Healing comes in many forms. Here in the west, we tend to think in terms of pills and prescriptions, hard-hitting antibiotics and hasty visits to overworked doctors. But away to the east, in the orient and on the subcontinent, healing has – for thousands of years – been a very different matter: the body, mind and spirit often treated as a whole.
And so we get yoga and tantra, acupuncture, herbal cures and massage – practices which are believed to work holistically, healing the cause rather than treating the immediate symptoms. That’s not to say there’s no place for modern medicine – given the recent global corona scare, where would be without it? – but there are, perhaps, gentler ways to treat and heal some of the ills that ail. Including, straight from Tibet, sound bathing.
The idea, says Dora Nemes – a yoga instructor, aromatherapist, and singing bowl practitioner, who holds sound bathing classes every Thursday at the 7 Buddhas Yoga and Massage Studio in Paphos – is to use the power of sound to bring balance, relaxation and a sense of wellbeing to mind, body and spirit. And this she does through the use of Tibetan singing bowls…
Now, if you’ve never seen – or heard – a singing bowl, you’re forgiven for thinking it’s something one might find in a Disney cartoon. But nothing could be further from the truth. Singing bowls are in fact a type of idiophone: an instrument which, when struck, shaken or scraped, produces sound through vibration.
Think of the sound of bells (the gentle chimes and peals that ease and soothe) and you’ve got the idea. Singing bowls are basically inverted bells, ranging in diameter from a few centimetres to a metre or more, and the sound is produced by using striking the side, and prolonged by rolling the mallet around the edge.
“Each bowl is made from a special mixture of metals,” says Dora, who generally uses Tibetan-made bowls to produce the purest sound. “The sound depends both on size and composition, but it’s very healing, very relaxing for the body and mind.”