Sound is a tool we can use to easily and intuitively communicate with our subtle energies via resonance and influence, using vibration, patterns and fields of sound.
You’ve probably experienced this: Shifts in mood and energy level occur when you hear a lullaby, listen to a favorite song, chant for a few minutes, get lost in an orchestral masterpiece or overhear a pounding beat in the car next to you at a stoplight!
I remember as a kid trying to replicate the television ad where a soprano hits a high note, causing a crystal glass to shatter. Fortunately, my glass wasn’t fine crystal, and my voice, while high, wasn’t powerful enough to shatter glass. But I was successful at finding tones of voice that would annoy my sister, cause my dog to wag her tail and roll over to get her belly rubbed, cajole adults to smile at me and make friends feel loved.
Sometimes I’d find songs that would cause my stomach to stop hurting; cause my sadness to turn liquid, flow out and release; and encapsulate the joy I felt that no words could express.
Sound is a rich and powerful healing tool, especially for self-healing. Music can be used to create or alter mood, heal the soul and invoke the sacred, which is a core ingredient in wellness. Music can also be used to move and influence the subtle energies that bathe your organs and run your body’s functions.
I’m very tonal, which means I process energies using my ears to pick up vibrations, sounds, rhythms, cadences and tones. And I understand the energies they represent. Being tonal also means I’m often driven crazy by sound pollution, such as constant Muzak, background music, the noise of banging machines, the hum of refrigerators and air-conditioning, and the sounds of TV and radio filling all the empty spaces in many settings.
If sound has the power to move us and influence our energies, and it does, then the soundscape of contemporary life can easily cause energetic and even stress-chemical overload in people who are sensitive to sound.
Consider: A driving beat in music can get you excited and make you want to jump to your feet and dance. It’s a stimulant, causing chemical cascades that can really move you. But too much of that driving beat acts on your body like multiple cups of coffee. Calming classical music, on the other hand, can act to bring your stress hormones down. I once visited a tequila factory that plays classical music 24/7 in the room where the tequila is fermenting to keep the yeast calm and balanced!
Sound healing is vast. Like other energy vocabulary you can use to communicate with your subtle energies, I recommend you experiment and create your own baseline experience with it.
In using sound for self-healing, however, you may need to first clear your palate and experience some silence! I used to go twice a year to 10-day silent meditation retreats in the desert, and while there wasn’t total silence, the return to immersing myself in the sounds of nature, unembellished by recorded sound, other people’s chatter and machine noise reset my ability to use sound as a healing tool (for myself and others).
If you can’t afford this kind of luxury, then an hour or two spent in a park immersed in natural sounds can help clear your instrument.
Playing with sound and rhythm
Experiment with individual sounds and how they affect you overall. See what types of sounds move you and how. What happens when you sing short notes versus sustained ones?
Find a place in your body that you’re drawn to for some reason. Maybe there’s pain or congestion there, or another sensation that calls your attention. Experiment with sending sound into that area, either by holding your hand there and singing or just by aiming sound toward that area with your intention.
Try toning: vocalizing a sound and letting it vibrate through your body. Does it work better to sing the tone clear or with vibrato? Does it work better to hold the note in a sustained way, or to use a rhythm with it? What happens when you combine a few notes—does the music want to rise, fall or perhaps circle around?
Experiment with how it feels in your body to make sounds, how it feels to listen to sounds, and how it feels to try to hear sounds with your whole body. Try visiting a gong store to feel what happens in your subtle energies as you strike different tones; listen to various kinds of sacred chants online to see what effect they have on you. Make up your own sacred chant: Sing your celebration of the Divine in your own made-up chant.
Do these exercises embarrass you? Although our culture is full of sound and noise, we are also all too frequently shamed when using our voices, vocalizing and expressing ourselves with sound. Because many cultures and subcultures carry a belief that children should be seen and not heard, too many children grow up finding it hard to use sound easily and without self-consciousness.
Many of us got shamed if we tried to sing but couldn’t carry a tune. Sound that is blocked or unexpressed can cause physical and emotional illness, and people whose voices are chronically silenced by others may suffer chronic illness as a result. Reclaiming sound and finding your voice, both literally and figuratively, is a powerful wellness practice.
Exercise: Simple energy self-test
Although my emphasis is on tuning in to perceive energies directly, developing some skill with energy testing is useful as well.
This simple Eden Energy Medicine energy self-test, called the Pendulum Self-Test, works on the pendulum principle. Stand up with both feet together, tuck each elbow into your side, with your hands together on your solar plexus, one over the other.
Sway a bit forward and back, just to feel your balance loosen. Then say something you know to be true: “My name is _____.” Release your standing balance, so your body can sway backward or forward in response to that statement.
Normally, the body sways forward or towards the truth (your yes), and it sways backward or away from something untrue (your no). Occasionally, I meet someone for whom this pattern is reversed.
Try a phrase you know to be untrue: “My name is Mergatroyd.” Release your standing balance and see which way your body sways.
Once you’ve calibrated this Pendulum Self-Test to reliably sway in one direction when you state energetic truths, and backward for untruths, you can use it to validate your body-based intuition.
Ellen Meredith, DA, EEMAP, is the author of The Language Your Body Speaks. An intuitive and energy medicine practitioner with more than 35 years of experience, she has served on the faculty of energy medicine pioneer Donna Eden since 2010 and teaches energy healing techniques all over the world. Ellen lives in Marin County in California. Visit her online at www.ellenmeredith.com.
Excerpted from the book The Language Your Body Speaks. Copyright ©2020 by Ellen Meredith. Printed with permission from New World Library—www.newworldlibrary.com.
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