Singing bowls are a form of musical therapy. Nowadays, people are at their wit’s end, trying to achieve a simpler, calmer, and stress-free life. It is thus evident that people are increasingly taking to meditation, yoga, and the like, to boost their mind’s positivity while concomitantly coping with whatever life throws their way. The importance of singing bowls as a means of relaxation thus assumes significance in the light of the changed and heightened pace of life that each of us finds ourselves in.
What Is a Singing Bowl?
A singing bowl is a unique Oriental musical bowl made of specific metal and has sonorous properties. These bowls are specially made to bring about a rich tonal sound when hit by a small wooden piece – a small gong-like wooden object known as a mallet. The sounds so produced have relaxation properties and have been used by folks through millennia. The singing bowl has Oriental origins and is also famously known as a Tibetan singing bowl as it is widely used in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.
One may wonder as to what singing bowls are made of. These are specially crafted out of bronze alloy. This alloy is also noteworthy because it is made out of metals, including copper, iron, tin, nickel, and zinc, to even more costly metals, like silver and gold. These are made through a particular metal amalgamation and form fashioning process. The mallet used to beat the singing bowl or strike it gently is made of leather or, more commonly, wood. This mallet is used to gently strike the bowl to produce soothing sounds, which is the whole purpose of using a singing bowl.
Benefits of Singing Bowl
The very fact that singing bowls have been so popular around Tibet and other Oriental countries from ancient times bears ample testimony to the benefits of using singing bowls. Here are some of the main advantages of singing bowls.
1. Relieving Stress
In modern days, most people stay stressed throughout for both known and unknown reasons. Emerging from work and personal matters, you might just bump into stressors at every turn of life. While you cannot eliminate such stressors from your life, you can adopt a more holistic solution to deal with them in a healthy manner. Here, the Tibetan singing bowls play an essential part in calming the nerves and ensuring that one regains a sense of calmness and composure even amid a frenetic life pace. The sound produced by the singing bowl can have a calming effect that is all so salubrious to one’s inner being.
2. Inducing Sleep
Many people face difficulty getting sleep at night, even after a hard day’s work. As insomniacs, you may feel inclined to pop pills for sleeping. But these pills can have harmful effects on your health in the long term. For severe insomniacs, a more permanent solution addressing the mental root cause is crucial. In most relatively less severe cases, singing bowls have been found to provide immense benefits. Particular types of singing bowls for sleep can help in inducing deep sleep. The reason for this is that when the mind becomes calm and soothed by the sound of the singing bowl, the body falls off into peaceful and deep sleep. In a sense, therefore, the singing bowls through their soothing sounds make an environment ready for a person to fall off into blissful sleep.
3. Creating a Sense of Wellbeing and Avoiding Depression
An uneasy and worried mind is very susceptible to falling into a state of depression. In such cases, these bowls bring about calmness and reduce anxiety to a large extent. Anxiety is the prime enemy of mental well-being. With increased stressors in your life, especially after the Pandemic, you need to adopt a solution that resolves the issues from a holistic perspective in addition to medication supplements. Hence, singing bowls with their soothing effects can ensure that any depressive and overwhelming thoughts are quickly dispensed. These sounds can also promote a sense of overall well-being and peace with the world at large, warding off depression.
4. Relieving Hypertension
One of the leading banes of bustling modern living is the toll it takes on physiological health. There is a deep connection between mind and body. Hence too much stress and tension results in millions of people suffering from chronic high blood pressure. In this context, singing bowls as sound therapy can help lower stress and anxiety levels, causing BP to be maintained at medically acceptable levels. Some have resorted to using singing bowls for meditation to help create a milieu that is calm enough to allow undisturbed and pure meditation that reduces hypertension. You no longer need to take medicines for life!
5. Spiritual Benefit of Singing Bowls
Traditional Tibetan Buddhist monks and religious practitioners are the ones that generally use these spiritual singing bowls. The sounds these bowls produce are used with meditation and chanting of mantras or spiritual verses by Buddhist monks in monasteries. These are said to create a unique spiritual aura or milieu accompanied by the combined chants of the monks.
