For millennia, ancient cultures have used the voice - through techniques such as toning, chanting, singing, call and response - to draw closer to the unseen world and to enter altered states of consciousness during sacred ceremonies and rituals.
Today, mysticism and science are finding common ground in one of the fundamental principles of the Universe - the power of sound to change the state of matter.
The Music of the Spheres
Quantum physicists now recognize that all matter is made up of atoms and rather than being solid, as it seems to the physical senses, is mostly space filled with constantly-moving particles. Modern scientific technologies are substantiating what ancient scientists theorized. In the words of Jonathan Goldman, director of the Sound Healers Association, author of Healing Sounds and creator of the award-winning recording, "Chakra Chants:
"Everything in the universe is in a state of vibration - from the electrons moving around the nucleus of an atom to planets in distant galaxies moving around distant suns. If it is a state of vibration it is producing what can be conceived of as a sound."
Goldman has spent more than twenty years studying, experiencing and teaching others to use the power of sound to heal. According to him, the human body can be likened to an orchestra. In a state of health every organ, tissue and system in the body is vibrating, constantly creating its own resonant frequency in harmony with the whole organism. If one string player loses their music, they begin to play the wrong notes, and soon the entire orchestra is affected. The sound becomes discordant, and the result is what we call disease.
From a family of allopathic medical doctors, Goldman took a different path to healing: "I have the highest regard for traditional allopathic medicine, but currently the approach is to give the string player enough drugs so they pass out, or to cut off their head with a broad sword."
Goldman's approach is to help the player find their music - to restore their true vibrational frequency.
Re-Sourcing your Self
What you listen to can change not only your mood, but also your heart and respiration rates, even the rhythms of your brainwaves. It is the nature of a powerful rhythmic vibration to cause a less powerful vibration to entrain to it - that is, the more powerful object will synchronize the frequencies of the weaker object with its own. The sounds that heal can come from many sources, such as:
Bells, bowls and chimes
Individual singing, chanting and toning
Instruments of Healing
But listening is just the first step. Even more powerful than listening is creating the sounds yourself, particularly through toning or chanting, says Goldman:
"We all have the most extraordinary vehicle for healing within us-and it's free. We can all learn to use our voice as an instrument for healing and transformation."
Creating the sounds yourself can alter the vibration of the energy field in your chakras, thus:
Synchronizing the hemispheres of your brain
Energizing and enhancing your entire nervous system
The key component of the healing voice is the use of harmonics. Goldman describes harmonics as "the color of sound." White light, when seen through a prism, reveals a rainbow of colors within it. If sound were a hue, harmonics would be all its variations. For example, if you were to hear the fullness of pink, you would actually hear many tones of pink - from the palest pastel to the most intense fuchsia. Each sound is not a single note but many.
Goldman's healing formula is:
Frequency + Intention = Healing
In other words, your intention while you create the sound is as important as the sound itself. The combination of the two creates results unique to each individual. There is not one pattern that works for everyone; every person must experiment to find the best, most healing sounds for them.
You can bring healing to your own body-mind by aligning and balancing your chakras through changing the frequencies at which they vibrate. Goldman suggests working with simple vowel sounds as mantras, each of which emphasizes a particular harmonic. Here is his system:
1. Sit in a comfortable position with your hands in your lap
2. Clarify your intention
3. Close your eyes
4. Breathe deeply from your diaphragm
5. Open your mouth and tone the deepest "Uh" sound you can
6. Focus your intention on your Base Chakra at the bottom of your spine
7. If you like, place your hands in front of this area while you tone
8. Continue to tone here for one to two minutes
9. Move upward and continue through all the chakras to the Crown
1. Base Uh Red
2. Sacral Ooo Orange
3. Navel Oh Yellow
4. Heart Ah Green
5. Throat Eye Blue
6. Third Eye Aye Indigo
7. Crown Eee Violet
To ground yourself, conclude by returning to the Base Chakra tone and sit quietly for a few minutes to allow this new energy to settle in you.
Sound affects you on a cellular level. Not only does it go into your ears, but also into your brain, your cells, your entire body. According to Goldman, science is showing that sound has the power to rearrange your molecular structure: "If you can heal molecular structure, what can't you heal?"