The body can be its own best healer. Here are six techniques to help you heal with sound.
A physician friend of mine once jokingly said that most of the time, doctors just entertain their patients until they cure themselves. While he was joking, there is an element of truth in what he said. The body is its own best healer. When balanced and harmonious, your body knows exactly what to do in any situation. One tool that can help you tap into the balance, harmony, and healing that is innately within you is sound.
The Mechanics of Sounds/Vibrations
The unmanifest Absolute, Pure Consciousness is silent but holds the potential for all sounds and vibrations. When Pure Consciousness moves within itself, it creates the first or Primordial Sound, OM. This Primordial Sound then diversifies in to all the sounds and vibrations of creation. When the vibration is slow, it becomes the solid, material world. Everything in the manifest creation has a different sound or vibration, which play together in the glorious symphony called life.
When the vibrations remain pure and harmonious, you remain happy and healthy. If the harmony is distorted by stress, pollution, poor lifestyle choices, or toxic emotions, Wholeness is lost in the environment and in your body. The body forgets how to repair itself and you fall sick.
Sound has been used for generations by most cultures to bring peace and balance. The beating of a drum, playing a singing bowl, and chanting mantras can all have a harmonizing effect. Listening to the sounds of nature also have a healing effect on your well-being. A walk in natural surroundings can create a soothing effect through your entire physiology. Listening to different music at different times can be used to stimulate or soothe the mind and body. In Indian music, there are specific pieces known as Rajas, which are played at different times of the day to align the rhythms and energies of the body with the rhythms and cycles of nature.
However, the wrong sounds may cause an imbalance. It’s important therefore, to be aware of the effects of different sounds and how they make you feel at different times. As well as listening to external sounds, learn to listen to the internal sounds of your body. What are they telling you? Is your body calm and relaxed or tense and irritated?
The Indian Vedic Science of Mantras has, for thousands of years, used a system whereby the vibrations of different aspects of creation, including the different parts of the human body, are known. By reintroducing the correct vibration into an area of the body, you can begin to restore the memory of wholeness in that area.
Here are some ways to heal with sound.
Get in Tune
As you’ve learned, everything is sound or vibration. The reason you can see someone is because you are vibrating on similar frequencies. If you want to communicate with someone or something, get in tune with its sound or vibration.
Many years ago, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced the West to many fascinating experts in Yoga and Ayurveda. One of these was Balraj Maharishi from South India, who was reported to know the vibration of 6,000 herbs. When asked about this, he humbly responded that whenever he walked through the forest and came across a new plant, he would “ask” it what it was good for and attune himself to its vibration. Or, if he was trying to cure a particular illness, he would walk through the forest and “ask” who can help, until a plant would “sing out” to him.
Listen to Your Own Thoughts
Your own thoughts are vibrations, which become your actions and shape your life. It is said that if you want to know why your life is the way it is now, look at your thoughts in the past and, if you want to know how your life will be in the future, look at your thoughts now! If your thinking is negative and confused, you are creating turbulence in your physiology.
Worrying about something creates a negative vibration through the whole physiology, throwing everything out of balance. Making the sounds of worrying is one of the most harmful things you can do to yourself. Instead, try to keep your thinking calm and positive, creating a soothing, loving sound. Your cells will appreciate this and your body is more likely to stay healthy. Try thinking more from your heart and less from your mind. Sounds emerging from the heart have healing vibrations.
Harmonize Vibrations in Your Home
Every object in your home also has its own sound or vibration. Due to misuse, objects can go out of harmony. Neglecting your living space, moving into a new home, or staying in a hotel room, you can often find yourself surrounded by disharmony.
A turbulent environment will create disturbances in your life. While you may not know the vibration of a chair or table, you can re-harmonize an entire room with a non-specific sound, and each object will absorb the vibrations it needs. This can be done by walking clockwise around the room or object and playing a pure, clear bell or gong or chanting the mantra OM. The sound of a drum can be used to energize a room.
Chant Simple Sounds
There are special mantras that can be used for healing, but these are best learned from an experienced teacher. However, there are many simple sounds you can use, which are quite effective. These sounds can be chanted silently or aloud, in non-focused activity or sitting quietly. Chant them and direct the vibration to the area of imbalance.
1. The vowels are what are known as non-local sounds, meaning they will localize and harmonize wherever you direct them:
2. Sounds containing consonants generally localize in a specific area, such as the following:
- Mmm – sinuses
- Nnn – ears
- Imm – eyes
- Lmm – nose
- Paam – stomach
- Kaa Gaa Gha – throat
- Yaa Yu Yai – jaw
- Haa – diaphragm
- Mam – reproductive organs
- Maa – heart
- Sssss – lungs and large intestine
- Shhh – liver and small intestine
- Who – spleen and gall bladder
- Wooo – kidneys and bladder
Chant Chakra Vibrations
Consciousness transforms into matter at every point in the Universe but is most lively in certain places. On the Earth, these places are called vortexes, on the body, they are called chakras (wheel), which spin consciousness into matter.
The chakras are energy centers, rather than physical items and the main seven are positioned along the spine. The chakras also hold the karma for this lifetime, which influences or distorts the consciousness as it manifests in our physiology. This distortion can cause a loss of harmony to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Clearing the chakras so they can spin freely is an important part of your spiritual growth.
Like everything else, each chakra has its own sound or vibration. Chanting these sounds either aloud or silently with your attention in the appropriate area helps to balance the chakras. Each chakra has its own qualities but by starting at the base of the spine and chanting each one two to three times, you can create an overall harmony in all areas of your life.
- Root Chakra (base of the spine) LAM
- Sacral chakra (behind the pubic bone) VAM
- Navel chakra (just below the ribs) RAM
- Heart chakra YAM
- Throat chakra HAM
- Third Eye chakra (between eyebrows) KSHAM
- Crown chakra (top of head) OM
Try Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
The most powerful healing mantra is the Maha Mrtyunjaya. This mantra is from the Shiva tradition and is said to create good health; dispel sorrow, depression, anger, selfishness and vengeful thoughts; prevent untimely death; bring peace, energy, and zeal; and remove the fear of death.
OM TRYAMBAKAM YAJAMAHE
SUGANDHIM PUSHTI VARDHANAM
MRTYOR MUKSHIYA MAMRTAT
We pray to Lord Shiva whose eyes are the Sun, Moon and Fire, who is fragrant, and who sustains all living beings. May He protect us from all disease, poverty and fear. May he bless us with prosperity, longevity and good health, liberating us from the cycle of birth and death and lead us to immortality, just as the cucumber is released from its bondage to the creeper when it fully ripens.
Silence contains the potential for all sounds and therefore the mechanics for all healing. Mantras such as the Chopra Center’s Primordial Sound Meditation mantras are vibrations that take your awareness on an inward journey away from activity, until you access the field of Pure Silence and Infinite Possibilities.
By making this journey, back and forth, on a regular basis, you begin to integrate this potential in your daily life. In the process, the mind and body gain a deep level of rest, and rest is how the body naturally heals itself, throwing off stress, fatigue, and toxins. The memory of Wholeness, health, and harmony begins to be restored in all levels of your life.
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.
Learn how to meditate with your Primordial Sound mantra, which mirrors the vibrational sound the universe was making when you came into existence and is an invaluable tool for spiritual awakening, at Seduction of Spirit, our signature meditation and yoga retreat led by Deepak Chopra. Learn More.