Within the modality in which I work, the role of the gong as a Sound Healing instrument is one of primary importance. The gong is the sound of total resonance, incorporating all the tones and harmonics of the sound spectrum - those within our hearing range, and also those which are beyond human hearing. The sound of the gong is so comprehensive, so dense and complete when played well, that it is unlike any other instrument you will ever encounter. The sheer range of tones within a medium to large-sized gong is mind-boggling and impossible for the human mind to analyse. This is an instrument of great power, which can shut down the mind chatter, taking us automatically into meditation. In using the gong for Sound Healing, we are utilising the power of the original Om Â? the primordial tone of life, which is present in the gong sound. Om is said to be the sound of the soul - the bridge between the finite and the infinite. The gong plays the central role in my Sound Healing treatments and gongbaths, accompanied by various other empathetic instruments which blend into the soundscape, weaving a blanket of sound colour which is at once both healing and transforming.
When we listen to the sound of the gong, it is an opportunity to vibrate the whole body, and bring it back into a state of harmony through forced resonance. The full sound of the gong will blank out any other sounds in the environment, taking over the sound space completely. Anything else will cease to exist at an auditory level. The gong is the highest producer of resonant tone, making it the ideal instrument for holistic healing. During a Sound Healing session with gongs, we first hear the gong sound with the ears, then as the gong tones begin to become packed into the sound space, their very denseness and the saturation of tone causes the whole body to become like one great ear, as we begin to experience the sounds within every cell. The density of gong tones in the atmosphere and the brain as the sound builds up, causes de-materialization from normal physical consciousness, taking the listener into an altered state, where healing can more readily occur.
Everything in nature has its' own note at which it resonates when in peak condition. This includes every organ and part of the human body. In peak health we are fully balanced and "in tune". During a Sound Healing session with gongs we are brought back into balance by the process of entrainment; our cells and organs, and indeed all parts of us, entrain to the gong sounds by the principle of forced resonance. This is when a more powerful tone will impose itself on a less powerful tone & they start to resonate together at the same pitch, the weaker tone having succumbed to the strength of the stronger. When the gong sounds penetrate the body, any part which is weaker or not resonating strongly with its' own note, i.e. "out of tune", will pick up the appropriately resonating tones in the gong sound and begin to resonate in sympathy with those stronger tones. Because the gong sound is so full and contains such a varied complexity of different notes & harmonics, it is an ideal instrument to be used for entrainment.
So we can see that the gong is likely to be a very effective Sound Healing tool Â? possibly the most powerful Sound Healing instrument known. In my book - Sound Healing with Gongs, a Gong book for Beginners Â? published in 2010, you can learn much more about all aspects of the gong - how it works as a Sound Healing instrument, and what actually happens during the gongbath.
Sheila Whittaker, Healing Sound. Copyright 2010
About the author:
Sheila is a musician, Sound Healer & gongmaster with over forty years experience of teaching music in one form or another. She is a classical musician, having originally studied at the Royal College in London, and had a mainstream classical music career for many years before re-training as a Sound Healer some years ago. At this time, Sheila felt she wanted to use sound and music in a more directly healing way. She is gong tutor for the College of Sound Healing, and authored the Gong Practitioner training course for the College. She also teaches Chant/Mantra and Harmonium. Sheila has recorded three gong CDÂ?s and written a book : Â?Sound Healing with GongsÂ? which was published in 2010. She runs a private therapy and teaching practice from her home in east Devon, UK.
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