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Vibrational Sound Therapy
How Does VST Work?
VST is a sound relaxation therapy technique using Himalayan singing bowls as the focal point of the session. The bowls can be used for the treatment of a wide range of ailments, helping to decrease the effects of stress and anxiety in the mind and body. Singing bowls are placed on and around the body and activated by striking with a padded felt mallet, through a series of gentle layouts, spanning the length of the body. As the client brings their awareness to the bowls combination of soothing sounds and vibrations, this allows the body to begin the unwinding and relaxation process, while also helping to quiet the mind from the normal cycles of thought.
What To Expect
The only preparation that I ask of you, is to make sure you are hydrated in the days leading up to your session. The client will benefit more from their session, the better hydrated they are. This allows the muscles to absorb the vibration in a greater capacity, while also carrying the vibration further. A dehydrated client will not get the same results from a session as someone who is well hydrated before they walk in the door.
Before a VST session begins, I will ask about any symptoms you may be experiencing, your related medical history and what you're hoping to get out of the session. I will also explain the different techniques and tools I will be using throughout our session together. The client will remain fully clothed and has the option of either laying face up or down on a table and may be covered with a sheet or light blanket. The client will have the choice of either having heavier or lighter bowls placed on the body, depending on your level of comfort. The VST session progresses at a very enjoyable and relaxed pace.
A VST session may last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. Whatever session you choose, you should feel relaxed and calm during and after the session. I recommend longer sessions (at least 60 minutes) for beginners, to become acclimated to the technique. When a client comes in for frequent sessions, the body begins to establish new patterns by recognizing the sound and vibration and returning to a deeper and longer state of relaxation more quickly. Everyone is unique in their own way, so each person will have a different experience that is right for them:)
Promoting Deep Relaxation
Improving Sleep Patterns & Decreasing Sleep Disturbances
Managing Insomnia Related to Stress
Lowering Stress Levels
Reducing Anger & Aggression
Improving Relationships with Others
Promoting Feelings of Caring, Comfort & Connection
Reducing Joint Pain
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Improving Athletic Performance & Enhancing Recovery
Brief History of Singing Bowls
The history of Himalayan Singing Bowls goes back more than two thousand years ago, in the Himalayan region that encompasses Nepal, India and Tibet (which is a region of China). It has been rumored that the first bowls were crafted in the time of Buddha, but there is little evidence to support this based on the limited documentation of their history. Although the west associated Himalayan Singing Bowls with Buddhism, they were not part of the prominent religious ceremonies. In that time, the bowls were used as functional tools for everyday living, such as cooking, storage, etc. Because the true science of metalworking was unknown at that time, it took the Himalayan people generations and much trial and error to design high quality bowls, with the rich natural ore deposits in their region.
Most singing bowls, whether they are modern or antique all have a common base of 80% copper and 20% tin. Today, with the tools and expertise, we are better able to produce high quality contemporary bowls, that provide clearer tones and more energy through greater vibrations, mastering the process to an exact science.
The bowls that I use in my practice are therapeutic singing bowls, which are hand-hammered in Nepal. These are specifically designed for sound therapy and differ from traditional Himalayan singing bowls. Hand-hammered bronze singing bowls may date back a few hundred years. These one of a kind "singing bowls" are the first bowls designed as a tool to be applied directly to the body through vibration. Due to the finishing process of smoothing out the surface of the therapeutic singing bowls, a clearer dominant tone presents itself, while still having a rich multitude of overtones.
In the Kathmandu factory, tin is added to a crucible of molten copper, where it is melted and mixed to become an amalgam of two metals. A flux or wax is then added into the mixture giving rise to any impurities to be skimmed off the top. Any material that remains in the crucible is then poured into rough molds. As the alloyed copper and tin (now bronze) cool, the metal pieces are knocked loose and sorted by size. To make the pieces more malleable, they are placed into an annealing fire to bring up their temperature, making them easier to flatten into disc shapes, using a roller. The heating and rolling process will continue until the thickness and diameter is achieved. The next step is to make stacks of 3 discs and reintroduce them to the fire.
The remaining process usually involves several people. One person will remove the 3 discs from the fire using a pair of wrought iron tongs and placing them on an anvil or wooden stump to begin the hammering process. Skillfully, the worker begins to rotate the 3 bowls, using his tongs, while keeping them perfectly stacked. In unison, two to four workers rhythmically hammer the bowls until the color begins to shift, indicating they have begun to cool. From this point, the stack of 3 bowls are once again, returned to the fire. This heating and hammering process helps the bronze to become more ductile, allowing the hammers to create gentle curving shapes without the material crumbling into pieces.
Now it is time for the bowls to be separated and individually shaped. An individual bowl is finish-hammered by a single artisan. At this point some bowls are finished, while others go on to being lathed on the inside or have the rim shaped, which gives the bowl a smoother playing surface. Singing bowls can be antiqued, sanded or colored to provide a different finish. Adding an artistic finish will add a whole new set of variables to the sound of the bowl. Because of the manner of construction, singing bowls are not made to a particular note. Bowls can vary overall, depending on who made them and where they are from.
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