March 14, 2024
March 14, 2024 Shilpi Das Chohan

Sound is the Future Medicine. Why?

Sound was always the medicine and it shall remain an eternal fact irrespective of our belief systems, usually influenced by limitedness. We are yet to understand that this medicine isn’t sold off the shelf because it is available to all of us, in abundance. Whether we value it, harness it, and use it to heal ourselves, is an available choice.

Recently a good friend of mine introduced me to one of her neighbour with a 16 year old autistic son. Her intent was to help them by persuading this mother to explore sound therapy for her son. We briefly exchanged notes about my work in sound healing and promised to connect soon. A few days passed, I texted her warmly inviting her to our healing centre to experience a sound meditation session for herself first. Her cold response, “I am not interested in trying out these.”, jerked me off initially, it simply highlighted how most of us choose to remain in the cocoon of complacency, and egoism of comfortable limitedness. The choice to consume chemicals that never cure anything has become a habit with everyone.

It’s a clear divide. One is a section of people who are forever driven by their innate curiosity to explore and remain open to learning, fearlessly embracing innovations to improve their lives. The latter is probably a larger section that’s skeptical, fearful and too lazy to even do their own research driven by their social conditioning, preconceived notions and egoistic symptoms of ‘I know it all’, that demands proof, evidence and validation. Which one do you belong to?

Unless there’s a revolution in the medicine domain, or the media flashes a sensational breakthrough, how many of us would seriously care to pay attention to something that is staring on our face? Lately much has been written about ‘sound healing’, yet the concept is popular only amongst a select few. Those display superior intellect, elevated sense of empathy, willingness to listen to what others have to say while remaining humble about their own knowledge and expertise.

Let’s dive in to unravel some facts to comprehend how the concept of ‘Sound Energy’ as the medicine of future came into being. 

Long ago, an eccentric scientist said, “If you want to find the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration”. You would have probably come across this statement already, and ignored it too. I paid more attention to this when I delved into the world of sound healing, as a practitioner. Nikola Tesla must have been simply crazy to have said those words, because it takes a genius of a mind and heart like his, to sense this truth that is foundational to our creation. Sadly, such a genius was never a part of school curriculum, so we grew up knowing about the work and contributions of many scientists, but him. 

Have you heard about Cymatics? Dr. Hans Jenny a Swiss medical doctor pioneered studying the visible proof of sound and vibration on physical matter and coined the term ‘Cymatics’ for this field of science. It vividly demonstrates how sound influences matter and its molecular structure. He recorded a photographic documentation of the effects of sound vibrations on various substances and published his findings in the first volume of this book Cymatics: The Study of Wave Phenomenon, subsequently the second volume in 1972, the year he left this physical world. Preceding Dr. Hans Jenny, German Physicist and Musician Ernst Chladni had pursued his experiments with acoustics way back in 1783 when he began teaching law, mathematics and natural sciences at the University of Wittenburg, Germany. He invented techniques to show various shapes and patterns created by various modes of vibrations on metal plates or membranes. He is also regarded as the ‘Father of Acoustics’. You will be amazed to know he was inspired by the work of another genius Robert Hooke, a physicist, astronomer, geologist, meteorologist and architect, an eminent name in the 17th century who dwelled in England. It was in 1680 that Robert Hooke observed running a violin bow along the edge of a glass plate  covered with flour formed patterns due to the vibrations.

The geometrical patterns formed due to sound waves that were physically visible in the experiments by these geniuses are a testimony to the truth that the whole Universe is a manifestation of vibrations. Each entity including us is a tiny part of that ‘whole’, a reality that is not always physically visible. Dr. Hans Jenny’s curiosity to unveil the spiritual aspect of science lead him to further his research and create a ‘tonoscope’ to observe the effect of the human voice on different materials, in varied mediums. Speaking or singing into the device generated distinct shapes and patterns corresponding to different vowels, that were also affected by the changing pitch. All the formations exhibited distinct rhythm, texture, movement and rotation. So you see, our world is defined by rhythm and vibration.

Geometrical patterns formed in cells by sound

Interestingly Indian Sufi Mystic and Musician Hazrat Inayat Khan said, “Those scientists who have made experiments with sound on certain plates – which impressions appear like forms – will find one day that the impression of the voice is more living, deeper and has a greater effect. Sound can be louder than the voice, but sound cannot be more living than the voice”. This deep thought has the power to provoke a myriad emotions in us! It isn’t surprising then to decipher the true meaning of the saying, “Before you speak, THINK”. The voice carries the vibration of every word we utter due to our thought, intention and emotion that becomes the reality as it imprints the pattern in the space invisible to the eye. 

Hazrat Inayat Khan
Hazrat Inayat Khan

I am fortunate to have met the globetrotting Jill Purce, British Voice Teacher recently through a virtual interaction. A super senior, this legendary lady has been pioneering the international sound healing movement through ancient traditions of vocal techniques and teaching of overtone chanting. Her profound knowledge about the healing powers of the human voice is unparalleled. Learning from her has enhanced my wisdom and added a beautiful dimension to my practice with voice healing. 

Jill Purce

Jill Purce says, “When we use our voices for chanting together, we literally vibrate our brains and bodies, experiencing a form of vocal healing and purification bringing dissonant parts of our physical, emotional, mental, or social makeup back into resonance. We cleanse and tune the chakras, learning sonorous massage, truly healing with sound, to safely set free redundant or outmoded parts of our selves. Working with the healing voice in this way empowers our lives. Chanting directly stimulates the release of endorphins, giving rise to states of enhanced awareness, blissful calm, and other deep meditative states. Unlocking the voice balances the mind and body, bringing physical health, emotional joy and spiritual ecstasy.”

While we dwell on the magic, spirituality and science of sound and voice, Dr. Kulreet Choudhary, a celebrated neurologist, author and a pioneer in the field of integrated medicine, along with her Yogi husband Joshua Barr have been pursuing extensively noteworthy work in healing people with mantra chanting. They have been on a noble mission to create awareness about the healing powers of mantras that activate energy centres in the body called ‘chakras’, aiding holistic wellness with ‘Sound Medicine’. A spiritually enlightened soul, Joshua Barr is a master of mantra chanting, with a deep understanding of this gift available for our health and healing.  

Scientific study by Saketh M., PhD student at Centre for Consciousness Studies in NIMHANS, Bangalore have proven the powerful activation of the brain cells that get enabled due to the gamma oscillations created un the brainwave pattern, by the chanting of Nirvana Shatakam composed by Adi Guru Shankaracharya.

Such scientific evidences prove: “Sound has the power to affect our ‘inner workings’ and assist in rearranging dissonance into a natural state of coherence”.

If you find yourself opening up to the deeper understanding of the truth that vibrations rule our lives and influence our health, it’s time you dwell on it a little more. It’s time you give some credence to the human curiosity that has brought in such awareness through the intellect of the geniuses mentioned here. The power to shape up our reality and the means to attaining holistic health is obviously in our reach, right here, right now. Ready to expand the way you look at the world and your health, or still waiting for more evidence to be served?

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