I tried it: Sound Therapy


Living with a family member with a chronic illness means there is often discord and drama afoot. Things crash regularly and it is easy to lose perspective and become hypersensitive to the anger around me, even though I know it is involuntary. During one of those periods, it was a relief to escape on a business trip to El Monte Sagrado, an art-filled resort in Taos, New Mexico. A location that attracts both healers and those in search of harmony, El Monte Sagrado is the perfect setting for experiencing ‘Sound and Vibrational Therapy’, one of the special services offered at a spa that is known for its commitment to global philosophies.

Sound Therapy

My therapist, Alex Rentz, uses sound therapy techniques to enhance bodywork and energy balancing. It is significantly relaxing on its own, but it is also a way to prepare the body to be more receptive to more intensive healing work. Practitioners of Acutonics, a system of healing based on the power of music and sound to ease pain and promote balance, are taught to work with tuning forks, Tibetan bowls, gongs, bells, and drums to replicate specific frequencies and musical intervals that tune our bodies to the earth’s own frequencies.

I don’t really understand the ‘science’ of sound healing, which is based on the orbital properties of the earth, sun, moon, and planets. But I have heard of the philosophy of ‘the music of the spheres,’ which is credited to Greek mathematician and astronomer Pythagoras. This Greek philosophy, however, developed when the sun, moon, and planets were thought to revolve around the earth.

As Rentz activated each ‘singing bowl’ by skimming a mallet around the rim to create an audible vibration, and then placing them on different parts of my body, I understood the ancient power of a church bell ringing to summon people to come together. The vibrations definitely galvanize the organs and senses. I was alert, but relaxed, as Rentz performed some bodywork as well as applied tuning forks to acupressure points.

Immediately after my two-hour session, I attended a concert at the resort. As soon as the cellist started playing, tears began running down my face. There was no doubt that I sensed the music differently and more deeply. Afterward, several of the people sitting around me complained that the cellist had made some obvious mistakes. That may have been true, but they didn’t bother me. I was listening with more than my ears, which I hoped would carry over to my daily challenges when I returned home.

Judy Kirkwood

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