Slimbridge Dowsing group


Sound Healing Bath with Jan van der Elsen*

To be bathed in sound can be so healing, and a route into deep meditation at the same time. It has to be the right sort of sound though - drums, Tibetan singing bowls and magnificent larger vessels made from quartz crystal are best.

Our sound bath on Thursday, 12th May was presented by Jan van der Elsen on the lightship Sula, moored at Llanthony Quay just south of Gloucester Docks. Jan and his wife Agnes also used seeds inside a bamboo casing which sounded like wind in the trees and other instruments including a huge Indonesian gong, Shamanic drums, Tuning Forks, bell strings and rattles.

Played harmoniously to members of Slimbridge Dowsing Group plus a couple of guests, we all agreed it was the most soothing, calming experience.

“Absolutely everything is in vibration,” explains Jan, Dutch owner of the lightship, “including our bodies. The brain’s normal vibration frequency is 13 to 16 or 17 hertz (hz). Below that, 13 down to 8 hz, you are in the Alpha state, getting into meditation and deep relaxation.”

Below 8hz, of course, you are asleep. At the other end of the scale, someone who is hyper, in a panic or even in a fight-or-flight situation, will have a brain vibration of 17 to 20 hz, best avoided.

If you envisage your body as being an orchestra, it follows that if any part of it goes wrong, the whole thing needs re-tuning. As the famous playwright William Congreve said, ‘Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast’, and it does have a calming influence, although of course some modern music can have the opposite effect!

Tibetan singing bowls Jan van der Elsen with his Tibetan and crystal singing bowls.

“The singing bowls in particular,” continues Jan, “have been made for centuries by Tibetan monks as a tool to lower brain frequency to about 9Hz. They worked an alloy comprised of 7 to 10 different metals, to produce the special sound that worked for them, and sent them into meditation, which was an important part of their daily lives.”

After the wonderful experience of the healing sound bath on historic Sula on Thursday afternoon, those present were persuaded that maybe meditation should be a part of our lives too. Sula lightship is open to the public and offers a variety of holistic therapies and complementary treatments.

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