10 Jun What Is A Gong Bath?
``Sound is the medicine of the future.`` - Edgar Cayce
The Power of Sound Healing
The spreading awareness of the power of sound healing is reflected by press coverage, and the popularity of events offered. Most Yoga Centres now offer relaxing sessions of Gong Baths and Crystal Singing bowls. To hear more about this and taste some gong magic as heard on my interview for BBC Radio London “The Scene” with Jasmine Dotiwala listen here.
In this fast paced era where we are surrounded by the digital and artificial, on devices that trigger our ‘flight or flight’ responses and awaken us at night, both adults and children need more help to de-stress find balance again, nurture, and slow down. A Gong Bath offers us an enjoyable opportunity to come back to our natural harmonious rhythm and release tension from our system. The Gong has always been highly respected as a sacred, powerful healing and ceremonial instrument. Sources describe its use in 4,000 B.C. to 16,000 B.C.
It is my delight to share more on the origins and power of sound healing and more on Gong Baths -which together with using my voice are my favourite and effective ways to help people heal and flourish.
Most ancient cultures recognized the healing power of sound and made sacred. Musical rituals found their place in religions all around the world: within Christian Mass singing, Tibetan or Buddhist chanting and Hindu devotional songs.
The relevance of sound as responsible for the beginning of creation is described universally across cultures from the Aborigines, African Tribes and Ancient Egyptians to the Mayans and Polynesians. Even in The New Testament : John tells us: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’. Upanishads (a sacred Hindu text) say that the divine, all-encompassing consciousness first manifested as sound ‘OM’, the vibration of the Supreme.
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”― Nikola Tesla
Everything has its own frequency and vibration harmony is a natural state. When we are out of tune dis ease presents itself. The use of Sound Healing with Human Voice, Gong, Singing Bowls or Tuning Forks can restore that harmonic state in the body. There is now much available on the subject thanks to pioneers like Jonathan Goldman who recognising that sound underpins creation and intent plus sound can healing. He like Don mentioned below and Sheila Whittaker dedicated his life to exploring, teaching and developing new ways to share sound as vital for health and well being -now confirmed by science.
What happens in a Gong Bath?
The Gong played sensitively offers profound mental and physical relaxation. Studies have shown that the gong helps facilitate the efficient transition from Alpha to Theta and even Delta states, It is at these deep states that healing and realignment can occur. This transition activates the parasympathetic nervous system to balance the over-amped, over-taxed sympathetic nervous system. The listener’s heart rate gently slows down, blood pressure drops and the breath is restored to its natural rhythm. It is perfect for relieving stress, balancing mood, healing physical injuries and moving stagnant energy. The sounds of the gong induce a holistic resonance in the body creating a spontaneous meditative state in the mind, which can result in a sense of expanded awareness and wholeness. A gong bath is as scientifically sound as it is mysterious. It is as other-worldly as it is logical.
How does it feel?
It requires nothing but receptivity in order to be fully experienced, but it must be experienced in order to be understood. We’ve all struggled to meditate and find the peace behind the barrage of thoughts wanting to hijack us. The Gong bypasses all our resistance and mental chatter, the sound rushes over us like waves, it can feel so expansive you could even feel like you are in outer space. Afterwards enjoy feeling serene and super sound night of sleep. Simply awesome!
Gong baths can be excellent therapy for depression, fatigue, feelings of separation, loneliness, anger, fear, hostility and many other conditions caused by a lack of balance and harmony in the body and mind. It is also detoxifying so it is important to keep hydrated pre and post Gong Bath to allow your body the support it needs in processing the healing.
Words from a Master
Don Contreaux a Gong master and Kundalini yoga teacher has been gong healing and teaching for over 45 yrs. He says: “The sounds from the gong travel from the outer ear throughout the body via the vagus nerve—impacting brain waves, respiratory rate and heart rate. Sound enters the healing equation from several directions: It may alter cellular functions through energetic effects; it may entrain biological systems to function more homeostatically; it may calm the mind and therefore the body; or it may have emotional effects, which influence neurotransmitters and neuropeptides, which in turn help to regulate the immune system—the healer within.”
More Science: Sound Healing, Gong Baths & Therapeutic Use
Sound Healing has a scientific basis in neuroscience and physics, but there are still many aspects that seem to defy explanation. Our minds and emotional experiences alter our physical state, and in turn, our physical state alters our emotions and mind. Yet only in the past few decades, with the advent of functional MRIs, have we been able to scientifically document that mind-body connection. So, even if the only benefit of a gong bath was relaxation, it is a scientifically valid healing modality.
Dr. Gloria Oberbeck, a Harvard-educated family medicine practitioner, has been a fan of gong baths since 2003. Dr. Oberbeck says, “We know music can change the mood of a person, a group, a whole room.” Special education teachers and sound therapists know that sound and music have profound effects. When nothing seems to get through to an autistic child or Alzheimer’s patient, the vibration of music has repeatedly and consistently created a breakthrough.
As early as the 18th century, German scientist and musician Ernst Chladni demonstrated that sound affects matter. Then the experiments of Dr. Hans Jenny, a Swiss medical doctor and scientist, demonstrated that sound both affects matter and also creates, alters and maintains form, and that differing frequencies produce different results.
In the early 1980s, French composer and bio-energeticist Fabien Maman, along with Helene Grimal, a biologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, explored the impact of sound waves on healthy and uterine cancer cells. The human voice produced the most dramatic results—exploding cancer cells and energizing healthy ones. The sound waves of a gong being played for 21 minutes also caused the cancer cells to disintegrate or ultimately explode. Sound is now being used as an important part of the healing process for cancer patients, as it helps calm the mind and body and assists in the management of pain. Credit to: Devpreet Kaur, RYT, IKYTA,
I spent years in a weekly channelled sound healing group – understanding how to channel sound for healing, and gained a Diploma In Sound Healing to further my knowledge to ensure I offer high vibrational Gong Baths for everyone’s highest good in a clean energetic way. I collaborate regularly to offer Wellbeing Events in the Corporate & Private Sectors. Happy Clients include Soho House, The Union Club, Getahead Festival, Kate Moss and Jasmine Dotiwala.
“Just did a sound healing gong bath by @Haveyourmagic @SohoHouse
So relaxing. My inner organs are all vibrating!”
– Jasmine Dotiwala
“Her gong baths are the best de-stresser around. One walks on air afterwards.”
“I loved the Gong Bath it calmed me so much! I still felt the benefits days later.”
“I thoroughly recommend this especially for anyone like me who gets anxious or has trouble sleeping.”
Thank you for reading