Singing Bowls and Sound Therapy

What is a singing bowl you ask?  Well, my first experience with one was on a trip to Thailand.  I was in Chang Mai visiting a monastery and there were monks on the steps leading up the entrance and they all had these metal bowls and were tapping them with mallets and then circling around the edge to make the most beautiful sounds.  Immediately you could feel the calming effects of the sounds. It was beautiful.  So, needless to say as the proper tourist I bought one to bring home.  And granted it was a pretty piece that sat on my mantel and would come out at the occasional party when someone would say, “What is that?”  However, recently I have wanted to find out more about the benefits of this bowl and its beautiful sounds.


In general, this is an ancient practice, used widely in Tibet and neighboring areas for religious and spiritual ceremonies, as well as meditation.  They are simple bowls made from different metal alloys or crystal, struck with a striker (wooden mallet) and then ran around the outside surface of the bowl. They come in varying sizes, that produce different tones, vibrations and qualities of sound.  You can fill them with water to change up the sounds as well.

Sound Therapy

There are five different frequencies in the brain. In the brain’s normal or everyday state, it uses beta waves (alert, concentration, reacting).  When the sounds of singing bowls are recorded, the sounds are similar to alpha waves produced by the brain.  Alpha waves, create a deep sense of calm and relaxation (deep sleep, wakeful rest, where restoring and healing can occur).  

Singing bowls help give you a point of focus, so you can quiet your mind.  This activates your parasympathetic nervous system and allows you to feel more relaxed.  It helps stop that fight-or -flight state that so many of us find ourselves in on a day-to-day basis.  Find 5 minutes in your day, a comfortable spot to sit, take some deep breathes, give the bowl a couple of rings and feel the effects. 


How to Play a Singing Bowl

Although more research is needed to prove these physical and mental claims, the thing I can attest to personally is I do feel a sense of calm when using the bowl.  This combined with deep breathing works very well for me to help decrease anxiety and improve my overall sense of well-being.  

There is no need to take a trip to Thailand to buy a bowl, unless you are so inclined, you can simply order one online, thank you Amazon. They range from $35 all the way up to thousands. This bowl is similar to the one I use Metal Alloy Bowl, or here is another option for a Crystal Singing Bowl.  Try one out, give it a whirl. What do you have to lose?  And on a positive note, your bowl will not come with a mile long list of possible side effects that many medications would.  Happy Singing!

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