The Science & Philosophy of Sound Healing
As I researched on the subject, I came upon this very fascinating law of physics: The universe is in a continuous state of vibratory motion. Fritjof Capra, the author of The Tao of Physics, says “Rhythmic patterns appear throughout the cosmos, from the very tiny to the humongous. Atoms are patterns of probability waves, molecules are vibrating structures, and living organisms manifest multiple, interdependent patterns of fluctuations. Plants, animals, and human beings undergo cycles of activity and rest, and all their physiological functions oscillate in rhythms of various periodicities.”
Scientists have also established that there is a tendency in the universe toward harmony, a phenomenon known as ‘Entrainment.’ The 17th-century Dutch scientist Christian Huygens observed that the pendulums of two clocks, hung side by side, would begin to swing to the same identical rhythm by themselves. Why entrainment occurs is because when the more powerful rhythmic vibrations of one object come in contact with a second object with a similar frequency, will cause that object to start off vibrating in resonance with the first object. Similarly, human beings also react in resonance with the vibrations and fluctuations in their surroundings. So, our physiological functioning may be changed by the impact of sound waves, whether produced by our own voices or by objects or instruments.
The concept of Entrainment unlocks the secret of the healing effects of the Himalayan singing bowls and, more broadly, the seemingly boundless potential of sound in the healing arts and sciences. For most people who experience the singular tones of the bowls, the impact goes well beyond the level of physical recovery – toward spiritual and emotional healing. The sound journey brings about self-awareness and inner peace and leads oneself more directly to discover one’s divine essence.
I believe we can do ourselves no greater service than to become mindful of the “endless possibilities” that become manifest when our life energy flows freely from our essence. Since I understand all illness as a form of disharmony at a physiologic, molecular, or genetic level, I believe that the goal of healing— beyond the most obvious one of ridding the body of disease—is to re-create harmony out of disharmony. But healing can also be a means of connecting with our innermost essence so that we expand our identity beyond a limited, ego-based definition of self.
“We ourselves are rhythm,” wrote Hazrat Inayat Khan. “The beating of our heart, the pulse throbbing in our wrist or head, our circulation, the working of the whole mechanisms of our body is rhythmic.” As a healer, I believe that our bodies resonate with the sounds produced by our voices, most vividly perhaps when we are in tune with the sound of the singing bowls. And as we resonate on a cellular level, we begin to heal physically, spiritually, and emotionally.