A Quick Guide to Sound Healing Instruments
Today’s sound healing instruments are the direct descendents of those used by ancient African and Occidental civilizations to heal emotional, physical and spiritual maladies. Sound, or more accurately, the vibration of sound, has been a primary method of healing for many cultures for thousands of years.
By drawing from these traditions, we moderns have an abundance of sound healing instruments to choose from. They include singing bowls, drums, chimes, vocal toning or chanting, and more.
- Voice: The first and foremost sound-healing instrument is voice. Repeating a mantra in meditation, toning (when you vocalize a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) and hold the vibration of it) and chanting are examples of using voice to restore balance and promote healing energy.
- Singing Bowls: Singing bowls are probably the most popular sound healing instruments in practice today. They are used in yoga classes, personal rituals, sound therapy practices and religious ceremonies. There are two primary kinds of singing bowls: Crystal and Tibetan. Also called Himalayan bowls, Tibetan singing bowls are generally made from a bronze metal alloy. Crystal bowls are made from pure quartz silica sand. Both kinds are available in different sizes, pitches, tones and vibrations.
- Drums and Percussion Instruments: Hand drums of all kinds plus cymbals, gongs and even rain sticks have been used for thousands of years to promote healing and well being. The vibration and the rhythm of these instruments resonate in the body on a deep level to raise vibration and help to bring the body and soul into greater balance.
- Wind Chimes: While not an instrument that is played, wind chimes hold a significant role in Buddhist and other traditions. They are used for healing, to clear negative energy from a space and especially: to bring the listener back to the beauty of the present moment.
- Tuning Forks: These are two-pronged, fork-shaped instruments that, when made in metal, were traditionally used to tune musical instruments. They work by releasing a perfect wave pattern that corresponds to musical notes. For healing, tuning forks can be made from metal or crystal and the sounds (or sound waves) they make can help to restore balance to the body, mind and spirit.
Changing or raising our vibration through sound is a time-honored way to promote healing for oneself and others. No matter what method or instrument, raising vibration can help shift moods, increase consciousness and bring the body back to a healthier state of being.