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We just heard back from Ryan N., therapist at a Pain Management Clinic in Highland, California. Ryan and his partner, Rae visited us in September to purchase a bowl for therapeutic use in the Clinic’s wellness room. This is what he shared with us:
“I have wanted to write you since Rae and I visited . . . months ago! . . . but the bowl seems to bring along more amazing stories, every week. The singing bowl is a sacred personality in the wellness room where I work. As you may recall, I operate a clinic where we teach patients how to manage their chronic pain and promote their health in mind, body, and spirit; specifically, I am in charge of the “wellness” studio and classes.
There are many elements that unify this space but the one thing our patients like more than even the “soothing” water fountain is . . . our bowl! To start with, I can honestly credit our bowl with bringing a clear and literal pathway into sessions. Every morning our bowl initiates and concludes a 10-minute meditation and staff and patients, alike, express their joy and wonder for these tones.
In addition, every Thursday, the classes are themed around “communication” and our bowl is an incredible guide in communication: with this instrument, within our own body, and with others. Incredible. On these special occasions, we pass the bowl around in a seated circle, listening and attending to this dialogue, discussing these sensations, and developing healthy relationships. It is a wonderful thing to see people with serious and chronic injury (often in their wrist and hands) enjoy the sounds and feelings of our singing bowl. One day a rather pertinent and dire talk about sexuality and menopause revolved around the sensations of working with this bowl. I was so . . . honored. I credit the bowl with bringing that level of trust and comfort. It helps us all to breathe, and listen, a little easier each day.
On behalf of everyone here at the clinic I must thank you, Rain, and Sun (sic) for this beautiful gift.”
We’ve heard many accounts of singing bowls being used in pain management. Sometimes the bowl’s vibration can relieve the symptoms of the pain itself, but more often that not, the bowl is addressing the ancillary effects of our pain. Our emotional reaction to pain can exacerbate the pain itself by creating stress and muscular tension, which hurts even more and blocks an already compromised body of precious, healing energy. Depending on the level of pain, our stress and emotions can pull us into a negative feedback loop that floods the mind and depletes the spirit. The mind races, wanting the pain to stop and reaches for relief at an unknowable time in the future. We can feel anger, frustration and hopelessness when relief doesn’t come. So our negative emotions can take an injury or illness and greatly amplify our suffering.
Healing is an active process. We can take all the medicine and therapies in the world and if we are not engaged in our own healing, we are actually standing in its way. In order to manage or heal pain, our energy needs to flow freely throughout the circuitry of our body/mind/spirit. Using a singing bowl as a daily practice assists our healing on so many levels! The bowls’ harmonics stimulate the flow of energy throughout our chakras, promoting healing at a cellular level. Their tones clear the mind of any repetitive feelings of powerlessness and self-pity and empower us to be in the moment. This helps us to engage our own healing energy and to take charge of the things we can do to manage our pain in the present, with the goal of healing our pain in the future.
Thank you for sharing this with us, Ryan! Anyone having information on use of the bowls in pain management, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.