November/December 2005 Alternative Health
The Healing Power of Sound
by Leslie ONeill and Patrice Morency
Sound. Few things are so ubiquitous, so intimately woven into the fabric
of our existence, and yet few of us truly understand the power and subtlety
of sound. Our bodies are virtually a symphony of sound, with our heart
beating, our pulse pounding, and the rhythm of our breath. Our cells
vibrate constantly. Everything in the universe vibrates at a unique
frequency. Quantum physics reveals that atoms, electrons and subatomic
particles are actually oscillating energy, nodes of resonance and vibration.
Sound is an ancient healing tool used across cultures and through time
to raise consciousness and to heal. Drumming, singing, chanting, tuning
forks, singing bowls, and rattles have been healing body, mind and spirit
for thousands of years. Tibetans, Indian Yogis, Australian Aboriginals,
Native Americans and many others have used sound to heal and to connect
more deeply with Spirit. Modern sound healers are applying sound in
culturally independent ways.
The Power of Our Voice
For millennia, the human voice has been used for celebration, healing
and connecting with Spirit. From the smallest whisper to exultant singing,
our voices are the basic expression of who we are. It is through our
voice that we experience the harmonic vibration of our essence. This
most fundamental and familiar element of sound can be one of our most
effective healing tools. The beauty of it is that it is something we
all possess. Chanting, singing and toning (soft, resonant vowel sounds
such as "ah" or "oo" with breath and intention)
have tremendous capacity to reconcile disharmony, to break up blockages
that create pain, dis-ease and depression, and to return our bodies
to healthy vibrational levels. As Ayurvedic science explains, "the
influence of the sound permeates the body and enlivens the self repair
mechanism, bringing about balance."
Toning and overtoning (creating multiple layers of sound by changing
the shape of the mouth and throat) can be directed inward or outward
for healing. The role of intention is vital to this process. Jonathan
Goldman writes in his book Healing Sounds, "It is not just the
sound itself, but the intention carried on the sound waves that effects
Masuro Emoto, in his landmark book Messages from Water, shows how water
molecules are affected by thoughts and other influences such as music,
conclusively demonstrating that thought (intention) and sound are powerful
transformers of molecular structure.
Chris James, Sound Healer from Down Under
Australian born singer and sound healer Chris James teaches internationally
about the power of sound, song and meditation. He has shown that discovering
your natural voice is a major key to self-expression, empowerment and
health. "Everyone is born with a beautiful voice," he says.
Chris has been teaching for over 20 years and has gained additional
skills from his remarkable life as professional musician, songwriter,
martial arts exponent, transpersonal therapist, former monk and father.
James comments "Often when one discovers their natural voice, they
rediscover their ability to sing! And with the singing comes the freedom
to express, to be heard. Discovering the incredible importance of singing
is extraordinarily healing. When Im teaching people, who then
sing in a group for the first time, tears come, emotions flow, because
there is a sense of returning."
Patrice Morency trained extensively with Chris James and personally
experienced the transformative power of his work. She explains, "I
met Chris after many years of strugglying to find my voice. I also suffered
from exhaustion, low energy and low grade depression stemming from thyroid
problems, which had not improved in ten years of conventional and alternative
therapies. When my voice began to open in Chris class, I rapidly
experienced profound healing."
After three years of regular daily toning, Patrices energy and
vitality remain strong. "I received healing on a physical level,
but I also began to feel more joyful in my life. He gave my heart a
voice. The use of my voice has been a gateway to a sense of greater
alignment and wholeness within. I am deeply grateful for the work Chris
James does in the world: teaching people how to access the healing power
of their own voice."
Patrice Morency is a sound healer in Portland, Oregon. Chris James
will be visiting the Pacific Northwest In February 2006 presenting the
Big Sing, a community gathering that loosens up body, soul and voice,
and a 3-day workshop on Transformation through Sound. For more information
go to firstname.lastname@example.org