a Master Practitioner in NLP I am also very well trained and experienced to coach you through any experience you may have and guide you to your desired outcome relating to it.
During a Sound Healing treatment you may also be invited to sound with your Practitioner and this can be to teach you how you can resonate with your own body to relieve pain, both physical and emotional, give yourself love and compassionate and use this wonderful practice to cope with anything you experience as a challenge in your life. You may also be given sound healing exercises to practice following the treatment to continue with and enable you to manage your own healing process.
As with many Healing modalities, the Practitioner considers him/herself as a channel for sacred sound healing and will initiate the healing session with a prayer or mantra of their choosing, asking for guidance and for the sacred energy to be channeled through them from the universal life force energy (or God) to the client. The prayer and intention of the practitioner is important for the healing to take place.
You may wish to understand this better and see and hear what I mean by watching the documentary video about Dr Marasu Emoto's experiments and research findings on the power of intent, thought, words (spoken & written) on frozen water crystals here.
I am a qualified and accredited Sound Healing Practitioner. I graduated from The College of Sound Healing. I have been using Sound Healing with children and adults on the autism spectrum and receiving some very exciting and encouraging feed back...
This 12 year old boy 'O,' took part in eight sessions of Sound Healing altogether and he always left his sessions happy and wanting to know when he could come again. Below are some photos of 'O' after his more formal session on the treatment couch, playing the didgeridoo during one of his sessions. After each session he would excitedly interact with me and mum with the many other sound healing instruments such as the Hapi Omni Drum, the American Indian Flute, Bells and singing bowls and many more... He was excited to hear that he was learning another language - 'sound language!'
'O' also shared some Sound Healing sessions with mum where he learned how to sound on mum's body and sing her name to her for healing. When parents join in with they child's session it can be a very profound and positive experience for both the child and the parent and can support a 'magical' re-connection between them in a safe space away from the stress and strains of everyday life and its challenges. The calming effects can have an underlying lasting effect emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Mum and 'O' also received Assemblage Point Alignment & Healing and this enhances all other healing treatments because it realigns all your body's energy system, including the Chakras which means that any other types of healing, even, 'conventional' healing has a strong and balanced physical, emotional and spiritual foundation from which to work.
Here is some feedback from mum about her son's session and her joint sound healing experience:
'Hi Caroline, here are some photos of 'O's' session, which he really enjoyed. The session had a really positive effect on him in the form that he slept through the night, seemed calmer around food/dinner table, engaged in playing with toys (doll figures). We also noticed he engaged in current conversations which didn't last long but is a definite plus! 'O' said "It makes me less fuzzy, like when I'm under water." Which is his favourite place because it makes him really calm.'
'Our joint sound healing was really nice as it was something we could do together and 'O' said it made him feel safe. I enjoyed sharing with him and him sounding and singing my name over me was very calming and it felt like we reconnected on some level!'
'Sound Healing has been really amazing and the changes it has created have been very noticeable. I personally, have bitten my nails all my life but after two sessions of sound healin, I stopped and several months later they are still growing! Day to day stresses don't seem so stressful any longer, I sleep better and for this reason, I took my non-sleeping ASD son to Caroline for this reason, who really benefited after every sound healing session session. He slept through the night. Several months later, his sleeping is much improved as is his general mood, he is much calmer. Thank you Caroline.'
More in depth information about Sound Healing...
What is Sound?
‘Sound is the source of all being; vibration is the basis of all our reality.’
– Jonathan & Andi Goldman.
According to the English Oxford dictionary, ‘Sound’ is,
‘Vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person's or animal's ear.’
However, not all sound can be heard and this article based on my sound healing dissertation, will show how sound is much more than this!
What is Healing?
According to the same dictionary, ‘Healing’ is,
‘The process of making or becoming sound or healthy again.’
Therefore, Sound Healing is,
‘The process of using vibrations that travel through the air or another medium (such as the body) that can sometimes be heard by the human ear and enable a person or animal to become sound (or in tune) in body, mind and spirit and/or healthy again.’
