People over the world are rediscovering the healing powers of Tibetan bowls. They’re also known as Tibetan Singing Bowls, Himalayan Bowls, and Zen Singing Bowls. These beautiful metal bowls are so much more than an attractive object to sit on a shelf. They almost come alive when they are struck or rubbed around the rim. They produce a rich and resonant tone that seems to permeate not only the body but a person’s very soul. The sounds produced by these bowls have powerful healing properties that have been used by Tibetan Buddhist monks for more than 2500 years.
How Are Tibetan Bowls Used In Healing and Sound Therapy?
Many holistic healers use Tibetan Bowls in their work as part of sound therapy. These include psychics, reiki practitioners, touch therapy practitioners, massage therapists, empaths, and yoga instructors. All of these related fields are loosely categorized as “energy medicine” because manipulating and restoring energy patterns is one of the key underlying mechanisms used to heal and restore in any form of holistic healing. The basic concept is that any form of disease or malfunction is caused by an imbalance of energy. Balancing this energy to harmonious state results in healing.
What Is a Tibetan Bowl?
Tibetan Bowls are not only functional, they are beautiful objects that can serve as a conversation starter for guests in your home. They sometimes have intricate engravings that make each bowl totally unique and a creative piece of artwork. Other times, these bowls are simply hand-pounded into a smooth surface. However, even in these smooth Tibetan Bowls, you can still see the hand-hammered marks left behind by the artisan, giving the bowl rustic charm. Some say Tibetan Bowls have distinct personalities just like living creatures and you have to spend some quality time with your Tibetan Bowl before you’ll know exactly how to interact with her. Soon, you’ll learn all sweet spots, how to hold her, and how to strike her for the best tones and different subtle variations.
Traditionally, Tibetan Bowls were handcrafted from seven specific metals, each representing a celestial body. These are:
– Gold: representing the Sun
– Silver: representing the Moon
– Mercury: representing the planet Mercury
– Copper: representing the planet Venus
– Iron: representing the planet Mars
– Tin: representing the planet Jupiter
– Lead: representing the planet Saturn
The timbre of Himalayan Bowls is robust and polyharmonic. Higher quality Tibetan Bowls have better resonance and the sound and vibrational energy field produced when they are struck can last several minutes. The size of the bowl is the most important factor in the tone it produces. Smaller Himalayan Bowls produced a higher tone and larger Himalayan Bowls produce a lower tone. Most people who test the sounds produced by different-sized bowls usually pick a medium-sized bowl that produces a medium tone.
Thicker bowls will resonate more and produce sharper steadier tones overall. However, how you strike a bowl will also affect this. Remember too, these bowls are handcrafted, not machined. Therefore, you’ll notice subtle differences in the sound characteristics of both the low and high tones when you strike the bowl in different places.
Different people will have different preferences for how much “warble” they want in their low tone and high tones. While you may hear some people get highly scientific about warble and flutter in high and low tones, the most important factor is how the sound makes you feel. A bowl that will heal one person better may not be the best healing Tibetan bowl for another person.
With regards to how your body responds to the sound, you’ll tend to feel the lower tones in your lower body and higher tones in your upper body. So, if you’re wanting to use Himalayan Bowls to clear your chakras, you may want to buy different sizes for the best results.
A Tibetan Singing Bowl will also come with a mallet but you can also buy special mallets to create different tones and effects. For example, on larger Tibetan Singing Bowls, you can use a larger mallet to produce a louder fundamental tone with less warble.
More Detail About the Sounds Produced With Tibetan Bowls
A Tibetan Bowl when struck produces a low tone called the fundamental tone. Immediately following the fundamental tone, you’ll hear a series of harmonic overtones, each about a half octave above the proceeding one. So essentially, when you strike a Tibetan Bowl, you’ll hear chords of music rather than a single note. A “tuned” Tibetan Bowl means the notes in these musical chords are well harmonized and pleasing to the ear. If they’re not tuned well, you may hear dissonant sounds that are displeasing to the ear.
When your Tibetan Bowl sounds good, you can assume the vibrational energy being produced is going to be a better healing agent for your body, mind, and aura as well. When picking out a Tibetan Bowl, you’ll want to find a bowl where all the tones harmonize well and feel good to your body. Avoid the “seven metal” bowls or the “chakra tones” because these are actually bowls that do not harmonize well and they will be far less healing and soothing to you. Some Tibetan Bowl dealers may try to sell you on a bowl, not in tune with the idea of providing dissonant sounds to each of the seven major chakras. However, most people will have a more healing experience with a better-tuned bowl.
Tibetan Singing Bowls Produce Theta Brainwave Frequencies
The brain is a complicated organ. It functions in four different phases, depending on the frequency of the electrical impulses being produced. The sounds produced by striking or rubbing Tibetan singing bowls induce the brain to produce electrical impulses between the frequency range of 4–8 Hz, known as theta waves. At this frequency, the brain enters a phase that lies between a state of consciousness and subconsciousness. This is a very special state of mind that allows for deep meditation, lucid dreaming, induced trance, hypnosis, deep reflective thought, prayer, and other spiritual journeys. For most people, this is the primary reason to have a Tibetan Singing Bowl.
When the mind is producing theta frequencies, it no longer focuses on external stimuli but rather focuses within. Psychics sometimes use Tibetan Singing Bowls, or similar sounds, to induce theta waves to help people achieve astral projection or out-of-body experiences, also called OBEs. This involves astral travel or astral projection. These are also associated with certain religious ceremonies such as tantric subtle body, going to the heavens, light-body, or an energy body. It’s easier to achieve these states while being guided by a psychic but you can achieve this by using your Tibetan Singing Bowl at home.
Health Benefits of Tibetan Bowls
Tibetan Singing Bowls are well known to almost instantly reduce stress and calm the mind but their health benefits go well beyond this. They are used to lower blood pressure and increase blood circulation, thereby reducing edema in the lower extremities. They are known to strengthen the immune system and unblock the chakras. They’re also used to ease pain in cancer patients and promote healing. Some diabetics report a remarkable lowering of blood sugar after spending a few minutes each day with a Tibetan Bowl, sometimes improving the complications of diabetes such as macular degeneration.
If you don’t have a Tibetan Singing Bowl, you always download an MP3 to your smartphone or find a recording on YouTube. The benefit will not be quite as good as being in the room when a Tibetan Bowl is struck but it’s still quite good, especially if you’re traveling or just want a quick way to recharge your batteries in your car during your work lunch hour.
If you’re a bargain hunter, a great place to find Tibetan Bowls is thrift shops. Usually, such objects will be kept in a glass case under lock and key. One advantage to buying at secondhand stores is they usually aren’t as picky about how many times you want to try out a Tibetan Singing Bowl before you purchase.