“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies.”– Integrative Oncologist Dr Mitchell Gaynor
Of all the forms of energy, sound is, perhaps, one of the more powerful manifestations. Sound energy is intricately connected with the human consciousness and the innate spiritual side of man. By its very nature, sound is at the core of life itself. It influences the mind and the emotions, it is known to alter the life force of a person, with its ability to heal.
Not surprisingly, the modality of sound healing is slowly but surely gaining momentum. No more relegated to the status of an alternate healing practice, the technique of sound healing is increasingly considered part of the mainstream. For instance, music therapy, known to alleviate physical pain and enhance mental wellbeing, is now integrated into hospital programmes. According to Cognitive Neuro Psychologist and music therapist Dr Thirumalachari Mythily, Apollo Hospital, music therapy is also implemented in the areas of paediatrics to treat hyperactive children, and in geriatrics to retrieve the memory of older people with neurological problems.
We have just scratched the surface when it comes to understanding the therapeutic effects of sound, but apparently, our ancestors knew more than us. It is believed that circa BCE (Before Common Era), people were aware about the healing properties of sound. Writes Barbara Marciniak in her book Earth: Pleiadian Keys to the Living Library: “The ancients understood that a simple sound could reorganise the body’s structure. Sounds that are harmonious, activate the body and create healing.” The book also reveals that our ancestors composed harmonious chants and hymns to manipulate the intensity of sound vibrations and their healing capacities. Of the many civilisations that understood the healing nature of sound, one of them was Egypt.
Fascinated with the sound of vowels, the ancient Egyptians knew about their acoustic power. They believed that these sounds could generate vibrations with healing abilities. Using a method called ‘toning’, they manipulated the vowel sound using breath and voice to render therapeutic sounds. Musicologist Laurel Elizabeth Keys writes in her book Toning: The creative power of voice: “Toning is an ancient method of healing. The idea is to simply restore people to their harmonic patterns.”