Sound is measured in hertz or cycles per second which is called a frequency. This means that the vibrations you are hearing are vibrating so many times per second. Therefore something vibrating 128 times per second is called a frequency of 128 hertz or 128hz for short. This specific frequency has been shown to release nitric oxide in the body which is necessary for the initiation of any healing process in the body. It is also frequency of the interval created when the ‘C & G Whole Body Tuner’ tuning forks are sounded together. The note ‘C’ in the Harmonic Spectrum Tuning Fork Set is 258hz and the note ‘G’ vibrates at 386hz. An interval is a frequency that is created when two frequencies are sounding together and is the difference between the two; in this example the frequency of Note G, 386hz minus the frequency of Note C, 258hz produce a frequency of 128hz interval.
A human being can generally hear frequencies between 16hz – 16,000hz and children can sometimes hear up to 18,000hz, if their ears have not been damaged by listening to loud music!
How does Sound Healing work?
Everything in the universe is a vibration of frequency. This means we are an accumulation of vibrations and every individual part of us vibrates at a different frequency depending on its density and fluidity. Our bodies are made up of approximately 70-80 percent water and each organ, muscle, ligament and bone vibrates at a different resonant frequency. Resonant frequency means ‘natural’ frequency for that specific matter or material (or in this context, body part).
Water is a very good conductor of sound and vibration. You can see this when you see the ripples in a pond after throwing in a pebble and when you swim under water, for example in a swimming pool, you can hear sounds from outside the water. If you put some water in a singing bowl and run the striker around its edge to make it sing, you will also see the vibrations in the water form a fountain and feel the vibrations in the palm of your hand whilst you are holding the singing bowl. The fountain effect is produced by the molecules of water vibrating so fast against each other and the side of the singing bowl that some molecules are forced out of the water at the edge of the bowl and then drop back into the water again.
Therefore, when we create sound vibrations, whether we can hear them or not, they will affect other surrounding materials and will cause these molecules to vibrate at the same frequency or will take on the frequency of the surrounding ones. When these frequencies resonate with or vibrate faster than the original matter’s resonant frequency, it forces some of the matter’s molecules to vibrate so fast against each other that some of them are released from (or pushed out of) that matter and into an adjacent matter, such as the atmosphere or an adjacent matter or fluid (such as that in the body). These in turn change the frequency of this matter, like the pebble being thrown into a pool of water. This is what is happening with the commonly described scenario of an opera singer, sounding at a pitch which matches and/or exceeds the resonant vibration of a glass, causing it to break into the atmosphere and fall through gravity, down to the floor.
When using sounding on a person’s body, the ‘released’ or ‘dispersed’ molecules (often toxins) travel through the fluid of the body which transports the unwanted toxins and they are flushed through the body through the excretory system. This is why it is important to drink water immediately after a sound healing treatment, to flush the unwanted matter/ toxins out of the body allowing healing to take place. If the client doesn’t drink water following a treatment, this can cause dehydration and the toxins to settle elsewhere in the body and therefore causing a problem or ‘blockage’ in that area.
This is how ultra sound is used in hospitals to vibrate, break up and disperse unwanted kidney stones which are then excreted through the person’s urine. There is also research from Fabien Maman in the 1980s, showing that sound can destroy cancer cells by vibrating the centre of the cells and causing them to explode and be destroyed completely!
In many healing and spiritual practices, it is believed that we have more than one body. These are known as subtle bodies attached to our physical body; an etheric body is attached to our physical body, an emotional body is attached to that, an astral body is attached to that, a causal body is attached to that and a spiritual body is attached to that! This is commonly known as our aura. Each body is further out from our physical body and measures a few inches in width and sometimes more, and their vibrations are less dense and vibrate at a higher frequency the further out they are from our physical body.
This means that when we are in the company of others, our energy bodies are touching and mingling with each other and each one can affect the vibration of the other. This can be commonly understood as the ‘atmosphere’ (or the energy) in a room or environment. These energies can also be left behind leaving a residue atmosphere in the room and this is why it is important to clear all energies from a treatment room in between clients attending a treatment. Clearing a room of unwanted energies can be done in many ways, including with sound.
