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Sacred Sound Therapy for Healing, Spiritual Growth and Meditation

by Rachael Kelly(more info)

listed in sound and music, originally published in issue 93 - October 2003

In the Beginning

Sound is all around us; in each moment we are totally surrounded by sound. These sounds alter our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies, both positively and negatively.

What sounds are creating positive and negative shifts in your life? Take a moment to listen to the sounds around you. Hear just how many sounds are filtered yet remain present. What are the physical, mental and emotional implications of the sounds you surround yourself with?

These words offer clarification as to the extraordinary power Sacred Sound can have upon each aspect of who you are. There are practical ways to manifest positive, healing and transformational sounds through the pure tones of Sacred Sound Therapy.

Sounds Familiar

Intuitively, I sensed throughout my whole life that something deep within me was missing and spent much of my life searching for that which was absent. My inner fulfilment came when I found Sacred Sound, which occurred through several profoundly synchronistic events, which eventually led to inner realizations and a deeper understanding of who I am.

Since that first realization, I knew from deep within that I had found my path and have spent a great deal of time, energy and effort over many years developing, on many levels, my own understanding of Sacred Sound. This inner and outer quest ultimately led to the creation of my own unique techniques and teachings, incorporating a diversity of Sacred Sound tools from every corner of the Earth.

I have concluded, through my own personal research and working with my clients and students, that Sacred Sound has an overwhelmingly positive effect physically, emotionally and psychologically. Sacred Sound is a unique tool, which can heal the body, quieten the mind and transform the self.

What is Sound?

Everything in the Universe is made up of vibration; each unique vibration or frequency emits some kind of sound. The sounds emitted may be undetectable to the human ear, which on average can hear between 16 and 16,000 cycles per second (or Hertz). Vibration is not just perceived through just our ears, but also through our whole being, including skin, bones and cellular structures.

There is much written of the ancient civilization's belief in sound as the creator. Many of the world's religious texts agree that it was 'sound' or the 'word' which created the whole Universe. The ancients held sound and its associated tools to be sacred, including the Native American Shamans, Buddhist Monks and Australian Aborigines. For thousands of years, many ancient cultures have been using Sacred Sound as a means to heal, transform and to enter into altered states of consciousness.

Scientific research is catching up with that which the ancient Priests and Shamans have always known – that not only is everything within the whole Universe made purely of sound/vibration, but that it can bring fundamental changes to not only the physical body, but also the invisible energy fields of the aura, chakras and meridians.

How Sacred Sound Therapy Works

Sound Therapy works on the principle of resonance, which is the unique fundamental vibration or frequency with which each aspect, including body parts, charkas and layers of the aura, most naturally want to vibrate. When an aspect of our being becomes diseased, stressed or imbalanced, an unfamiliar vibration has replaced the natural flow of energy. In order to return balance and harmony, we need to restore the natural fundamental frequency. This can be achieved with the use of Sacred Sound tools through sympathetic resonance, which is when an aspect is brought back into a like vibration. For example, if the Heart chakra resonates to the note F, by using a sound tool tuned to the note F we can restore resonance.

Sacred Sound also works with the principle of entrainment, which is the phenomenon of vibration in which two oscillating aspects lock into phase and vibrate in harmony with one another or create a synchronization of two or more rhythmic parts. This can be done via a more powerful vibration, which then causes the less powerful vibration to lock in step and vibrate at the first frequency. We can see an example of how this works with two tuning forks of the same frequency, where if we strike one tuning fork, the second tuning fork begins to sound in union with the first.

The Pure tones of Sacred Sound tools synchronize the two hemispheres of the brain. This occurs with the interaction of two differing frequencies in opposite ears. For example, by combining one frequency of 100-hertz with a second frequency of 107-hertz, a third frequency is created and, in this example, it would be 7-hertz. This third frequency is not heard in the auditory sense, but perceived as an auditory beat and, theoretically, can be used to entrain specific neural rhythms as we respond to external stimulus.

Sacred Sound tools can alter brain frequencies, as the brain is constantly creating brainwaves, which can be measured scientifically using EEG machinery. Several known and recognized brainwave states include Alpha, Beta, Delta and Theta, as well as K complex.

Beta occurs in our normal waking state, when we are alert and have active awareness of the external world. In this state we react to situations, sometimes without thought for future eventualities. Caffeine, alcohol and amphetamines stimulate the Beta state and High Beta states are associated with hyperactivity, stress, tension and anxiety.

In Alpha we are relaxed, yet still have passive awareness and can enter into a light meditative state. Natural creativity and daydreaming occurs. The possibility of healing can occur, as the body's own natural painkillers endorphins are released.

In Theta we enter deep meditative state, everything is slowed down and we can access profound states of creativity and tranquillity. Unconsciousness happens in this state, as well as light sleep states, where dreams and hallucinations occur.

