Last month I went to the Sheffield ME group to lead a sound healing workshop. Sound healing was a key element in my own recovery journey, and I love sharing this with other people.
How does sound healing work? Everything in the universe is vibrating – the chair you’re sitting on, you, the plants in your room etc. We all have our own unique vibration. Sound healing makes use of this by bringing in bright, positive vibrations – and as we hear these vibrations, we “entrain” to the positive, and become more balanced and therefore more well.
The body also has seven main energy centres, chakras which all have their unique vibration. A simple but powerful healing exercise is to tone or to sound the balanced tones of each of these energy centres. To give you an example, the balanced sound of the heart chakra is “Aaaah”. As we tone that sound from the heart, the heart chakra is invited into harmony and balance – in a very gentle, enjoyable way.
Sometimes, we will find that as we tone these beautiful sounds, a discordant sound emerges, or we cough, or even feel tearful. This is simply the release of old, stuck energy – and releasing this leads to more balance in the energy field, which then leads to healing of the physical body.
When I use sound healing with people, I work with my hands on or above the energy field as in other types of energy healing. And as I tune in to what is happening in people’s energy field, I tone either the balanced sound of the chakra or part of the body I am working on, or the sound of the stuck energy I can feel. Then, the body is invited to entrain to the balanced sound, or to release the discordant, stuck energy.
My own journey with sound healing has been profound. Before I became ill with CFS / ME, I enjoyed singing to myself, and enjoyed listening to music – but neither were really important for me. Then, when I became ill, there was a long period of time when I couldn’t listen to music at all as it tired me out.
I think sound healing was particularly strong for me ( and for other people who think a lot) because it very easily bypasses the logical mind. Often, when we are receiving healing, our mind can initially resist the process. With sound healing, the vibration just go straight to the energy that is ready to be released, literally bypassing any objections or resistance the conscious mind has.
As I started to release stuck energy with sound healing, I became much more aware of my love of singing. The sound healing process somehow “unlocked” my capacity to sing (which I didn’t at all know I had!), my connection with music and sound – and also my confidence. Nowadays, I love singing and sharing my voice with other people.
And I think it can be very empowering and healing to discover our own voice in the world. For me, it feels as though learning to sing and express myself more with sound parallels me being able to express myself more in my life more generally – communicating the healing work I do to people, and exploring at deeper and deeper levels what it is that brings me joy in my life.
The last thing to say is that sound healing and voice work is fun! It’s not about the sound you make – rather there is a simple joy in making sound and connecting with other people. There’s a story I love to tell about monks who decided to stop their morning chanting because it wasn’t “serious” enough, and they replaced it with another seemingly more serious practice. When they did that, the monks gradually became less happy and also became ill much more frequently. Reintroducing the chanting returned them to their happier and more well selves.