“A tethered bird grows tired from flying in every direction, finding no rest anywhere, and settles down at last on the very same perch on which it is tied. In the same way the mind, tired of wandering around here and there settles down at last in the Self, its life and breath, to which it is bound.” —Chandogya Upanishad
Have you heard about meditation? How about sound massage? Our world seems to be in overdrive, moving at rapid speeds with technology and to-do lists. Meditation is a process of practicing focus and witnessing awareness. A close connection and form of deep relaxation can be found by experiencing a sound massage. Both of these practices offer an avenue of inner health.
Similar to yoga, there are many ways to meditate and many different schools of thought around meditation techniques. Meditation is not a religion but instead an all-inclusive, accessible method for enhancing one’s understanding of their own life and belief systems. Meditation does not require any participant to have a particular belief system or pattern to receive a multitude of benefits.
Just like meditation, sounds and their vibrations can have a profound effect on our ability to relax and clear away tension or blockages within the body. Sound massage is beginning to make its way into our Western culture to provide another avenue of wellness. Tibetan therapy bowls are used to bring about deep relaxation for the receiver. Benefits of experiencing a sound therapy session can include:
It feels great: both relaxing and meditative
Reduced stress, anxiety and negative thinking
Lowered heart rate and blood pressure
Improved circulation, regulated breathing, balanced emotions, more positive feelings/thoughts
Raised self-awareness, insight and clarity
Increased confidence and creativity
Sound massage was developed in 1984 by Peter Hess in Germany. It has just begun to find its way to our Western world with just a few certified teachers practicing.
A beautiful metaphor has been used to describe a relaxation sound massage in Peter Hess’s book, “Singing Bowls for Health & Inner Harmony”: Just like when a stone is dropped into a pond, concentric waves spread over the water’s surface. Every molecule of the water is set moving. During sound massage, something similar happens within our body, for it consists of 80 percent liquid. The gentle sound waves spread through liquid in tissues, muscles, tendons, bones, cavities and organs. These “waves” stimulate the entire body, allowing for tension and blockages to clear away. The more the body is free of tension, the farther spreading of the sound. Free your body of stressors with sound waves and allow your mind to open to a regular meditation practice.
Meditation has been practiced since ancient times and was originally designed to help deepen one’s experience of life. Today, meditation is successfully used for relaxation, proving to be our antidote to rising levels of disease and stress in our American life. Scientific evidence from “20 Scientific Reasons to Start Meditating Today,” by Emma M. Seppala, also illustrates how meditation boosts your health, happiness and social life. It improves productivity and changes the brain so one may begin to feel more positive emotions, an enhanced level of self-control, and much more. Meditation is the most convenient and readily available technique for enhancing quality of life.
During the practice of primordial sound meditation, attention is focused on a personalized sound or vibration with no particular meaning, but a high level of significance. This results in calming the mind, detoxifying the body and beginning a life-changing transformation. During meditation, we get to know ourselves on a deeper level and become more aware of how we can achieve that which we desire in life. It is not uncommon for people who meditate regularly to experience greater happiness, peace, love, meaning and purpose in life.
Gina Armstrong, owner of Balance on Buffalo, is a Peter Hess® sound massage trainer and practitioner. Connect with her to experience the true bliss of a sound massage.
Ashley Holly, yoga instructor at Balance on Buffalo, was trained in primordial sound meditation as well as yoga and meditation at the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California. She will be leading a primordial sound meditation course in January 2015 at Balance on Buffalo. What an amazing way to begin the year!
Katie Presutti, RYT, is the director of creative development at Balance on Buffalo which exists as an oasis... providing a safe and nurturing space in which to manifest and empower your own innate capacity to heal. Massage therapy and bodywork, sound massage, Reiki, coupled with our ongoing yoga classes, kirtan and special workshops are all intended to spark an unfolding of the beauty and human potential that each of us carry within. We are here to guide and nurture a greater awareness and unification of mind, body, heart and spirit by exploring the space that divides them. For more information please visit http://balanceonbuffalo.com.