The pressures of contemporary life can be overwhelming and many of us are searching for something to help us find some peace and calm.

Sound massage, although a relatively new relaxation technique in Australia, is becoming a recognised form of complementary therapy with positive, relaxing effects for many all over the world.

The practitioner uses therapeutic singing bowls, gongs and other instruments and plays them directly on the body or in the person’s auric field (away from the body).

Sound practitioner Megan Shaw says this form of therapy offers an opportunity to calm the mind, to connect with the body and heal through vibration. “Sound is a multi-sensory modality; it can be heard and felt,” Ms Shaw says.

“Vibrations from the singing bowls ripple through the body like a stone being dropped in a pond; its effects are felt through our skin, muscles, joints and organs, massaging each of the trillion cells in our body.”

“All matter vibrates, including the human body, so in a healthy state, the body and its organs vibrate at their resonant frequency, optimising health and well-being.”

“Through stress, disease, injury or the pressures of everyday life, our body’s natural vibration is altered, resulting in pain, dysfunction and dis-ease.”

Ms Shaw says the benefits to sound massage are many, the most powerful being relaxation.

“It has the potential to lower heart and respiratory rates, blood pressure and increase circulation.”

“Sound massage can also help to reduce pain and improve a person’s quality of sleep.”

“All these factors can contribute to an increased sense of calm and ability to deal with stress.”

Using sound and vibration as a method to return to balance and healing has its roots in ancient traditions. Australian Aboriginals use the didgeridoo to heal illness, Gregorian chanting intends to bring stillness to the mind and sound plays a central role in the healing art of Ayurveda developed 5000 years ago in India.

The contemporary practice of sound massage is now based on 30 years of work and research by German Peter Hess, a known expert in the field.

“Based on his experiences and ancient sound knowledge of Nepal, Tibet and India, Peter has developed a sound technique for the Western world,” Ms Shaw says.

Armed with her beautiful set of therapeutic singing bowls handcrafted in Nepal, Ms Shaw offers Murdoch Community Hospice patients and their carers a moment of calm and relaxation at Footprints Day Centre.

“It’s wonderful to be able to offer a moment of stillness to those who are feeling unwell and anxious,” Ms Shaw says.

“At a time when so many of us are seeking healthy ways to combat stress, pain and illness, the ancient healing technique of sound can provide us with a great sense of peace.”

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