What do the Aboriginal people of Australia, the ancient Greeks, and nomadic shamans have in common? They’ve all used sound as a form of healing. Whether it involves wind instruments, drums or chants, these cultures recognised centuries ago what acoustic researchers discovered in the 20th century – that sound has medical applications, like in the use of ultrasound, for example.
Sound can also help us relax. (Picture, for instance, lying on your lounge chair with a drink in hand and Bach playing in the background.) According to Christina Nikolovski, owner and founder of Space 2B – the meditation studio conducting DayAway’s ultra-relaxing Sound Healing Experience at Raffles Hotel – sound can also profoundly impact our sense of wellbeing and self-awareness.
NEED TO RELAX? JUST PRESS PLAY
GET A TASTE OF DAYAWAY’S SOUND HEALING EXPERIENCE WITH SPACE2B’S THREE SOUND BATHS, EACH PLAYED ON A DIFFERENT TYPE OF ALCHEMY CRYSTAL BOWL. WHICH DO YOU FIND MOST RELAXING?
9″ C-5 Tesseract Salt + Platinum Alchemy Crystal Bowl
This stunning bowl creates what Christina Nikolovski, owner and founder of Space 2B, calls a “sonic opalescent rainbow bath” and has a calming, steadying and grounding effect.
12″ GO Ocean Marine Gold Alchemy Crystal Bowl
This bowl is said to enhance the immune system and activate the thymus gland, which makes infection-fighting white blood cells. Nikolovski says its frequencies of gold and water elementals “create love, balance, self-realisation, and attunement with nature’s healing forces”.
8″ E-5 Blue Moonstone Tall Alchemy Crystal Bowl
According to Nikolovski, Moonstone encourages inner harmony, new beginnings and rebirth. Blue Moonstone is also known as the “lovers’ stone,” which helps to enhance passion.
How Does Sound Healing Work?
Sound healing uses qualities such as “resonance, vibration, harmony, rhythm, melody and timbre,” says Nikolovski. Another key aspect of sound healing, she adds, is “entrainment”, or “the ability of a sound to shift and change the vibrational level of a person,” bringing them into a state of harmony.
According to Nikolovski, everyone has four states of mind: beta (normal conscious state), alpha (relaxed state), theta (meditative state) and delta (deep sleep state). To put it simply, the aim of sound healing is to find the right frequency, vibration and rhythm to align our brain waves with the alpha and theta state where healing can take place. This, according to Nikolovski, benefits our “organs and cells, as well as our circulatory, endocrine, and metabolic systems”.
Why The Type of Singing Bowl Matters
A popular form of sound healing uses singing bowls. Sound practitioners typically use a selection of different bowls during sound healing sessions, running a mallet along the bowls’ rims to produce a variety of soothing tones. Singing bowls come in a myriad of different shapes and sizes, with some types – mainly the alchemy crystal singing bowls – costing thousands of dollars for a single bowl. A reason for their high prices, explains Nikolovski, is that these works of art are typically crafted from rare, precious materials. Examples include 99.992% pure quartz crystal, fine gemstones like amethyst, rose, tourmaline and precious metals such as 24-karat gold, silver and platinum.
Apart from their exquisite construction, alchemy crystal bowls are different from lower-end singing bowls (non-alchemy) or Himalayan brass singing bowls because of their superior ability to hold vibrations. This gives them a more intense reverberation and longer-lasting tones with several different harmonics and overtones. “An alchemy crystal bowl produces a different timbre (quality of sound) and their beauty is immediately apparent when you play multiple bowls at once,” says Nikolovski.
Who Should Use Sound Healing?
The beauty of sound healing, says Nikolovski, is that it’s completely non-invasive and has no side effects. Anyone, from children to the elderly, can benefit from sound healing, she adds. Advocates say it can boost immunity, reduce tension and anxiety, increase mental clarity, enhance sleep, heal migraines and increase our overall feeling of wellbeing.
For those interested in buying their own alchemy crystal singing bowls, Space 2B offers purchasing advice and even training classes for those who want to learn how to play their singing bowls effectively.
Can Sound Really Heal?
The benefits of sound healing sound good in theory, but how do they translate into a world where alcohol and talk therapy are the default treatments for the stresses of everyday life? There was only one way to find out, so I headed to the tranquil Lawn in the heart of Raffles Hotel, where Space2B conducts its sound healing sessions. As the sunlight faded, I lay down comfortably on a yoga mat while the sound practitioner started to play her collection of iridescent alchemy crystal bowls.
Distracted at first by the sounds of the city in the background, I soon found myself naturally taking longer, slower and deeper breaths as I eased my tired mind and body into the stillness of the natural environment. The soothing, calming tones emanating from the alchemy crystal bowls slowed my thoughts and heartbeat, an extraordinarily soothing experience. So soothing, in fact, that I realised I was slowly being lulled into slumber – no mean feat considering I’m an insomniac. How might sound healing benefit you?
Embark on a truly unique wellness journey with our Raffles Sound Healing Experience. This transformational experience includes use of Raffles Spa’s hydrotherapy facilities, a 30-minute de-stressing gemstone-infused massage, a 2-hour sound healing and mandala session in Raffles’ Lawn and a nourishing 2-course dinner at the Raffles Courtyard. Spaces are highly limited and you can book a session here.