Time for ‘sound bath’: When Tibetan singing bowls heal the body

  • Susan Jose, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 16, 2016 08:14 IST
The ‘sound bath’ has its roots in ancient Tibetan culture. (Istock)

An increasing number of people are getting drawn to alternative healing methods nowadays. The latest one to make news involves taking a ‘sound bath’ by literally immersing a person in healing sound vibrations. This treatment is usually conducted using the largest Tibetan singing bowl called “energy meridian bowl” (with a diameter of about 22 inches).

The therapist plays this bowl using a large mallet, and the entire body vibrates to the sound waves emitted from the bowl.

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The ‘sound bath’ has its roots in ancient Tibetan culture. Dr Evelet Sequeira, sound therapist and life coach, says, “This is an ancient technique mastered by Tibetan lamas. Through generations they have imparted this knowledge to teachers who were found to be humble and non-commercial in their approach, and made healing their priority. I learnt to use the bowls from my teacher Satya Brat. I went through three levels of training.”

A lot of centres in India, such as Svaram in Auroville, Pondicherry, and International Academy of Sound Healing in Kolkata are dedicated to learning more about this technique.

How it works

When it comes to healing with sound vibrations, there is an equation that all the experts seem to follow — sound + intention = healing. A lot of importance is given to the openness of the recipient or his or her intention to heal. “Every disease is primarily a low or discordant vibration of the cell of a specific organ. Sound allows the cell to rejuvenate, and thus, heal naturally,” explains Roshan Bahar, sound healer.

Set of Tibetan singing bowls with burning candles. (Getty Images)

Yolanda Martinez, a sound healer based in New Mexico, USA, elaborates, “It is not about words, it is about sound. This is why it is important to not get confused and hung up on words. We are vibrational beings, and if our auras or chakras are off balance, we need sound to bring them back to balance.”

Sometimes, ‘sound baths’ are combined with other methods of alternative healing therapies as well. This depends on both the healer as well as the individual undergoing the therapy. “Most sound healers work with sounds, crystals, essential oils, and even massages,” says Bahar. Sequeira, on the other hand, uses tuning forks, drums and her own voice to complement the therapy.

“Every client is different, and according to their ailment, trauma or issue, I use specific bowls. I tend to use my own intuition a lot,” she adds.


1. Relaxes the body and mind Helps release pent-up emotions
2. Helps stabilise the heart rate and blood pressure
3. Stimulates the immune system and the endocrine system
4. “Sometimes, sound even works as a diagnostic tool. During a session, a client might feel pain in a region of the body, where previously, there was none. This is an indication that there is some healing required,” says Bahar.

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Who is it most suitable for?

1. Those suffering from chronic pain, sleep disorders, stress, anxiety, deep emotional trauma and relationship issues.
2. Those recovering from an illness to fasten the recuperation process.

Who is it not suitable for?

1. Pregnant women in their first trimester
2. Children under the age of two
3. Those who have metal parts (knees/hip replacements)
4. Those with pace makers
5. Those who have low tolerance for sound (they should opt for relaxation music instead).

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