The bowls that sing—and heal

Practitioners say that singing bowls have a unique way of imitating the vibrations and frequencies of the sun, moon and the planet of the universe, making the healing process linked with the cosmic energy source.

Photo: Pixabay

Anushka Nepal

  • Read Time 4 min.

Kathmandu: Sound has been used to heal people across various cultures and traditions in the world for centuries. There are hymns and prayers, chants and mantras—then there are singing bowls. The vibration and notes that these mysterious bowls emit are used to offer relaxation and mindfulness to those who need it.

The use of singing bowls, believed to have originated in Tibet, for therapeutic purposes has grown exponentially over the centuries. While it was initially used mostly by the Buddhist communities in Nepal, they are now popular all across Nepal, in monasteries and gumbas, and healing and meditation centers.

“The vibration from singing bowls helps one heal physically and mentally,” says Choeden Lama, a therapist who has been working at Sound Planetarium, a healing center located in Boudha, Kathmandu, from the beginning of its establishment.

The center was founded by Peter Effenberger, a German native, in 2008. Needless to say, he has enormous faith in this method of healing. He connects this healing method with astrology, believing that the chakras in our body are directly related to the planetary system and the universe.

“From the beginning of time, human beings have been connected to the universe,” he says. “We may have forgotten this fact for a few decades but slowly many people are coming to realize it.”

Sound planetarium provides seven types of therapies: Relaxation Treatment; PMS, menstrual cycle regulation & vitality; Female libido and fertility; Crisis: an opportunity to unfold unknown potentials; Detoxification; Elixir Of Life; and Aura Harmonization.

“When we think about eastern medication, our mind transits into Ayurvedic and homeopathic,” Lama, the therapist, says. “But eastern medication can be explored way beyond that.”

For beginners, she usually recommends relaxation therapy unless they have other therapies in mind, says Lama. “After getting to know our clients on a more personal level, we start recommending other therapies that might be helpful.” 

Singing bowl and astrology

Sound planetarium has developed its own program that helps tally the sound frequency produced by the singing bowl with the frequency produced by the rotation and revolution of the planets.

The program makes use of Hertz’s Law, which helps determine the frequency of the vibrations produced by any object, and the Law of Octaves, which helps make frequencies inaudible to the human ears audible, while also keeping the essence of the original frequency. This helps the healers determine that the frequency produced from a singing bowl is audible to the human ears and has the similar effect as the frequency produced from the sun, moon or a particular planet, according to Effenberger. After determining the frequencies, singing bowls are used according to the necessity of any planetary frequency. 

How does the therapy work? 

By definition, the major component that is used for the sound healing from a singing bowl is the vibrations and sound produced by it. 

“The resonance produced by the vibration hits every cell of a human body, helping one release the stress by producing a counter vibration from their body, because of the resonance,” says Lama.

From the scientific point of view, sound healing from singing bowls follows the law of resonance, which states “the rate of the vibration projected will harmonize with and attract back energies with the same resonance.”

This law, when linked with meditations involving singing bowls, helps a practitioner absorb the energy from the cosmic source, while also producing a resonance through one’s body, according to Lama. “This resonance helps in releasing the negative energy from the practitioner’s body, helping them put their mind at ease and feel the presence of peace,” says Lama.

Singing bowl might look like a simple bowl used for healing, but it is so much more than just a bowl. Made with the mixture of seven earthy elements, singing bowls have been around for decades, but is only recently getting some recognition for its potential for psychological treatments.

How effective are these therapies?

Even though the effectiveness of these therapies have not been scientifically proven, researches have shown that this has an enormous effect on an individual’s mental health status.

Lama said that she has personally witnessed significant changes in people, before and after the therapy: “people keep coming back saying the therapy was very effective and continue exploring more therapy techniques.”

People confide in her with their progress which makes her very satisfied with the work she does. 

In some cases, people visit her for therapy to ease their menstrual cramps and mood swings during their menstrual cycle. “Many of them have experienced very little to no pain after receiving the therapy,” she says. “In other cases, people have gotten rid of suicidal  tendencies and other mental health crises after attending multiple therapy sessions.”

Although many people are hesitant regarding this therapy, they have walked out of the planetarium, having a different outlook towards the sound therapy and its benefits, according to Effenberger.

“I believe this path of treatment to be much more valuable and safer when it comes to psychological treatments, and I hope that more and more people in the upcoming future are able to realize it,” he said.