Tibetan singing bowls: How sound heals

Singing bowls, also known as Tibetan bells, can be traced back to the time of Buddha Shakyamuni in the years 560 – 480 B.C. Singing bowls were first brought to Tibet from India in the 8th Century A.D by master Padmasambhava, accompanying the teachings of Buddha.

Still used widely today, singing bowls were originally made out of a blend of seven or nine sacred metals. Tibetan singing bowls are played with a mallet, which can be rubbed around the rim or struck against the side of the bowl. The sound produced is a powerful and resonant harmonious vibration.

Tibetan bells are played during mediation as the sound vibrations are thought to have an immediate centering effect, balancing out left and right brain synchronisation. The sound vibrations increase awareness of the mind and body connection and quieten internal brain chatter and the inner critic.

The sound vibrations from Tibetan singing bowls encourage the brain to move into the Theta brain state, characterised by deep relaxation and occurring during hypnosis and REM Sleep. The sound vibrations impact on the nervous system, engaging the relaxation reflex and inhibiting stress responses. Theta brain waves are slowed down to a frequency of 4-7 cycles per second and induce deep meditative and peaceful states. The Theta brain state also facilitates clarity of mind, creativity and intuition.

Another use for Tibetan singing bowls is chakra balancing and energy healing. Some complementary and alternative medicine systems such as energy based therapies view disease as the result of compromised energy flow in the body. When energy flow is hindered, the organ or tissue in question is no longer vibrating at a healthy frequency, resulting in weakness or disease. The sound frequencies created by Tibetan singing bowls restore and optimise the flow of energy in the parts of the body where this is required. In sound healing massage, Tibetan singing bowls can be placed around and played on the patient’s body.

Tibetan singing bowls are an ancient form of sound-therapy used for stimulating brainwaves. Recent sound-based technologies developed for stimulating the brain include brainwave entrainment, binaural beats and isochronic tones, which are all widely available to purchase for use in meditation, personal growth and spiritual development.

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