Using Our Voice For Healing With Gregorian ChantingAug 25, 2022
Gregorian Chanting is the central tradition of Western plainchant, ( a form of medieval church music that involves chanting or words that are sung, without any instrumental accompaniment). It is also called plainsong. Developed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, it had various later additions and redactions.
In this article, we look at how we can use our healing voice to perform Gregorian Chanting, and what are the benefits of doing so.
The Gregorian Chant And Its Benefits
Much has been studied about Gregorian Chants since the mid 90s, particularly the health benefits to both the singer and listener. It has been shown in many studies to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and to even help the speech fluency of stroke victims.
It positively charges the central nervous system and the cortex of the brain in such a way that it actually reduces the number of hours of sleep one properly needs to function at its best. More benefits include a regulated cardiac system, positive brain activity due to the high frequency response of Latin vowels, and greater neuro-communication between the left and right hemisphere.
The Sacred Geometry
Melodic lines in Gregorian Chanting contain great melismatic fluidity and gentle cadences. Very often, you will find sacred geometry within the collections of these works. For these reasons and many others, the chants can have beneficial physical and neurological effects that manifest in the emotional, mental, and spiritual realms, in ways that calm, soothe, and uplift the listener.
Meet Dr. Aria Thomé
We speak to Sound Healing Academy teacher, Dr. Aria Thomé about how she integrates these beautiful chants into her 1-2-1 healing sessions.
Thomé has a Doctorate in Sacred Music, with an emphasis in choral music, vocal pedagogy, and choral conducting. Her academics, classical voice training, and sound studies included extensive study and implementation of shamanic, African, Scandinavian, and other world chanting practices, focusing on their practical therapeutic properties, and their use in one to one sound healing sessions.
She combines intention setting and chanting with her solfeggio chimes to create a truly unique sound healing experience.
How do you integrate Gregorian Chanting into your sessions?
"This ancient hymn to John the Baptist, Ut queant laxis, hangs from my wall just above my solfeggio chimes in my wellness space.
Whenever I am with the chimes working on a client, I chant this verse three times: for the past, for the present, and for the future healing of the client. Also, chant this because of the way Gregorian Chant music resonates deep within me.
Because of this deep connection I feel with these ancient chants, I can transmit them easily to others with pure, loving intention. The client will then receive them in a way that I know will be calming, soothing, and balancing for their whole being."
Why this particular Gregorian Chant?
"This particular Gregorian Chant was chosen because of its relationship with the solfeggio frequencies with which we're all familiar with.
The relationship between Gregorian Chants and solfeggio frequencies is still being studied to this day. This hymn became instrumental in developing what would later become our solfege system (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do). To be sure, I believe there are several other chants, hundreds in fact, that would contain the same healing benefits that I have listed above, both Western and Eastern."
Below is that chant, with both the Latin and English translation:
Ut queant laxis, resonare fibria,
Mira gestorum, famuli tuorum,
Solve pollute, labii reatum,
O for thy spirit, holy John, to chasten,
Lips sin-polluted, fettered tongues to loosen,
So by thy children might thy deeds of wonder,
Fittingly be chanted.
Why Voice as a Sound Healing Instrument?
"As a choir director, composer, and classically trained vocalist, it makes so much sense to me that we would use our voices as healing instruments during our sound healing sessions.
The voice is THE original healing instrument. To interpretively paraphrase the hymn above, “let spirit or source purify our hesitant lips, unloosen insecurities that bind our tongues, so that we can unapologetically sing and chant…so that we can heal ourselves and others.”
If you are interested in finding out more ways in which you can use your voice for healing, check out our Online Healing Voice Courses. You can also get in touch with us directly, whilst keeping an eye on our blog and social media accounts, Instagram and Facebook, all filled with educational and inspiring content for you.
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