The magic of “Musical Medicine” will come into its own. The application of such healing potencies will not be limited just to man’s body and mind. It will be an agency for building and healing his soul as well.”– Corinne Heline (1882-1975)
The concept of sound and music for healing is not a new. Sound has been used therapeutically for thousands of years to soothe and de-stress, as well as to heal and alter consciousness. Many cultures have a tradition of using sound in this way, and ancient sound instruments, including gongs, have been found dating back many centuries. In some Eastern cultures it has long been realized that the beneficial effect goes much deeper than just a sense of emotional well-being; harmonious sounds also have a healing effect on the body at a cellular level. In India the ancient science of the effect of musical vibrations on the human organism is called Nada Yoga. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks also realized the remarkable healing power of sound, and often composed and performed music with the purpose of healing. Sound Healing has begun to enjoy a resurgence, as we remember the ancient wisdom of our ancestors and their use of these sacred instruments.
Sheila Whittaker, Musician, Sound Healer and Teacher specializes in using large high quality gongs for her Sound Healing work. She states “the gong is arguably the ultimate sound healing tool, as it has the broadest range of tones of any instrument. When played sensitively and well, this vast range of sound literally bathes the human form and re-tunes us on every level – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – thus bringing us back into harmony. Think of the body as an orchestra comprised of many different instruments, some may be “off key” and need re-tuning. The gongs is the tuning medium.”
To understand how Sound Healing works, it is important to realize that everything in creation is energy, vibrating at different frequencies. This belief is supported by the findings of Modern physicists. Even solid objects like rocks are forms of energy vibrating at lower frequencies. Light, at the other end of the spectrum vibrates at a very high frequency. We are also vibrating energy forms. Since sound travels five times more efficiently through water than air, our bodies, composed of over 70% water…..are excellent conductors for sound and vibrational healing.
When bathed in sound, different areas of the body respond by “entraining” to the sound, and begin to vibrate at the that frequency. Every part of the body has its own resonant frequency. If there is an imbalance or blocked energy anywhere, the harmonics of the gong stimulate the cells to vibrate in sympathy to be restored to their highest potential of functioning. Sound vibrations also work on the subtle energy body to help clear energy blockages before they manifest as physical illness or disease.
I am fascinated by the idea that sound healing energy has the power and ability to rearrange molecular structure, and pathways within our brain. A gong immersion meditation can induce a theta brainwave state. In this deep meditative state the body and mind’s natural self healing processes can be activated and optimized. At levels below our conscious awareness, unconscious belief systems and thought patterns can be released to enhance our experience of life.
There are no known negative effects from Sound Energy Healing and much research has demonstrated the benefits. Gong Master Don Conreaux calls the gong “ the Music of Wholeness”. It approaches the body as already whole and complete, then fills the body with vibrations that emphasize health and balance. The gong as an instrument of sound healing is now being used in meditations and yoga; in private sound therapy practice; palliative care and cancer treatment centers; and in the field of mental health to promote well-being.
Gong Bath Immersion Meditations are considered one of the most deeply healing and restorative meditations possible, because of the deep state of relaxation attained in response to the sound vibration. Physical relaxation is effortless on the part of the participant as the vibrational frequency of the gong does all the work, leading to the release of stress and healing on a molecular level within the body.
Lynne has pursued studies in Sacred Sound Healing with the gong through the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and Therapy in Tempe, Arizona. In October 2016, she attended advanced gong training under the mentorship of Mitch Nur, Instructor and Gong Master in Pennsylvania.