Lower frequencies are denser than higher ones and our subtle bodies can pick up denser and unwanted energies from others which will in turn affect each layer of our subtle bodies down to our physical one. When our physical body ‘holds on’ to unwanted energy, it will affect the part of the body to which it is ‘attached.’ This then changes the vibration of that body part and can subsequently cause pain, discomfort, disease and what are called ‘blockages’ in energy work.
Just as an ultra sound of a pregnant mother sends a feedback vibration which creates a picture on a screen to see the baby in the womb, when a sound is made over a part of a body, the feedback of that sound can vary and this helps identify an area which is not resonant with the rest of that surrounding area of the body. This is how a practitioner knows where to direct a sound on a client. A Practitioner will ‘scan’ a person’s body with their voice by sounding over it (usually using the sound ‘oooo’) and where there is a change in the practitioner’s voice this also indicates an area that needs healing. Sometimes the practitioner can feel a specific tingling on their lips and this tells them where healing is needed.
Following the scan, a Sound Healing Practitioner will then intuit which vocal sound to use or which sounding instrument to use to rebalance that part of the body; often also relieving the person of any pain or discomfort in that area. The practitioner sounds into the part of the body needing healing until the feedback sound corresponds with the input sound and no longer causes the disruption in the sound or the practitioner’s voice.
This is how sound ‘physically’ works for healing but there is more to how a sound healing practitioner works with sound and vibration to create an effective healing treatment for a client.
What makes Sound Healing such an Effective Therapy?
Using sound for healing is a very sacred and holistic process. According to Jonathan and Andi Goldman, even prayer has been shown to be more effective when spoken or chanted aloud rather than within the mind silently; and when chanted or said with appreciation and thanks as if the prayer has already been answered!
For a client to receive optimum healing, a practitioner has to pay full attention towards their client; use their intention for the sound to flow through them and into the client for their highest and greatest good, whatever that is for them - even the client does not know what is for their highest and greatest good; use visualisation, sometimes this may be a colour and other times it may be visualising a person’s Chakra coming into balance; bring their awareness to their breath in a way that enables the practitioner’s voice to be sending the intention into the client and intuiting the sounds and volume of their voice and/or any instrument they are using, for it to be physically comfortable for the client’s ears, especially as some people are hypersensitive to sound.
Jonathan Goldman and Andi Goldman suggest that sending the intention to the client can be most effective when made at the still point of a breath- at the point between breathing in and then out is a ‘still point’ and it is at this point that they believe is the best time to place the intention and create the visualisation.
We can use sound to change the frequencies of our brainwaves and create different conscious states. We have specific resonant frequencies for each conscious state we are in and these are called, Theta, Delta, Alpha and Beta brainwaves and their frequencies are as follows:
Delta = 0.5 – 3hz
(state of Deep Sleep or Unconsciousness. Also when in very deep meditation)
Theta = 4hz – 7hz
(state of High Creativity and Deep Meditation and Sleep)
Alpha = 8hz – 13hz
(state of Daydreaming and Meditation which becomes stronger when eyes closed)
Beta = 14hz – 20hz
(Normal waking state of consciousness. When our focus is on activities outside of our body and mind, the external world).
There is a set of tuning forks called ‘The Brain Tuning Forks’ which are tuned to the brainwave frequencies above. I have experienced using these very successfully on myself in the middle of the night when I am struggling to sleep. I have listened to the fundamental tuning fork with the Delta frequency and have fallen asleep immediately my head has touched the pillow!
I have also had great feedback from parents and carers when using the brain tuning forks with autistic children and I explain more about this later in this essay.
Because the body is very clever and can adjust its rhythms over time and get back into its resonant rhythm or change to a new rhythm, we can use sound in a rhythmic way to adjust and ‘retrain’ the vibrations of the body and brain to come back into balance. This is called ‘entrainment’ and was discovered by a Dutch Scientist called Christen Huygens. One day, he set in motion at different times, the pendulums of different sized clocks so they were all swinging at different rhythms. When he returned the following day, found that all the pendulums were swinging at the same pace and rhythm as each other!
