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June 06, 2022
Stress is universal, and is a feature of the experience of modern life. It is an indication that your energy is out of balance, and can make pain, inflammation and your emotional experience feeling challenging.
If the sound of singing bowls have given you even a moment of peace, they'll work for stress too.
Stress relief is tied to alleviating several symptoms in the body - in the heart, brain, lungs, or stomach.
So today, we'll look at on how singing bowls work on stress based on science and how to do so on your own.
Ready? Let's get stress-busting!
Stress is the pressure exerted on our body and mind due to physical, emotional, or spiritual factors. When you're stressed, the nervous system releases cortisol and adrenaline.
When you're stressed, the heartbeat spikes, muscles stiffen up, breathing gets faster, blood pressure shoots up, and you become super-alert.
In short, your brain goes into fight or flight mode.
Do you know lack of energy, headache, and stomach problems like nausea, diarrhea, and constipation are all symptoms of stress?
Because stress attacks the whole body, stress relief techniques also bring relaxation to the entire body.
For instance, what do you feel when you listen to a singing bowl being played?
Some say it quickly relaxes their muscles, and others that it calms mind chatter. (if you've had special or different experiences, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at email@example.com)
Singing bowls can help us find serenity, much like the mind switches off the distractions, and my body just follows the cue.
Singing bowls and other de-stressing techniques work by affecting our parasympathetic nervous system. It teaches our brain to deal with stress using healing sound vibrations while keeping us in a state of balance or homeostasis.
Let's look at how stress goes down when you hear a singing bowl play using science.
Heart Rate Study
A 2019 study compared the effects of the Himalayan Singing Bowl (HSB) with resting or laying down under stress. They found that Tibetan bowls increased the parasympathetic tone and decreased stress more than resting.
Source: Open Access Pub
One of the first effects of singing bowls calming the body can be found in studies such as this on Science Direct. It talks at length about how your breathing rate goes down when you listen to the calming sounds of a singing bowl.
We already discussed singing bowl meditation a few weeks ago. But do you know a PubMed study in Sage Journals proved the same? According to that, sound bowls are a low-cost way to reduce mental stressors such as tension and anxiety for individuals new to them.
Published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Science Direct reported another study that showed a body-wide stress relief pattern. These included a reduction in distress, anxiety, fatigue, anger, confusion, and tension due to oxygen saturation and improved brain activity.
You must've heard about herbal teas that calm the nerves quickly. A comprehensive study published in the National Library of Medicine found that Tibetan bowls decreased preoperative anxiety and psychological stress like fear and nervousness.
Another clinical study in Sage Journals found listening to sound bowls improved physical and psychological responses. On top of it, blood Pressure decreased with the heart rate with singing bowl therapy.
Most of you know our physical and mental processes are primarily affected by hormones. That's why when stress shoots up, cortisol also does.
According to the studies shared in RO Health Guide, Tibetan bowls were powerful enough to calm us down while decreasing cortisol secretions and improving metabolism for digestion.
While sound therapy is ancient, music therapy is relatively new. Nevertheless, both have the power to balance and alleviate stressful situations if you use them correctly. That's why you feel calm when playing a singing bowl during stress.
You can try this right away by circling the mallet in gentle circling motions around the rim of your sound bowl.
Here's some coaching on playing the around the rim technique -- try to move your arm at the shoulders instead of the wrist or elbows to create whole vibrations without pauses (think of stirring a pot of soup).
Striking the edge of the bowl will also serve you well! Allow yourself to "watch" for when the sound completely dissipates back into silence. To chance the tune of your bowl, fill it up to half with water to mute the sounds a bit. This way, you'll be calmed by how water dances in your singing bowl. As we learned in the sound bowl water charging article,it's also meditative.
Using multiple bowls may also help you stop thinking negatively or engaging in negative self-talk by grabbing your attention and pushing your focus onto the sound bowl. A single pointed focus on the sound of the singing bowl is a meditation unto itself.
Apart from using the Tibetan bowl alone, you can also use other energy healing techniques with it to amplify the power of de-stressing sound waves.
You can also set up crystal grids with crystals that can calm you while playing the bowl.
But my favorite way to de-stress is by mixing my own sound with the sound of the singing bowl. This is easy to do if you start chanting.
Learn more about the powers and effects of mantras on our minds and body.
Singing bowl yoga is yet another way to fuse several energy healing techniques into one. Try it today!
Tibetan bowls affect our minds and bodies because we're made of over 70% water.
But the way these bowls decrease our heartbeat, respiratory rate, blood pressure, anxiety, overthinking, mind chatter, etcetera proves their long-term benefits for fighting chronic stress.
I suggest you try playing your singing bowl in the usual way or, as we detailed above, to deal with stress. Don't expect a miracle right away. But science can guarantee you'll feel calmer in the long run.
But if you'd like a foolproof method to help with stress and anxiety while using these bowls, go for aromatherapy using a de-stressing essential oil blend like the Ohm Oil.
Just dab the oil on your chakra points or add it to a diffuser before settling down and playing.