How can sound, in whatever manifestation, assist in healing and human transformation?
by Jonathan Goldman
This is an extraordinarily vast question, because sound has almost unlimited abilities to assist in healing and human transformation. Sound can affect us on the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual.
On the physical, sound has the ability to rearrange molecular structure. This is a scientific fact. As we know, everything in the universe is in a state of vibration, from the chair you may be sitting in to the pages of this magazine. All the various parts of our body are also in a state of vibration, from the various organs, tissues, bones, etc. When we are in a state of health, all these bodily parts are working together in harmony, creating an overall harmonic of health. If one of these parts begins to vibrate at a different rate, this is what we call disease. One of the basic concepts of healing with sound on the physical body is to project the correct resonant frequency of the organ, or whatever is out of balance, back into the body.
On the emotional and mental bodies, music is very effective. In particular, music affects the limbic system, that aspect of the brain which governs emotional response. Through using specific music (specific for the individual), we can help elicit certain emotional responses that may be very therapeutic and transformative in their nature.
For the spiritual body, both sound and music can be equally effective. In particular, I believe that self-created sounds such as mantras, vowel sounds and harmonics are most powerful, though of course, listening to either recorded or live music or chanting can also be very effective.
Naturally, since we now know of the inter-relationship between the mind and the body, that which affects the emotional or mental will also effect the physical and vice-versa. This includes the spiritual body as well, of course.
2. CAN YOU GIVE US SOME EXAMPLES?
For working with the physical body, we are dealing with the concept of resonant frequency healing–that is, projecting the correct resonant frequency of an imbalanced area back into the body–in order to affect a healing. This can be done through various external instruments or it can be done using what I consider to be the most natural and effective tool on the planet–our own voices. There are a number of different people who are working with different electronic or acoustic technologies to achieve this.
I have been researching this area of sound healing for quite a while and one of the interesting paradoxes is that the different people working with finding the correct resonant frequency of, say the heart or the liver, will all seemingly have great success with their frequencies. And yet, these frequencies will all differ.
When I first encountered this paradox, I was mystified. I couldn’t understand it. This also seemed to hold true for the frequencies for the different chakras, as well as mantras for different chakras. Then, I came up with this formula, which is stated in my book HEALING SOUNDS. It is this: FREQUENCY + INTENT = HEALING. What this means is that the energy that occurs when a sound is created (the “intent”) is of equal importance to the actual sound (the “frequency”) that is used. Intent is the energy behind the sound and it is something that should be considered whenever we make a sound, particularly a sound for healing or transformation.
In my Healing Sounds Seminars, I teach students how to learn to resonate their physical body and their chakras with their own self-created sounds. This is fairly simple to learn to do and very powerful. Exercises for how to do this are found in my book HEALING SOUNDS and in the “Healing Sounds” Instructional tape. What is most interesting, is that these sounds may change from day to day, particularly the sounds for the chakras. I teach a method working for with the vowel sounds to resonate the chakras which is very effective. Often, my students will verify that while the vowel sounds seem to stay the same, the pitches for these vowel sounds will change, depending upon what state or condition they are in.
I also teach how to create and use harmonics, which are sounds within sounds, in order to resonate the brain. It is my belief that we will find out in the very near future, that self-created sounds may be the only way we can actually stimulate different parts of the brain through mechanical resonance. Now, there are various technologies that are being offered in which sound travels through the ear into the brain in order to affect the brain. But this is a different phenomenon–what I’m talking about is a direct resonance of the brain using our own sounds. I believe it is possible to make new neural-synaptic connections in the brain with sound. And that it is possible to stimulate the various glands such as the pituitary and pineal with these sounds.
I’d like to suggest that the brain may be just a transmitter and receiver of different frequencies. The brain may be thought of as a kind of radio that can be tuned to different signals. If we can learn to tune the brain to different frequencies using sound, we can open up to many different aspects of consciousness and energy.
As I mentioned before, music seems to work best on the emotional and mental. However, music does also affect us physically. An quick example of this is that our heart beat, respiration and brain waves all entrain, or synchronize with different rhythms. Slow music tends to slow down our heart rate respiration and brain waves. Fast music has the opposite effect, tending to speed us up.