One example of natural entrainment in humans, is when jet lag affects our sleeping and waking pattern and over a couple of days, we get into the rhythm of the new time zone. Another example of entrainment is when two women, whether friends or relatives or neither, live together, and over time their menstrual cycles entrain to be in sync with each other’s.
How are the sound healing frequencies created for Sound Healing?
The human voice is understood to be the most powerful sound healing instrument we have and when used with all of the other attributes mentioned above (intention, attention etc.) it is even more powerful.
Healing with vocal sound can be created by one person’s voice used on them self, or on another person or for a group of people. It can also be achieved by a group of people’s voices sounding together on one person or many people.
The thoughts of the practitioner and the way they communicate with their client during a sound healing session, are also very important and can affect the effectiveness of the healing process and the whole session’s outcome.
The importance of intention, thoughts, language and behaviour can be excellently demonstrated by the work of Marasu Emoto who discovered and published his work on the effect of different environments, music, sounds, intentions, thoughts, written words and behaviour on and towards water. When positive intentions, words and behaviour were projected towards the water, beautiful crystals formed in the water when it was frozen and examined under a microscope. When negative intentions, words and behaviour were projected towards the water, no crystals formed at all, just ugly blobs.
As previously mentioned, the human body is made up of a large percentage of water and this means it can be affected in the same way as the water was in Marasu Emoto’s experiments. This consequently affects our physiological health and well being. Since Marasu Emoto’s initial work, others have experimented with other substances such as cooked rice, projecting loving words, intention and attention towards one jar of cooked ice and ignoring or projecting negative thoughts towards another. The former one stayed a healthy colour and kept a pleasant odour and the latter turned black and released an unpleasant odour.
This means that we are affecting everything with sound every moment of every day in the way we think, communicate and behave towards our self, others and our environment and everyone and everything in it! Therefore we can see this as an opportunity to be mindful about the sounds and words we choose to use and create healing continuously.
Furthermore, a medical doctor called Hans Jenny discovered that by placing different materials on to a metal plate and vibrating the plate with sound, the materials took on different shapes and forms. The shapes and forms that were created seemed to depend upon the different frequencies of sound that were vibrating through the plate. Some took on the shape of human organs! This is known as the study of Cymatics.
Jonathan and Andi Goldman write in their book, ‘Chakra Frequencies – Tantra of Sound,’ how sound is energy and is not just something which goes in our ears which our brain processes so we can hear. Sound actually affects all our cranial nerves and specifically the ‘tenth’ cranial nerve which affects the larynx, the heart, the bronchi and the intestinal tract which in turn affects our voice, breathing, heart rate and digestion. Additionally, they quote from the edition of the New York Times dated February 8, 1988 that,
‘Ultrasonic beams can make, break or rearrange molecules and levitate them in midair.’
And they go on to say,
‘Sound has the ability to rearrange molecular structure; it is therefore an enormously powerful and profound energy that can do extraordinary things.’
In addition to the voice, instruments can be used to create sound healing. I have already touched upon using tuning forks. Others include gongs, singing bowls, bells, flutes, didgeridoo, harp, rattles, drums and many other instruments. Not all sound healing instruments are necessarily what one might consider to be musical ones! These instruments can be and are used singularly, together and with the voice.
Some of my experiences during my Sound Healing Practitioner Training
During my Sound Healing Practitioner Training work, I have experienced many astounding effects of sound on both myself and through feedback from my case study participants.
Reports from gratified parents consistently include feedback that tells of how their child was very unusually calm after a treatment and how this was followed by a very deep long sleep in the evening. One child’s mother reported that she even had to awaken her son to get him ready for school the next morning which had been unheard of before! This 10 year old had a diagnosis of autism and ADHD and the parent commented on how she had never seen him so calm laying anywhere, let alone on a treatment couch during his treatment!
Additionally, one 11 year old with cerebral palsy and autism almost fell asleep whilst sat in his wheelchair and listening to a sequence of different sound frequencies from the tuning forks I was using with him. His grandparents were amazed to witness such a change in their grandson’s emotional state.
