Hi, my name is Paula and I work from the Practice Rooms in Exeter.
I have worked as a counsellor for over twenty years, in the NHS, Voluntary, and private sector. Talking, sharing, and being heard are extremely powerful experiences, but sometimes we just want to feel different without talking, without going into or over our story again.
Most of us go to see a therapist because we are feeling out of balance with ourselves and with the world, either physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, or a combination of all. A Gong Immersion & Sound Meditation can help to re-balance all these different areas and leave you with a sense of calmness and serenity. It can help to relieve tension and stress in both mind and body.
So, what is sound healing? How does it work and what happens during a Gong Bath?
A Gong Bath is a form of sound healing meditation. It is referred to as a bath or immersion as those taking part, are bathed in the vibrations of the gongs. All that the participant has to do is lie down (fully clothed) and be transported by the multi-layered resonance of the gongs, which has an effect on one's consciousness and physical body.
As a healing instrument, the gong is a very powerful healing tool. Healing is about change - perhaps changing patterns of behaviour or thoughts that create dis-ease within us, which can bring about sickness in our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies.
As our bodies are made of 70% water, the gong tones vibrate the cells and help to restore harmony from within. The gong sounds tune in with every part of us, bringing us back into harmony. The gongs work on many levels, enveloping the participant in a cocoon of sound where it feels as though nothing else exists, a sort of loss of sensory perception where we can feel unaware of our physical body. With the mind also in a state of deep relaxation, healing can take place much more easily.
Stress is one of the major causes of dis-ease. We put ourselves under so much pressure in our western society, always striving and never arriving, always doing and rarely being. Stress causes our immune system to shut down, which means that we are no longer resistant to sickness. People who live their lives in a constant state of stress are far more susceptible to illness.
The gongs work by inducing a sort of transcendental state by lowering the rate of our brainwaves. There are four main brainwave states that we experience.
Our normal state is Beta (12-30 cycles per second). This is when we are awake and functioning and able to articulate and work.
Next is Alpha (8-12 CPS), this is our daydreaming state. We are conscious but fantasizing and creating visual images. Then there's Theta (4-8 CPS). This is the state of deep meditation which is where the gong sound takes us. Finally, we have Delta (1-4 CPS), which is deep sleep.
The sounds of the gongs have the effect of lowering the frequency of the brainwaves, thus slowing the brain down. The theta state is very powerful for healing, creativity, and insight.
I became interested in sound therapy after attending a gong bath when I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life around six years ago. I couldn't believe how different I felt after the experience, so I decided to train to play the gongs with The College of Sound Healing.
Since then, I have given many, many gong baths both privately and in groups and it never fails to amaze me when I see everyone coming round at the end, totally blissed out!
I have had quite a few people come to see me who are in the terminal stages of cancer, who have said how much they feel the benefits of the gongs, not only for relaxation but also to relieve some of their physical discomforts. It is a wonderfully non-invasive way to feel relief and calmness on all levels.
Many participants speak about improved sleep patterns, relief from back or hip pain, and also better sensation following a stroke. I have also had feedback regarding a sense of peace whilst living with Parkinsons Disease. The body feels and responds to the sounds and vibrations.
One of the important aspects of attending a gong bath is remaining open to the experience in order to succumb to the alluring layers of sound, allowing the left brain to temporarily surrender so that the right, creative brain, is given space for the visionary journey.
So, if you haven't tried one before, I highly recommend it and then you will see what I mean.