Himalayan Singing Bowl Therapy
by Penny Burdick, MD, HTCP/I
I took a class in use of singing bowls for sound healing and massage in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal, Nov. 2019, from Shree Krishna Shahi, a 3rd generation singing bowl master/healer. He teaches, does healing sessions and gives concerts all over the world.
The bowls have been made & used in the Himalayan region for thousands of years. The hand-hammered bowls used for sound healing are predominantly made in Nepal. Traditionally, they are an alloy of 7 metals, each representing a different celestial body:
- Copper (Venus) – >70% 5. Gold (Sun)
- Tin (Jupiter) 6. Lead (Saturn) – <1%
- Iron (Mars) 7. Mercury (Mercury) – <1%
- Silver (Moon)
In the West, were we are linear thinkers, the notes for the chakras are in this sequence: Root C, then D, E, F, G, A, and B at the Crown Chakra.
In the East, the sequence is different and more harmonious: Root F, then C, G, D, A, E, and B at the crown. With my particular set of bowls, G resonates with the throat chakra & A with the solar plexus, so I switched these 2 from what is taught in Nepal.
For 1:1 energy healing, the bowls are predominantly played with padded mallets (drumsticks), which give a deeper, softer & more harmonious sound than the leather wrapped sticks used for concerts or group sound baths, where you need louder volume.
Usually, the singing bowls are played at no more than 60% intensity for healing sessions, and are most therapeutic at 5-25% intensity. Normally, the crown bowl is played at 20% intensity or less, which helps put the client in a meditative state. For infants & animals, very low intensity (<10%) is used. However, for Parkinson’s disease, ADD, epilepsy or PTSD, high intensity (>60%) is most effective, as it vibrates the involved nerves.
In the Nepali method, the bowls are arranged around the body, with each bowl next to its associated chakra. There, the client lies on a mat on a rug or carpeted floor, with the bowls on the rug. The healer squats or kneels throughout the session.
Given my aging knees & desire to combine the bowls with crystal healing & Healing Touch, I adapted this for working on a massage table, with the bowls on narrow tables alongside. I now also do distance healing sessions via Zoom, with the bowls arranged in front of my tablet computer and a sensitive external microphone to transmit the full tones and vibrations of the bowls.
Singing bowls can also be used for warm water massage or sound massage. Since I am not a licensed massage practitioner, I have opted not to do this massage treatment.
For concerts or group sound baths, the bowls are usually played in a free-form fashion using the leather wrapped sticks, or the bowl is rubbed around the rim with the wooden end of the stick to make the bowl sing.
If you are interested in making an appointment for a Himalayan bowl healing session, live or distance, please contact me through this website.
I also offer Full spectrum Healing sessions combining use of the Himalayan bowls, crystals and Healing Touch. These are available as live 1:1 or distance sessions .