MUSIC OF THE SINGING BOWLS – An ancient healing therapy

Singing Bowls of Tibet
Singing Bowls of Tibet

‘There is no organ system in the body that is not affected by sound, music, and vibration. You can look at disease as a form of disharmony.’Mitchell Gaynor

According to Quantum Physics, everything is made up of vibrations. Each and every matter vibrates with a specific frequency. Diseases in the human body are said to carry a low frequency which is why they are known to be a form of disharmony. So altering the frequency of matter can change its structure. Apart from ongoing research on different drugs, modern medicine has confirmed the practice of sound to promote healing. The sounds emitted in this therapy help recover the damaged cells and tissues and allow the DNA strands to repair themselves. One such technique is Tibetan bowl therapy, also known as singing bowl therapy. 

Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, Director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at Cornell Cancer Prevention Centre in New York, suggested the Tibetan sound therapy to all his cancer patients. Gaynor said: “If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, and then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies. One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiological functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.”

According to Bodhisattva, a great Tibetan master, the Singing Bowls of Tibet emit the ‘Sound of Void’, i.e. identical to Om, the primordial sound of the universe, which is also considered the root of all mantras in religious texts. These mysterious Tibetan bowls have been used for healing illness, balancing chakras, reiki, and meditation for centuries.

Ancestry of singing bowls

Singing Bowls of Tibet

A Singing bowl is an inverted standing bell that produces a sound of certain frequency when struck with a mallet on its edge, or by rotating the mallet on the outer rim of the bowl. Results from experiments have concluded that Tibetan singing bowls have radial and tangential motion in concurrent stable and unstable modes. Unlike gongs, these bells have their maximum vibration around the outer rim of the bowl. They come in various sizes ranging from few centimeters to meters in their diameter, where each size of bowl produces a distinct sound. The smaller bowls produce mild sounds whereas the larger ones emit deeper sounds.

The semi-round singing bowls, known as Tibetan singing bowls, are said to have originated from China in the early 11th to 13th century B.C.  The very first singing bowls are said to be made up of pure copper which were used for medicinal purposes. Bowls made of bronze and cast iron were also used in spiritual ceremonies and rituals. According to the folklore, these bowls were used by Tibetan lama and monks for secret sacred rituals and it is believed that they bestowed certain spiritual powers to the monks using them. Any information regarding the bowls was shrouded and not allowed to be shared even within the boundary of monasteries. These mysterious bowls were introduced to the world when the Tibetan monks had to sell them during their escape from the Chinese invasion of Tibet that occurred in the middle of the 19th century. Singing bowls have been used in Tibet, India, and Nepal for its holistic powers and healing.

The science of Tibetan healing sound

Tibetan sound therapy has been used for ages in meditation and deep healing. Martinz Skipper, a famous physiotherapist has said, “The vibrations from these bowls are the same as the brainwaves and they lead to deep concentration.” The sound generated by Tibetan singing bowl penetrates deep into the brain and stimulates it to produce theta brainwaves of higher frequency that evokes deep meditative states, clarity of intuition and profound peace.  Dr. David Simon, Medical Director at Deepak Chopra Centre says: “I could feel the vibration physically resonating through my body, touching my core in such a way that I felt in harmony with the universe. I immediately intuited that playing singing bowls would change my life and the lives of many of my patients.”  

Tibetan sound therapy is almost similar to modern technologies like Brainwave entrainment, Isochronic Tones, and Binaural Beats. Diseases are said to be caused as a result of any blockage during the flow of energy in the body. Tibetan healing sound optimizes and channelizes the proper flow of energy into each cell and tissue, thus restoring the body’s normal vibratory frequency. It helps in healing most of the stress-related disorders, depression, anxiety, etc.

How Singing Bowls are made-  Secrets of Tibetan Singing Bowls

These mystical semi-round bowls were fabricated using an amalgam of 7 key metals (Gold, Silver, Mercury, Copper, Iron, Tin and Lead) where each metal is said to represent a heavenly body (planet). Gold and silver alloys are hardly used nowadays, due to the high cost. Firstly the metal is heated at a very high temperature until it is completely liquefied. The melted metal is then poured into a vessel where it takes the shape of a singing bowl. The ones made in the factory are refined using machines and the handmade bowls are beaten from the very beginning and hammered using traditional techniques. They are an essential aid to meditation and can be found in Buddhist altars, monasteries, and meditation centers of the world.

Chakra balancing in Tibetan Singing Bowls

We all know that chakras are the energy reservoirs of our body which channelize the flow of ‘prana’ (energy) in a particular direction. Any imbalance of these chakras can lead to illness. But are these chakras actual entities located at different physical positions of our body? The answer is no. Chakras are not made up of matter and are purely energetic. These energy centers can be open or closed, activated or inactivated, depending upon the efficiency of energy flow throughout the body.

A balanced chakra system is what keeps our body healthy. Tibetan bowl therapy can be used to heal and balance all the seven chakras of our body and restores harmony in our system.  Each singing bowl activates a specific chakra. This can be done by placing the bowls on top of their respective energy centers.  So a set of bowls are used collectively to balance all the energy chakras. Like for example, bowls with high tone are used for activating the Ajna chakra (third eye chakra), while for the Anahata chakra (heart chakra), bowls with milder tones are preferred. It’s quite difficult to find a single bowl emitting frequencies of all the seven chakras.

Singing bowl benefits

  • Tibetan bowl meditation helps reduce stress, chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression in people. Positive effects can be observed within two-three sessions.
  • This therapy helps stimulate some areas of the brain that are difficult to access by simple meditation techniques.
  • The Tibetan healing sounds induce a deep relaxation response in individuals and also produce a positive effect on one’s mood. 
  • They lower blood pressure levels and reduce heart rates, thus inducing a calming effect in the body.
  • Several experiments have proved that Singing bowl therapy relieves cancer patients from pain and discomfort. Increased energy and peacefulness was also seen in some of the patients.