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May 2017
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This is a unique way to deal with a poor state of the mind and body and it is quite unconventional and unknown, however it boasts many great benefits, including the use of energy from music. This type of massage can make the nervous and mind relax because the strength of the pure sounds flows to parts of that body that are blocked. Just like orchestras that tune their instruments, the body is put back on track by sound which, thanks to its high vibrational power, can rebalance the chakra, the centres of vital energy.

A sound massage is based on the effectiveness of primordial sounds that have always been sued in the ancient Indian ‘art of healing’, for over 5000 years, and various scientific studies related to neuroscience have highlighted how sound vibrations can positively affect a number of problems: various studies claim that musical information, from sound and rhythm to melody, activate mechanisms in our neurovegetative system. Experiments have also shown that listening to certain frequencies double the heart rate and increase blood pressure and this is why, today, music therapy is widely used in medicine. As well as in extreme cases like comas, very good results have been seen when music has been used to support behavioural disorders, socialising problems, mental and sensory deficits, autism, Alzheimer’s and so on, thus we can see that the power vibrations have been proven to treat psychophysical disorders.

The body’s energy system – the organs, bones and tissues – have their own vibrations and resonant frequency and these are what sound therapists work on. However, unlike music therapy which uses recorded sounds, sound massage therapy only uses high range acoustic instruments such as tubular bells. The inventor of the term ‘harmonic therapy’, Daniela Risser, a sound therapist in Cetona, Siena, explains ‘this is a unique method that restores the body’s overall harmony, like a journey of self-healing where the aim is to find inner peace. This therapy is beneficial on all levels and relieves both physical and mental tension.’

How it works
When a human is happy and in harmony with everything that surrounds him/her and the people he/she interacts with, this person will experience a feeling of well-being, a state of complete tranquillity which benefits the mind and, consequently, the body. If his/her emotions, thoughts or intellect are not in harmony however, and they are not in tune with one another as they should be, sound therapists believe there is an imbalance between the body and mind and this is expressed as tiredness, anxiety or even illness. In this case, listening to or producing single musical notes allows us to rediscover our ‘original tuning’ thanks to the principal of resonance, according to which vibrations expand from the outside inwards, spreading through the body and tuning each cell. An easy example to test this out is to hit a tuning fork: this will emit vibrations and, if it is near another tuning fork, which does not necessarily need to be touched, the second fork will begin vibrating at the same frequency as the first one. The same goes for the human body: when a body comes into contact with a sound, all the tissues, organs and bones in the body vibrate.
We can use various instruments to recover lost harmony such as a monochord harp, brass tubular bells or pure rock crystal bells, and a delicate but constant massage massage can be done together with this which helps us to fully relax.

In order to get the best results from a sound massage, we should do more than just entrust ourselves to the hands of an expert: only people who are fully able to give in to sound, relaxing completely, can truly benefit from this therapy. Having said this, it is not difficult for most people to loosen up their inner tensions because this in itself does not require any great effort. To achieve this state, the therapist usually prepares the body through breathing techniques, meditation and a massage at the critical points of the body where the meridian pass, that is, the chakra.
Through these different methods, negative thoughts leave us and the patient is induced into a state of total abandon.

A sound massage can be performed in various ways since the choice of instruments that can be used is very wide. The characteristics that the instruments have in common are related to their ability to extend harmonic sound and how long this sound lasts.

Following are some example sessions based on the type of instrument used:

Monochord harp
: This is a prestigious instrument that originates from Mongolia and Vietnam. Through the sound produced by the chest of the harp, tensions are taken away and a sort of ‘micro massage’ is performed. In a typical session, which lasts 30-40 minutes, the patient lies down on a bed and under this bed is an acoustic chest with 55 chords made of phosphor bronze which are all tuned to the same note. Before playing the instrument, the therapist carries out a massage on the reflected points of the chakra, like the neck, head, shoulders, hands, feet, and so on. This releases tension, and essential oils are used too to further enhance the massage. During this phase the therapist can also bring out the patient’s problems and causes of stress and worry through dialogue. Now the real sound massage can begin: the therapist plays the harp in order to produce a constant musical base and the participant will be aware that he/she is surrounded by a bubble of sound waves and this activates the mechanism of self-healing.

Bronze bells: These high precision musical instruments have a lasting and dense sound and a range of vibrations that measure from 86.54 to 1478.59 Hz (very intense vibrations which are perceived by the whole of the body). 26 bronze tubular bells are synchronised with different frequencies and hung on the ceiling using string. Each bell is aligned with a chakra and, consequently, an internal organ. A massage using essential oils is performed in this case too before the actual session, during which the therapist makes the chords under the bed play and then makes the tubular bells ring. The sound of the bells is accompanied by the touch of the therapist’s hands on the acupuncture zones.

Tibetan bells: These instruments have a concave shape, like a bowl, and are typical of Tibet, Nepal, India and Japan. During the session, the therapist places these bells on the patient’s body in points that correspond to the energy points that need to be re-harmonised. With the touch of a small mallet, the Tibetan bells, which are made from an alloy of 7 types of metal, vibrate (the number seven is a symbolic number in Indian philosophy, and there are also 7 chakra) and perform a sound massage that is made up of strong vibrations that spread across the whole of the body. Once again, these vibrations help cells to rediscover their correct frequency.

Crystal bells: A sound massage can be practised using pure rock crystal bells too. These bells are quite heavy and they produce very light vibrations and pure sounds that can change the rhythm of brain waves, creating both ‘alpha’ waves, which lead on to inner peace, and ‘theta’ waves, which are typical of a state of drowsiness and deep abandon. The session begins with some meditation to encourage the body to listen and then proceeds with the patient lying on a futon bed to keep in contact with the ground. The therapist is now ready to play from 10 to 13 crystal bells, all of which are different from one another in size and the sound produced. During the sessions, the patient gradually enters into a state of extreme relaxation, almost like a trance, which brings out memories of the past and stimulates images of natural landscapes in the mind, as well as pleasant emotions.

A sound massage is particularly useful for treating problems like stress, insomnia, poor circulation, headaches, chronic fatigue, internal blocks and for improving intestinal functions. Sound therapists claim, however, that any poor state of the mind or body can be treated with a sound massage by rebalancing the primordial harmony between the body and mind, which refers to the stability between all the energies and elements of the universe.
This therapy must be practised constantly and for at least 10 times to be effective and to last.

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