How Does a Singing Bowl Work?
The singing bowl is made of various metals, some being costly and others being less expensive. It comes accompanied by a mallet (small gong-like apparatus) made of either wood or leather. The mechanics of using the singing bowl involve wielding the mallet to gently strike the singing bowl in such a manner and with a rhythm that an appropriate deep tonal sound emanates from the singing bowl. The vibrations produced by gently hitting the mallet onto the singing bowl produce the desired soothing sound from the singing bowl. The calming musical vibrations emanating from the singing bowl spread throughout the room where it is being played. If it is a large empty room like a monastery, the echoing sounds of the singing bowl reverberate through the length and breadth of the room.
How to Use a Singing Bowl?
It would be safe to say that, like other things in life, one has to get used to and practice using the singing bowl for some time. Constant practice can help you get a perfect hang of how it is used, the variety of sounds it produces, and what works well for your special and unique needs. A couple of ways that you can practice using a singing bowl are:
1. For meditation and better sleep
First, a single person can use a single singing bowl to produce soothing sounds for meditation or for getting sleep at night. It is also possible to use more than one singing bowl at a time in unison. The purpose of this is to produce a kind of musical effect that is quite past describing.
2. For Buddhist rituals and practices
The singing bowl is also used in corporate worship among the Buddhists in Tibet and other parts of the Orient. They have a unique technique of alternating the sounds of the singing bowl with that of their chants so that the sounds create a special and mystical aura that one has to experience in person or view online to get a precise idea about.
Side Effects of Singing Bowl
While there are many benefits of using singing bowls, it is also possible that there could be some side effects for some folks. This needs to be well considered before starting to use the singing bowl.
1. Headaches and migraines
People who are prone to migraines and headaches should be avoiding singing bowls. This is because the deep and repetitive sound is not always salutary for everyone. This is also bound to affect the person if the bowls are being played too close to their ears and if the sound levels or decibels are too high to produce a calming effect.
2. Potential for flaring allergies
Then there is the case of people who have certain allergies to some types of music. Hence, one cannot consider the singing bowls as a panacea for calmness for everyone uniformly.
3. Potential negative impact on mental health
People with severe forms of depression should also avoid using singing bowls as their primary form of treatment. There are certain cases where medical and drug therapy is required, and one should not supplant singing bowl music therapy as an alternative to traditional medicine. On the contrary, that could prove to be detrimental to the health of the individual.
4. Negative effect on epileptic people and pregnant women
Pregnant women should certainly avoid singing bowls as the effect on the physiology of the expecting lady is not typically proven to be salubrious. Those prone to epileptic fits should also avoid singing bowls as the reverberations and the vibrations could very well trigger fits.
How to Find the Best Singing Bowl?
When it comes to singing bowls, one size does not fit all. You have to be clear as to why you need a singing bowl, and accordingly, look at the types of bowls available and choose the one that best suits your needs.
- If you are a beginner and just getting to know how to use a singing bowl, then a small-sized bowl may do the trick. Later a medium-sized bowl may be used for various purposes like meditation, chakra healing methodologies and suitable for a medium-sized home. For those who are buying a singing bowl for much larger spaces and monasteries, one or more sized singing bowls may be chosen to serve the purpose of a larger area and a whole congregation of people.
- It is also imperative to check the tonal quality of the singing bowl that you are choosing. Test this out carefully as the vibrations emanating from the singing bowl comprise the very essence of the singing bowl, and you cannot afford to go wrong with it.
- Another thing is to examine the singing bowl you are buying personally. Singing bowls are made by hand, and if there is an accidental crack in the bowl, the whole effect could get spoiled. Be careful on this aspect as well, and you should be good to go with it!
There are many types and sizes of singing bowls that are available in the market. You would do well to know the reason for buying the bowl and keep it within your budget not to be disappointed!