Ever wonder why even the gentlest reverberation of a gong can make time appear to stand still? Or the clarity that the tinkling of a little crystal bowl can suddenly bring to your mind?
That’s because sound matters and sound can heal a body to restore its natural balanced state. After all, in moments of stress, we naturally seek out sounds of nature such as waves, rivers, or bird songs in hopes of gaining peace and calmness.
Sound healing was once seen as a mystical experience but is today proven through research that it helps synchronise brain waves to achieve a profound state of deep relaxation, which helps in restoring the normal vibratory frequencies of cells in a body.
Through sound healing, we artificially put our body in into a Theta state, something that normally occurs in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep or deep, prolonged meditation – allowing access to our subconscious and super-conscious. This is the state in which energy shifts and insights and healing are possible.
The Future of Wellness hub offers Malaysia’s largest sound bath, bringing an ancient practice for healing in the 21st century. There is no water involved, as participants lie on comfortable mats on the floor and bathe in sound waves.
Restoring the body, mind and soul
Martha Collard, founder of the renowned Red Door Studios in Hong Kong, which has the largest gong collection in Asia, explains that sound healing is beneficial when a person feels stuck in their lives.
“If you want to move forward, or shift old patterns that keep repeating in your life, if you want to shift pain, or if you want to shift your perception of feeling lost or disconnected, try sound healing,” she says during her class at the Ohanajo Studio for the Future of Wellness Flow Coaches.
“We are sleep deprived, we have digital dementia and depression is rising,” she says.
“Through sound healing, we artificially put our body in into a Theta state, our brainwaves between 4 and 7 Hz – something that normally occurs in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep or deep, prolonged meditation – allowing access to our subconscious and super-conscious. This is the state in which energy shifts and insights and healing are possible.
“Sound healing is different from music. Quantum physics teaches that all matter consists of vibration, and anything that vibrates produces a frequency or tone. Music is the organisation of specific frequencies arranged in a particular order to create rhythm and harmony. Sound is vibration, including and going beyond what can be heard by the ear. Sound healing focuses on vibration rather melody.”
“Sound healing and meditation has such a close connection because meditation is the art of bringing awareness and consciousness into our daily lives. Through meditation, we become an observer of ourselves and of our centre, a place without judgment or negativity.”
The sound of a meditation gong induces a state of spontaneous meditation and relaxation, which facilitates the movement of chi or prana (positive life force) throughout the body.
On a physical level, the vibrations eliminate tension, stimulate the circulation and glandular systems, and regenerate the parasympathetic nervous system. Listeners experience a sense of connectedness and peace. They are lulled from a Beta, or awake state, into a Theta, or lucid dream state; a state that allows our bodies to heal and rejuvenate. The sound waves gently clear blockages to restore inner harmony.
When the heart rate is relatively steady, and breathing is deep and slow, stress hormones decrease, said Dr Mitchell L. Gaynor, an oncologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York and the author of “The Healing Power of Sound”, in an interview with the New York Times. That is significant, he said, because stress can depress every aspect of the immune system, “including those that protect us against flu and against cancer.”
Dr Gaynor distinguishes between curing and healing. To “cure” means physically to fix something, whereas “healing” refers to wholeness, a union of the mind, body and spirit, he said. He likens sound healing to music therapy. In his book, he cites studies indicating that music can lower blood pressure, reduce cardiac complications among patients who have recently suffered heart attacks, reduce stress hormones during medical testing and boost natural opiates.
Experience the power of sound in Malaysia
At the Future of Wellness hub, guests can participate in classes offered by Ohanajo Studio that incorporates sound healing such as Restorative Yoga or Inner Being Meditation with Sound Bath, Alchemy Sound Healing with Shamanic Healing, or the highly popular Candlelit Moon Salutations and Sound Bath led by Ohanajo Studio founder and wellness instructor Jojo Struys.
A series of guided mediations and reflective questions are gently posed to participants as they gather in the quiet solitude of the studio for classes. Each individual has a unique response to the sessions. Some fall into a very deep sleep and wake up feeling more refreshed in 30 minutes than they have been throughout an entire week.
Some have emotional reactions as the sounds of the gongs and crystal bowls evoke deep feelings that have been pent up. Others have gentle twitching, where energy meridians are being aligned.
But for some, they have experienced an almost miraculous healing of physical ailments such as frozen shoulders that recover a full range of motion, or in Martha Collard’s case, a kidney stone had simply dissolved.
Sound healing is also uniquely and exclusively incorporated into treatments for guests at the multiple award winning Jari Jari Spa, making it the first to offer such a deeply relaxing method to enhance all treatments.