Every one or two months, I treat myself to a massage from my trusted massage therapist in Watertown, NY. She’s an amazing lady – very open-minded and holistic. I’m comfortable talking about my religious practice with her, and she’s equally at ease sharing her explorations of meditation, Buddhism, and alternative healing with me. We approach spirituality a little differently, but we find common ground and have some really great conversations.
Today, I had an hour session that was part Swedish massage and part what she calls “sound energy healing.” She’s been training on how to use such things as Tibetan singing bowls, tingshas, and tuning forks for therapeutic and spiritual purposes. What she did felt a lot like reiki but with sound. She surrounded me with various-sized singing bowls which she played according to her intuition. She began by using the tingsha like a pendulum to check my chakras. The sensation of the sound waves flowing through the air was amazing. I relaxed and just relished in the experience. Often, the singing bowls made me visualize great spirals moving over and through me. A few times, it felt as if golden spears were cast right through me. None of it felt painful; rather, the sound waves felt like they were pushing anything stressful and “negative” right out of me.
I know that sounds really New Agey, and people who are close to me know I don’t often go for that sort of thing. Yet there is much to be said for the power of music. There are stories of ancient bards disfiguring people with their song, which is a metaphor for how easily someone’s reputation can be changed due to a finely crafted song or story. I spent many years playing in my school’s orchestra, and that often aroused intense emotion. When playing a song that evoked feelings of war, adventure, sadness or love, it was difficult not to get swept away in it while sitting in the middle of the source and participating in it.
Today’s experience has me curious about how the ancient Celts might have utilized sound in ritual.