When I was practicing with a partner during my training and I was receiving the sounds of the Bija Mantras into my chakras, I was surprised how physically I could feel these vibrations and my partner experienced the same when I sounded them into her chakras too. When using them on a non-verbal autistic 5 year old, I noticed he moved away slightly as I sounded into his sacral chakra. When mentioning it to his mum, she explained that he had had an operation there just after he was born. At the time he was suffering with constipation and mum was struggling to find a way to alleviate this for him. So I suggested that she sounded the ‘LAM, RAM, VAM sounds gently into his root, sacral and solar plexus Chakras every day and see how this may help. A few days later, she contacted me to tell me her son had had a bowel movement and was much happier. She had been giving him a bath every night in Epsom Salts previously and decided to reduce these at the same time and this was the only other confounder that we could relate to her son’s relief. She was already encouraging him to drink plenty of water before the sound healing treatment.
I have also used sound healing with a couple of autistic adults with high anxiety levels and received reports of them feeling calmer after a treatment and I have witnessed the difference in them for myself.
I remember listening to the Solar Winds track by David Hykes for one piece of my homework during my training and found it as a four part track composition on You Tube. Whilst listening with my headphones, I was transported to somewhere beyond my physical body which was like an ‘out of body experience’ and then feeling the need to listen to the other 3 tracks, I found myself being brought back into my physical body! This is an example of how certain sounds, frequencies, intervals and harmonics can change your physical vibration and brain waves and consequently your state of consciousness!
Also, during a drum making workshop, I experienced very painful finger joints and wrists but when my sound healing tutor, who was there as well, sounded into my hands, the pain disappeared! I was amazed and I have used this pain relief for my fibromyalgia pain and got the same results. I am starting to share this with others so they can try this for their own pain management. I also used sound on a leg injury of a Carer who had just taken a fall and hurt her leg badly. She was astounded with the result! I received a bunch of flowers from her the following week when I saw her as a thank you!
In my experience during completing my case studies, I found that sound healing has great potential for enabling, empowering and reducing pain for anyone and especially autistic children and autistic adults and their parents and carers. I am really excited to be offering this amazing modality as part of my autism intervention and therapy practice.
Music Therapy can help your child develop their communication.
My daughter had music therapy from the age of two and loved it! I now have the hours of video recordings to look back on! I think her love for playing the drums goes back to then as I remember her heading straight for them at the beginning of each session!
BRISTOL MUSIC SPACE
My daughter was two years old when she started her two years of music therapy at Music Space (Bristol). She absolutely loved it! It was the second intervention/therpay I introduced her to and I stayed and participated in every session! It is fun to stay and join in and learn skills that you can adapt and continue to use at home and during your every day lives. When you do this, it means that your child's therapy is ongoing between sessions and increasing their practice of the important skills learned during the professional therapeutically led session.
In the last year or so, Farrah has wanted to revisit Music Space and her first return visit was very emotional for me! Instead of going in to the room she always ran into to strike the drums and joining in with her every movement and sound, I was no longer needed and Farrah and Michelle rekindled their relationship with the drums and piano whilst I sat outside the room enjoying a cup of tea remembering those early years with very fond and emotional memories... of not knowing how Frrah would progress, whether she would ever talk, communicate in anyway, interact with us, ever say 'I Love You Mummy' ... the emotion flooding my senses as the musical sounds and singing of words from both Farrah and Michelle Scott in the 'grown ups' Music therapy room resonated around me through the small gap in the slightly open sound proof door...
I believe being an integral participant of your child's interventions and therapies is KEY TO SUCCESS & PROGRESS!
Listening to Mozart and other Classical Music around the house can help to calm a tense or stessful environment. I would often play Mozart, 'Eine Kliene Nachte Musik' in the house durig those days where nerves felt frayed! Dr Marasu Emoto's experiements with frozen water crystals can explain how this works...Take a look HERE
Here are some other links which may help you find a Music Therapist in your area of the UK.
BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR MUSIC THERAPY
24-27 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PD,
Telephone: 020 7837 6100 Fax: 020 7837 6142 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org