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3 Ways To Reduce Stress With Crystal Bowl Sound Healing

crystal singing bowls Apr 16, 2024
Sound healer playing 2 crystal singing bowls at the same time

Introduction

When we are living with high levels of stress in our lives, it can feel like dragging an invisible anchor behind us.

As you carry this weight, it makes it difficult to perform basic functions, find enjoyment in activities, and have the capacity to help those around you.

April is National Stress Awareness Month in the United States, and this topic is so important to us that we wanted to dedicate part of this month to giving you some tools to reduce and manage stress effectively using crystal bowl sound healing techniques.

In this blog, we will examine three ways to use crystal bowls for sound healing to manage stress.

How To Identify Stress In Your Daily Life

Stress is a natural response, which is essential for our survival and enables us to respond to the changing environment and maintain homeostasis (Sterling & Eyer, 1988). 

This highly evolved function of the nervous system works well when there is balance and we are able to recover from a period of stress. This might be a short-term period related to a work deadline, or a stressful personal situation - something which causes short-term stress.

When the balance is tipped and we experience periods of prolonged stress, the levels of stress hormone cortisol can impact on a person's mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health and well-being. 

This can make it feel difficult to cope and to flourish. This delicate balance is managed by our Autonomic Nervous System. You can learn more about the Autonomic Nervous System from SHA Principle, Tony Nec. 

It is predicted by researchers that between 60-90% of doctor visits are linked to stress (either directly or non directly). You can read more in the report by Harvard Medical School called "Stress Management: Enhance your well-being by reducing stress and building resilience".

Chronic levels of stress can lead to what is commonly referred to as allostatic overload or toxic stress, and this can lead to a number of physical and mental health conditions (McEwen, 2018). Chronic stress can impede the immune system, making the body more susceptible to illness and disease (Dhabhad, 2014).

As stress can manifest in a number of ways, it can creep up on us and we can find ourselves living with symptoms, unnoticed. Cultivating greater self-awareness, perhaps through some meditation practice, you can begin to identify stressors and their impacts. For example:

  • Do you notice joint pain that was not there before?
  • Are you having trouble sleeping?
  • Are you preoccupied with thoughts and worries?
  • Do you feel less energy or excitement in life and perhaps even have trouble recognizing yourself?

3 Ways To Relieve Stress With Crystal Bowl Sound Healing

Crystal singing bowls are amazing instruments that combine gentle vibrations with sweet notes and overtones that can be utilized in various ways.

There are many benefits of crystal bowl sound healing techniques, which can help you manage both active and passive stress. First, playing the instruments directly changes your mental focus.

Crystal singing bowls allow you to focus on something outside of yourself and to properly play this instrument, you have to listen to the gentle frequencies as you tap the bowls and play around the rim. 

When stress is at the forefront of your mind, it can be difficult to focus on anything else. The nature of crystal singing bowls combines physical motion with mental focus, allowing you to enter a new reality that quiets the negative thoughts or monkey chatter you may be experiencing. 

Crystal singing bowls can help to balance your chakras, and releasing any trapped energy in the body whilst welcoming healing energy back into your body.

A 2023 study with a small sample of adolescent males found significant improvements in mood following a crystal singing bowl programme (Matthews et al, 2023).

Here are 3 ways you can use crystal bowls sound healing techniques to combat the stress in your life:

Breathwork

There is power in the human breath, and as we breathe with intention, it unlocks our mind and relaxes our body. When we extend the exhalation we are calming the stress response by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (Perciavalle et al., 2017).

Slow breathing oxygenates the blood and reduces the sympathetic nervous system response (ie reducing the production of cortisol) (Bernardi et al., 2001).

  • To use this technique, sit on the floor with a single crystal singing bowl before you. 
  • Make sure you are comfortable, so use a yoga mat, carpet, or cushion to allow yourself to sit for 5-10 minutes without getting sore (if the floor is uncomfortable, place the bowl on a table in front of you while you sit on a chair).
  • Before playing the bowl, take a deep breath in while counting to 3, and exhale to the count of 5. Draw your attention to the exhale as you slowly release the air from your lungs. Repeat this 3 times.
  • Take a deep breath in and gently tap the bowl as you begin to exhale.
  • Allow your exhale to flow gently with the sound of the bowl, breathing in and out until the sound of the bowl completely dies out. Repeat this process several times, allowing your exhale to become longer and more intentional as you continue to let go.
  • Then, instead of simply exhaling, allow yourself to hum or tone to the sound of the bowl, matching your internal vibration to the note of the bowl (it is best to use a bowl tuned to C to correspond with your root chakra; however, different note bowls can also be used). Repeat this until you feel a sensation of peace.
  • You might feel like you are in a dreamy state or as if you are floating. This exercise has been proven to reduce stress even more so than just extending the exhalation (Trivedi et al., 2023)  
  • When you feel stressed, take a few moments with your crystal singing bowl and set the intention of letting go. Visualize yourself being transformed by glowing, warm light as you complete this exercise.

Listening To Crystal Singing Bowls

One benefit of crystal singing bowls is that they are musical in nature and create beautiful sounds when blended.