Delta moves us into deeper sleep; two thirds of sleep occurs within this brainwave frequency with which deeply unconsciousness states are associated. It has also been found that trance mediums, healing and the Shaman's work can happen in this state, where, by slowing down, we can connect to higher vibrations.

K Complex state occurs for most humans in only fleeting moments, where profound realizations are experienced.

The border between Alpha and Theta is the optimum healing frequency, which is when we are present in two different dimensions. In one, we are relaxed and in a deep meditative state, whilst, in the second, we have passive awareness and the natural ability to heal.

Many ancient Sacred Sound Therapy tools facilitate entering into the Alpha/ Theta border and, therefore, we can see the enormity of the ancient's knowledge and wisdom of sound as a healing possibility, as well as a personal and planetary evolutionary transformational tool.

Sound Therapy Tools

Many tools from around the world are incorporated into Sound Therapy, with some practitioners working with one tool and some combining several tools. In my experience, I have found it beneficial to incorporate various tools into my healing treatments, meditations and sound concerts. It is extremely important to remember that no one tool is better than the other – each tool has its own unique sound and possibilities. It is not the quantity of tools that makes a good therapist or teacher, but the quality and intention with which they work.

Some of the tools which I incorporate into individual treatments, group meditations and teachings include:

  • Native American Drum & Rattle;
  • Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls;
  • Sanskrit and Tibetan Mantra;
  • Balinese & Tibetan Bells;
  • Tibetan Singing Bowls;
  • Symphonic Gongs;
  • African rhythm tools;
  • Tibetan Tingsha;
  • Conch shell.

Crystal Singing Bowls are produced from 99.992% silica sand, a pure form of quartz crystal. The silica is placed in a specialist machine containing a bowl-shaped mould and then spun using a centrifugal force with temperatures reaching several thousand degrees, to ensure the silica particles are liquefied into the mould, thus creating the crystal-singing bowl.

Originally produced for the microchip industry, as a means to grow the quartz portion of the microchip, this is because of the purity of the Silica Quartz. The original bowls are called 'crucibles' and have a frosted appearance, thick setting and are greater in size and weight than any of the other bowls.

Most of the crystal singing bowls used in Sound Therapy today are produced purely for Sound Healing purposes, with the exception of some frosted bowls which still remain a by-product of the computer industry. As well as the original frosted bowls there are now a number of innovatively designed crystal singing bowls available in numerous sizes, including the clear and ultra light frosted variety.

Several unique specialist crystal bowls have been produced, which are an infusion of the Silica Quartz with crystal and mineral inclusions. These bowls include the gentle tones of the Rose Quartz bowl, which works directly with the Heart Chakra, manifesting energies of unconditional self-acceptance. The Moldavite bowl produces sounds, which have deeply transformational tones, which sound out of this world. The Egyptian Blue bowl is based on a Faience 13th dynasty Egyptian bowl and creates sounds, that allow us to see through the illusion and release old patterns from the deep past. The Aqua Aura-Bowl/Gold bowl combines the ancient wisdom of the Tibetans with quartz crystal in order to ground and bring dynamic healing energies. The most recent addition is the Platinum bowl, a combination of both platinum and silver. This bowl has a beautiful opalescent appearance and brings forth feminine lunar energies, which balance and support the emotional bodies.

Each crystal-singing bowl is tuned to a note on the scale, which is linked with the seven rainbow colours and chakras. Therefore, when we play these bowls we are working not just with the sound but also with the associated colour and chakra in both the physical and energetic bodies. Playing a combination of bowls representative of the seven charkas, brings total balance and harmony throughout the whole being through sound and colour.

Quartz crystals are used daily in household items, such as clocks, radios and televisions in order to amplify, transform, store, focus and transfer energy. Within our physical bodies, crystalline structures are contained and, therefore, when using crystal bowls, they can exert profound influences within our bodies, including organs, tissues, circulatory, endocrine and metabolic systems.

The almost indescribable sounds created when playing crystal singing bowls are profoundly beautiful with tones reminiscent of an Angelic chorus. As such, only personal experience gives one the deeper understanding as to unique healing and transformational experiences one can have.

These bowls pass through the physical body to cellular structures, releasing blockages on an energetic level, restoring our natural resonance. They manifest an abundance of prana and facilitate us in entering into altered states of consciousness, whilst changing brain wave frequency in order that we may enter into the Alpha/Theta optimum healing frequency.

The chart above shows the chakra and vibrational associations:

The chart above shows the chakra and vibrational associations:

Tibetan Singing Bowls are traditionally made from seven metals, each with a planetary association. This planetary connection identifies the knowledge the ancient Tibetans utilized when producing these Sacred Sound tools. They can be seen as cosmic instruments, symbolic of manifesting the vibration of each of the planets to bring balance from the macrocosm to us as the microcosm. Very little is actually written about the history of these bowls, but we know that they are used in the practice of meditation, ritual and ceremony.

