Sound therapy in Egypt

Sound healing in ancient Egypt

Using a method called 'toning', Egyptians manipulated the vowel sound using breath and voice to render therapeutic sounds.

“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 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 alternative 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 of 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.”

sound healing

Given the healing effect of vowels, resonating structures were built by the Egyptians to amplify the therapeutic effects of sound during religious ceremonies. These structures did not include just the temples, but also the pyramids—especially those along the Band of Peace. According to the acoustician John Stuart Reid, the King’s chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza was designed to reverberate in order to increase the sound energy from ritualistic chants. He claims that his chronic pain in the lower back was healed while conducting cymatic experiments in the pyramid.

Was it a miracle that Reid’s pain vanished into thin air or is there more to the pyramids than meets the eye? Late archaeologist Abd’el Hakim Awyan was an indigenous wisdom keeper who saw Egypt through the eyes of his ancestors. Says he in the documentary The Pyramid Code that pyramid structures along the Band of Peace are harmonic structures that used sound (of running water through an underground tunnel) to heal illnesses. He explains, “Every chamber within the pyramid has a specific harmonic replicating the harmonics of the cavities of the human body. Sound healing techniques were then used to restore the patient’s body to the correct harmonics.”

Further taking the example of the Bent Pyramid of Sneferu in Dashur, Hakim says, Sen means ‘double’ and nefer means ‘harmony’ and that the bent pyramid has two different chambers that produce two distinct sound frequencies. These frequencies are in turn amplified within the pyramid walls to create huge fields of harmonic resonance that restore balance within a human body.

The whole idea of restoring balance within our body using sound might seem unrealistic, but experts believe it may not be farfetched, after all. For instance, scientist Itzhak Bentov writes in his book Stalking the Wild Pendulum that an illness is nothing but an “out-of-tune behaviour of one or the other organs in the body.” He explains that when a cell is stressed or diseased, its frequency changes and it starts vibrating discordantly. And so, he hypothesises that when a strong harmonising rhythm is applied, the malfunctioning cell might just start beating in tune again.

After all is said and done, a few questions remain: Did the ancient Egyptians know about the mysteries of sound healing? Did they compose the vowel chants and build monuments to manipulate sound energy for therapeutic purposes? We may never know for sure. But the possibility of ancient Egyptians being well-versed in sound healing only encourages us to look at our ancient wisdom in a new light, to study it diligently and reach new milestones of sound healing.

Edited by Shalini K Sharma and Arun Kant


How did ancient Egyptians practice sound healing?

Ancient Egyptians used a method called ‘toning’ to manipulate vowel sounds using breath and voice for therapeutic effects.

What structures did the Egyptians build to amplify sound healing?

Resonating structures, including temples and pyramids, were built to amplify the therapeutic effects of sound during religious ceremonies.

How did the pyramids contribute to sound healing?

The pyramids, such as the Great Pyramid of Giza, were designed to reverberate and increase the sound energy from ritualistic chants, potentially aiding in healing.

Is there evidence supporting the effectiveness of sound healing in ancient Egypt?

While there is no definitive evidence, accounts from archaeologists and researchers suggest that ancient Egyptians possessed knowledge of sound healing techniques and used them for therapeutic purposes.


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