This little bit of information can be very effectively used by your readers, who no doubt intuitively understand this but may have never given it much conscious thought. If you want to speed up your heart rate, respiration and brain waves for activities such as movement or even staying awake, then fast paced music is your best bet. But if you want to relax, usually, it’s the slower music that works best. One of my recordings, “Dolphin Dreams” was created initially for the birthing process and features the sounds of ocean, heart beat, choral voices and dolphins. It contains a lot of frequencies designed to help slow down our body and brain rhythms is also ideal for relaxation and sleep. I wouldn’t personally use it if I were jogging or doing some sort of activity that required stimulation. I know of one very famous artist who uses it for painting and others who use it for enhanced creativity. But this is different than physical stimulation.
On an emotional level, we all have different tastes in music. I think there is about a 60% agreement in the way people respond to different music’s. Everyone is different and has different tastes. One piece of music may bring a person to states of euphoria while the same piece of music might depress someone else. So in terms of music affecting our emotional states, it really depends on what we like and don’t like. If we could take a sort of musical Rx for ourselves and write down what particular pieces of music created specific emotional states for ourselves, we could use these different pieces of music to help elicit different emotional states. If we were depressed and knew of a certain musical selection that made us feel joyous, playing that music would be helpful in changing our emotional state. Obviously, then, depending upon the time, place and need of the individual, what music works best to elicit different emotional and mental states depends upon the person.
In terms of affecting our spiritual states, I have seen incredible experiences occur with my students through working with specific mantras, as well as working with vowel sounds and harmonics. In my book HEALING SOUNDS, there is another formula which I would like to share. It is this: VOCALIZATION + VISUALIZATION = MANIFESTATION. This formula seems to be found in the spiritual sound work of most of the great mystical traditions of the world. One chants a mantra, for example, “Om Mani Padme Hum”, an ancient Tibetan Mantra, while visualizing becoming the Buddha of Divine Compassion, for whom this mantra is specifically designed. In my workshops, after chanting this mantra for twenty-five minutes, you can actually feel the presence of this Buddha. People have mystical visions and many other extraordinary and transformative experiences. Chanting in group creates a group consciousness that is synergistic, with the whole being greater then the sum of the parts. It is amazing!
Listening to certain types of music can also help elicit these spiritual states, though perhaps not as effectively as actually chanting in a group which has a focused intention. My latest recording “Song of Saraswati” is an extended chant to Saraswati, the Hindu and Tibetan Mother Goddess of Music and Science. Many people are able to achieve not only deep relaxation when listening to this recording, but to travel on the sound and achieve higher levels of consciousness. I give thanks.
It is my belief that we are all unique vibratory beings and because of this, one sound or one type of music will effect one person in one way and effect another person in a very different way. So that if we can begin to become aware of the effects of music, and in particular, our own self-created sounds, we can really begin to use sound and music to affect us on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level.
I believe that not only are we unique vibratory beings, I believe that we can learn to shift our frequencies–that is to change our vibratory level. I think that really, this is the key to healing and transformation–being able to shift frequencies. We are living in extraordinary times. There are frequency shifts occurring on both personal and planetary levels. We can learn to use our own sounds to consciously affect our own vibratory patterns and align with these energies for health and transformation.
3. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BREAKTHROUGHS IN SOUND TECHNOLOGY?
Edgar Cayce, the “Sleeping Prophet”, predicted that sound would be the medicine of the future. And the future is now. There are many amazing tools now being developed and appearing in the marketplace which use sound to affect our brain waves, our physical body–all sorts of different things. There are so many different instruments beginning to appear that I am hesitant to start naming them. Perhaps it would be best just to credit a few of the early pioneers such as Dr. Peter Guy Manners, M.D., who invented the “Cymatic Instrument”, which uses direct application of specifically tabulated sound frequencies on the body for healing, Robert Monroe, whose “Hemi-Sync” showed that it was possible to synchronize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, affect brain wave activity and induce altered states of consciousness using sound and Dr. Alfred Tomatis, M.D., whose “Electronic Ear” has been proven very effective for working with all sorts of learning disabilities and for emotional imbalances as well.
I would just like to conclude by saying that while I believe that all the instrumentation that is coming forth is quite extraordinary, it is important to remember that we have within ourselves that most amazing and god given instrument of sound for healing and transformation. That instrument is our voice. It is natural, cost effective and does not require batteries or electricity. And perhaps most important, once you get into using your voice for frequency shifting–for healing and transformation–you’ll find it will give you a lifetime of joy. What more could you want?