Listening to recordings of crystal bowls for sound healing purposes is effective for dealing with active and passive stress

  • As you lie in bed, even if you fall asleep, allow yourself time to listen to recordings of crystal singing bowls played (by yourself or others). These vibrations will soak into your body, balancing your chakras and releasing trapped energy and emotions. 
  • When you listen, visualize that warm, safe, glowing light surrounding you, washing you clean of negative emotions or experiences. This technique will help with passive stress.
  • If you can identify key stressors in your life, you can implement some strategies to help you manage. For example, if you have a stressful commute to work, leave 5-10 minutes earlier, and once you get to the parking lot, take a few minutes to listen to the recordings, focus on slowing your breath and extending the breath out, and tone with the sound of the bowls. 
  • Set the intention to one of calmness and carry that positive energy with you throughout the day. 

IMPORTANT: Never listen to recordings of crystal singing bowls before (or during) driving, operating potentially dangerous machinery, or performing functions that could result in bodily harm due to a lack of focus!

Make The Process The Goal

Understand that conducting a sound healing session for yourself can help you manage your stress levels; however, we want to shift focus to see the journey to wellness as the goal!

Regular and long term mediation practice can have more effective impacts (Sedlmeier et al., 2018). By making the decision to integrate sound healing into your daily life as a regular practice, you will be creating an environment where you are less affected by stress and will be better prepared to deal with negative emotions as they come up.  

Sound healing can help to create conditions for shifting your mindset about stress towards promoting self-connection and, in turn, well-being (Klussman et al., 2021).  

Here are some steps you can take to create your own wellness plan using crystal singing bowls:

  • Find a spot in your home to permanently leave your crystal singing bowl(s) set up – you will be more likely to cultivate an environment of wellness if it is easy to quickly access your instruments 
  • Find a time where you can devote even 5-10 minutes each day to play your bowls with intentionality – this could be in the morning, during lunchtime, before bed, or whatever fits in with your schedule
  • Keep a self-assessment journal where you can briefly write down your feelings before and after each session – each week, review what you have written so that you can identify what shifts you have experienced in your wellness journey
  • Commit yourself to regularly learning and applying new techniques with your crystal singing bowls 

Choosing wellness takes practice, and it can seem overwhelming to even unnatural to take time for yourself each day. 

When you do, however, you become a stronger, more cohesive version of yourself that will leave a lasting impression on those around you. Wellness is a ripple effect, and when you begin on this journey, you will be amazed at the results in your own life and those around you!

Learn How To Play Crystal Singing Bowls

Would you like to learn more about using crystal singing bowls and other instruments to effectively manage stress and other illnesses?  

We would love to help you start your journey with healing sounds through our crystal bowl sound healing courses! Our Online Level 1 Sound Healing With Crystal Singing Bowls Course will teach you how to begin playing crystal bowls and apply the principles of integral sound healing when working with your friends and family.

This course is also the prerequisite for our Level 2 Practitioner Diploma in Integral Sound Healing With Crystal Singing Bowls, allowing you to operate professionally with your sound healing practice.  

Are you interested in learning more about other instruments, including Himalayan (Tibetan) singing bowls, tuning forks, drums, gongs, and/or voice? Check out our Online Sound Healing Courses and In-Person Sound Healing Training Courses near you!

What To Read Next

References

Bernardi, L., Passino, C., Wilmerding, V., Dallam, G. M., Parker, D. L., Robergs, R. A., et al. (2001). Breathing patterns and cardiovascular autonomic modulation during hypoxia induced by simulated altitude. J. Hypertens. 19, 947–958

Dhabhar F S (2014)  Effects of stress on immune function: the good, the bad, and the beautiful. Immunol Res. 58(2-3):193-210

Klussman K, Huntoon Lindeman M I, Nichols A L, Langer J (2021) Stress mindset and well-being: The indirect effect of self-connection. Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology. 5:4 p. 391-403

Matthews A, Phillips M C L, Matthews L R, Kumar S, Avinesh P, Jamerson M (2023). A pilot study evaluating the effects of relaxation music played on quartz crystal singing bowls on mood in teenage males. Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences. 6:2 p. 1085

McEwen B S (2018) Redefining neuroendocrinology: epigenetics of brain-body communication over the life course. Front. Neuroendocrinol. 49:8–30

Perciavalle, V., Blandini, M., Fecarotta, P., Buscemi, A., Di Corrado, D., Bertolo, L., et al. (2017). The role of deep breathing on stress. Neurol. Sci. 38, 451–458

Sedlmeier P, Loße C & Quasten L C (2018) Psychological Effects of Meditation for Healthy Practitioners: an Update. Mindfulness 9, 371–387

Sterling P & Eyer J (1988) Allostasis: a new paradigm to explain arousal pathology. Handbook of Life Stress, Cognition and Health S Fisher, J Reason 629–49 New York: Wiley

Trivedi GY, Kathirvel S, Sharma K, Saboo B. Effect of Various Lengths of Respiration on Heart Rate Variability during Simple Bhramari (Humming). Int J Yoga.16:2 p.123-131

 


 

Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of crystal singing bowls?

Join one of our Online Crystal Singing Bowls Courses.

Are you looking to purchase high-quality crystal singing bowls?

Check out our Sound Therapy Shop for our Crystal Singing Bowls Collection.

 


 

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