Using Tibetan Singing Bowls in Therapy Sessions
By Sheila Hunt

Patients at The Changing Pointe Addiction Treatment Center are learning new ways to achieve deep relaxation and a sense of well-being. Therapist, Steve Brunk, MA, LPC, leads mindfulness groups using Tibetan Singing Bowls, which reduce stress and anxiety and create a state of quiet consciousness.

Sound from Tibetan Singing Bowls trains the brain to move into Theta brainwave frequencies that induce deep meditative and peaceful states and clarity of mind. The sound vibrations impact our nervous system, engaging our relaxation reflex and inhibiting the stress or pain response.

Science has confirmed that sound can directly affect mood, brain waves, the nervous system and body chemistry. The vibrations of singing bowls stimulate the body to help produce the alpha waves that are present in the brain in deep relaxation. Singing bowls, also called healing bowls, can be traced back to Asia as early as 2000 B.C. They are made of an alloy of 7 different precious metals, creating a range of different sounds and overtones.

The benefits of singing bowls are immense and have been used to achieve the following treatment goals:
✸ Reduce stress and anxiety significantly
✸ Lower anger and blood pressure
✸ Improve circulation and increase blood flow
✸ Deep relaxation
✸ Increase mental and emotional clarity
✸ Promote stillness, happiness and well-being
✸ Stimulate the immune system
✸ Aid the immune system and fibromyalgia and psoriasis in individuals that meditate
✸ Decrease the intensity of pain

Playing the bowls usually causes an immediate centering effect. The tones set up a “frequency following response” that creates a balancing left/right brain synchronization. Meditating on the subtle sounds of the Tibetan Singing Bowl tunes one into the universal sound within and without.

There are many ways to play the Tibetan Singing Bowls, depending on the sound or feeling you are trying to achieve. If your goal is to have the sound lead you into a quiet state of consciousness, generally the best way to play the bowl is to tap it with a mallet. Concentrating on the bowl, especially the pulses of sound as they become quieter and quieter, is an excellent way to bring the mind into focus. While the entire bowl moves from being struck, the sound radiates from the rim. Rim play provides a wonderful and often concentrated sound by rubbing a mallet around the outside of the rim.

Brunk explains, “The idea is to ring it frequently so you hear the bowl again and again. Over time, the unique soundscape will find a place in your memory. You can use this imprint as a fast way to access the good feeling that is associated with the Tibetan Singing Bowl.”

For more information about addiction treatment contact CenterPointe Hospital at 800-345-5407.

CenterPointe Hospital
4801 Weldon Spring Parkway
St. Charles, MO 63304