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Tibetan Singing Bowls and Healing: A Few Studies

Some years ago, I saw Kunga play a singing bowl to one of the ladies at a yoga class. She randomly picked one of our bowls, struck it gently and moved the bowl from the woman’s waist to her head and then gently downwards. In a couple of minutes, the woman was smiling and even had tears on her face. She exclaimed that it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever experienced and thanked Kunga. As a bystander, I was amazed with what had just unfolded in front of me.

So in this post, I thought I might share some scientific studies done on the effect of singing bowls. Whilst the bowls will not heal diseases and seal wounds like a visit to the doctor and medication, they are certainly an excellent tool for deep relaxation and can help reduce stress levels. Mitchell Gaynor, a pioneer in sound healing, pointed out that healing meant a balance between mind, body and spirit whilst curing a patient simply meant removing a physical symptom. 

An American study conducted in 2016 reported that Tibetan singing bowl meditation may be a feasible low-cost/low technology intervention for reducing feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression, and increasing spiritual well-being. It examined the effects of sound meditation using Tibetan singing bowls on 62 women and men (mean age 50 years) on mood, anxiety, pain and spiritual well-being. What is interesting is that participants who were previously not exposed to this type of meditation experienced a significantly greater reduction in tension compared with those that were previously experienced. More of this study is available online

Another (2016) pilot study conducted in Italy of 12 cancer patients examined the effect that singing bowls had on them, when struck. Over a 3 month period, each patient attended 6 sessions of 1 hour treatments using 3 bowls of different sizes. The singing bowls were placed on the patients at specific points and then struck. Other instruments such as wind chimes and tingshas were also used.  Although the study was very small, the authors concluded that Tibetan singing bowls can decrease anxiety, arousal, involuntary mental activity and stress. More info is available here. 

A study reported in the Swiss journal ‘Research in Complementary Medicine’ however showed mixed results. In the study, 54 people with chronic pain at the spine were assigned to either six sessions of singing bowl therapy, a placebo treatment or no treatment at all. Results showed that those that had received the singing bowl as well as the placebo treatment benefitted from lower stress levels. More information is available online.

There are many more studies on singing bowls that are available online. However, nothing beats experiencing the bowls yourself and feeling their effect on your chakras and body.  

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Posted by Dhondup.