A soundbath…isn’t the name itself simply evocative of something beautiful, pure, and enchanting?
I had my first opportunity to try a soundbath when the Soul Fire duo came to the Ecovillage in Currumbin one Saturday evening for a 60 minute session. I really didn’t know what to expect. I took my blanket and cushions and along with 30 other interested souls we lay down in a large circle around a pile of interesting looking instruments.
We started off the evening linking hands, stating our names, the colour we currently felt most drawn to and our intentions for the evening. I felt 20 years too young and bizarrely out of place but comforted at the same time. So when my turn came, ‘pink – restorative health for my family’, I wasn’t so nervous.
Lying down we got comfortable, closed our eyes and Brian and Alora picked up the first of many strange instruments and began an odd orchestra of music and vibrations which washed over you, through you, and embedded themselves in you. Literally like taking a bath in sound. The resonations of the huge crystal bowl were unlike anything I’ve ever heard before, it really felt like they were becoming a part of your cell structure and altering your mental state. Both exciting and overwhelming at the same time.
Soundbaths are purported to be highly effective in healing physical and emotional issues, relieving stress, calming incessant mind-chatter and promoting deep relaxation and rejuvenation within a resonant high-energy field. Some participants claim physical injuries are healed, old emotional traumas released and great insights accessed as they accelerate their inward journey.
Scientists have long shown that sound and music positively affect our brain waves, metabolism and physiological responses and can create profound cellular change. Everything in the universe is energy vibrating at different frequencies; every aspect of nature pulsates in an endless interplay of vibrations. Illness or constant stress may cause disharmony in our natural vibrations. So to believe that the rich vibrations felt in a soundbath can penetrate our bodies, hearts, and souls into re-energising or healing it’s not so hard to imagine.
Some of the many fascinating instruments that can be used in a soundbath with the intention of restoring natural frequencies within the body and supporting innate healing powers to bring you back into balance, health and well-being are:
- freenote: not unlike a xylophone, having metal rods of varying length using a pentatonic scale so all the notes are in complete harmony;
- sansula: a beautiful and delicate piece like a thumb piano;
- didgeridoo: often played over participants, many sounds produced fall below our hearing range. Sound range can be deeply touching or haunting taking you back to ancient times and offering access to higher consciousness;
- the voice: a simple “aah” sound, a whisper or a Sanskrit mantra which has been used by yogis for millennia. Whilst chanting participants tap into thousands of years of collective intention and focus, thus making it a powerful tool;
- gongs: produce a rich continuum of tones and overtones creating a magical sound envelope;
- tuning forks: tuned to specific frequencies they can be used individually, in pairs, or struck against each other to create harmonics. Body Tuners are weighted forks that can be used in contact with the body so the frequencies can be picked up more directly by the tissues;
- Himalayan bowls: can be struck or rimmed like a finger around a wineglass to make them sing;
- crystal bowls: made from 99.8% silicon quartz creating wave patterns equivalent to the alpha waves of the brain. Because the human body has a natural affinity to quartz the pure tones have a powerfully long sustain which interacts with the crystalline structure of our blood, bones and DNA promoting health at a cellular level. Each bowl is keyed to a different chakra of the body;
- drums: one of the most ancient instruments they have long been used in ritual and ceremony because of their ability to alter consciousness. Played over the body with simple rhythms they can give a wonderful sonic massage;
- also the shruti box, Mayan chimes, American Indian flutes, rainstick, whirlys, fujara flute, santoor, sitar, guitar and other percussion instruments.
At the end of the evening, we continued to lie back, feeling at peace with ourselves and the world around us whilst watching a Humpback whale photographic movie, admiring the magnificence of nature and knowing that our beings had come back into harmony.
Several groups in the Gold Coast and Northern NSW offer soundbaths so keep an eye out. It’s an experience worth having.