They are so called because as they are played they sing.

The art of making the Tibetan bowls is passed down from generation to generation, with the quantities and combinations of the metals shrouded in mystery. Most bowls available today are new, with older and ancient bowls more difficult to acquire and quite expensive. Some of the modern bowls are no longer made by hand, but machine made and although they still sing, the sound is not as powerful as the traditional bowls.

Work with mantra and intention can be done in order to bring these bowls into alignment with the traditional bowls. The crystal bowls can be seen as being based around the same principle as the Tibetan bowls, as they both produce amazingly beautiful undulating tones, which remain in the air for what seems like forever.

To play both Crystal and Tibetan Singing bowls, place flat on the palm of the hand or on the ground. Gently but firmly run an appropriate suede or wooden wand or mallet around the outside edge of the bowl, to produce the harmonic tones. Allow the sound to fill your whole being and as it quietens, play the bowl once more, continuing for as long as you intuitively feel. Playing a number of bowls together can be quite profound, creating your own unique sound experience.

Tingshas are hand-held Buddhist instruments, which are gently chimed together in meditation to aid concentration and bring balance. Each bell has a different frequency i.e. 100 cps and 107 cps, which, when chimed together, create the third synchronizing frequency and we can, therefore, see just why the Tibetans use these tools in their meditations.

Tibetan and Balinese bells create pure clear tones and have the power and ability to shatter accumulated stagnant energy within a space. The bells can also be used to identify places of stagnant energy and, therefore, can be used as a diagnosis tool to identify blocked energy patterns. The bell is also used as a means to aid mediation and bring balance. Bells are incorporated into most
religions and are traditionally played prior to entering a sacred or holy space and used energetically to remove negative energies and entities within living, working and sacred spaces.

Drumming represents the basic heartbeat of the human, recreating the primordial sound and the pulse of the womb. The drum was used by the ancients to consecrate new buildings and purify after sickness or death. It is used in most ancient cultures, including the Native American, African and Tibetan. Align yourself with the drum and play with your own heartbeat, creating sounds and rhythms intuitively to raise your energy and enter into altered states of consciousness.

Rattles and Shakers tend to be associated with the Native American and African traditions. These tools harmonize and smooth out the energies at the end of a healing treatment or mediation. They raise the energies and uplift a space, group or individual. Start gently, gradually raising the sounds to create increasingly energetic vibrations.

Mantra comes from the Sanskrit words, man meaning mind and trai meaning to liberate. Therefore, mantra is a means to free the mind and liberate the self. Sanskrit mantra stemming from the Hindu tradition has been used throughout the East for thousands of years and is seen as a deeply spiritual practice. The traditional mantra discipline is to chant the mantra for 40 consecutive days, 108 times each morning and night, using a Mala counting device.

Good Vibrations

The simplest and most cost effective way to work with sound is through your own voice. Singing sacred songs, toning or chanting a mantra can be incorporated into any daily spiritual practice. Try some of the seed mantras in the table included, use specific mantras or create your own songs.

When working with sound tools, it is a good idea to cleanse the tools, yourself and your space energetically. This can be done by various means such as sage, lavender, amethyst or Aura-Soma Pomanders and Quintessences. Ensure you are in the right frame of mind, taking some deep breathes to let go of any stress and tension and then close your eyes to centre yourself. Set the right intention for the experience, trying to stay focused with the chosen intention throughout. Start gently, working with your intuition; build the sounds as appropriate to what is required at that time and end when you feel your work is complete.

Working with just one crystal or Tibetan bowl, drum or bell can have a huge impact and it doesn't have to break the bank. Endeavour to purchase quality, fairly traded tools.

Further information about these and other sacred sound tools are available on my website

Words cannot do justice to the beauty, tranquillity, healing and inner calm, sacred sound can have upon every aspect of your being. Try to experience Sacred Sound for yourself, even for just five minutes, whether on a recording, using sound tools individually, hearing a live performance or having an individual Sound Healing Therapy. You will feel, see and hear amazing results both inwardly and outwardly. Sacred Sound has changed my life immeasurably and if, intuitively, you feel these words sound true, then why not take the time through Sacred Sound to change your life for the greater good.


  1. Tom Mathew said..

    Beautiful article. This the only article where I could find the sound of chakras, though I have read many material.

    Thank you very much dear Rachel.

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About Rachael Kelly

About the Author Rachael Kelly PASIACT MIAC works as a Sacred Sound Therapist and Teacher in the UK and internationally. Rachael is also an advanced Aura-Soma Colour therapy Practitioner and a Member of the International Association of Colour. Her courses are designed so that each individual can practically use the techniques and tools in their daily life. Rachael can be contacted on Tel: 07887 854565;;

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