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With the increasing strain on our physical and mental well-being—be it due to the pandemic or just the craziness of the everyday Hong Kong hustle and bustle—finding ways to reconnect with ourselves and find peace in our busy lives has become more and more important. While there are numerous ways to achieve this, one of the most popular is sound healing. An ancient practice that has been prevalent in cultures around the world, sound healing has now taken off in Hong Kong. Read on to find out more about sound healing and where to try it in Hong Kong.
Note: Information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of professional healthcare providers.
Sound healing—or sound therapy—uses sound waves and vibrations to create movement in your body, mind, and soul, which can have a direct impact on your mental and physical well-being. It is posited that when sound waves reach your ears, they are converted into electrical signals that can trigger mental and physical responses. In particular, certain frequencies can help activate hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin, cortisol, and serotonin, which can help reduce stress and anxiety while inducing relaxation and happiness.
Moreover, sound healing can lead to brainwave entrainment, which entails synchronising the brain’s electrical responses to rhythmic sensory stimulation, including light or sound. It is also commonly known as frequency-following responses (FFR). Healers can then use specific rhythms and frequencies to shift our normal beta state (normal waking consciousness) to alpha state (relaxed consciousness) and even reach theta state (meditative) and delta state (deep sleep). By stimulating special brainwave frequencies, you can attain positive well-being.
While the science is still in its early stages, there is evidence that suggests that sound has a positive impact on reward, motivation, and pleasure; stress and arousal; immunity; and social affiliation. While further research is required to truly understand the benefits and risks of sound healing, there is also emphasis placed upon the practice’s spiritual and metaphysical aspects.
When we are able to alter our consciousness, we are able to fuse intention and frequency together to manifest our highest truth. In this state, we become the most authentic versions of ourselves, as we get the chance to calm our nervous systems, turn inwards, and ascend into the higher states of consciousness. Sound healing is known to clear blockages in our energetic bodies and it allows our life energy (also known as prana or qi) to flow through our physical bodies.
Almost any type of sound can be cultivated for healing and therapy. From the sounds of voices to enjoying various instruments and listening to certain music that evokes emotions, sounds can have a significant impact on us. Some of the most common sounds used in healing and therapy are as follows:
Tibetan or Himalayan singing bowls: Used in Buddhist traditions, Tibetan singing bowls are one of the more popular forms of sound healing. It involves the use of multiple bowls made out of metal alloys that come in different sizes and shapes. Such bowls are then placed around the room near or on your body, and the sound healing practitioner plays them in certain orders based upon your needs, thus evoking certain responses. It is suggested that pregnant women and people with epilepsy should avoid this form of therapy.
Quartz crystal bowls: Quartz crystal singing bowls are made of pure quartz and provide a more ethereal experience during a sound healing session as compared to Tibetan singing bowls (with the best-quality ones starting from $10,000 onwards!). Since quartz crystals are used due to their “piezoelectricity,” this allows for the purest form of alignment, especially in the mind and body. The vibrations emitted from quartz crystal bowls occur at precise frequencies, which conducts and transfers energy effectively. Its various sizes, shapes, and densities can regulate our frequencies, our bodies, and our various organs and systems.
Gong bath: A gong is a traditional Chinese instrument and is simply a resonant metal disk that emits sound waves when struck by a hammer. A gong player will skilfully use the combination of striking force, striking sequence, and striking rhythm for full effect, which results in oscillatory wave motions. It is often used in conjunction with other types of meditation and sound healing and is known to have a deeply relaxing effect.
Mantra chanting: While chanting or vocal toning is used in cultures throughout history—from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks to indigenous tribes—mantras are a key part of Hinduism and its branches, including Buddhism and Jainism, and have long been used for healing. Nowadays, chanting is used as part of sound healing or other meditation classes, with the sounds of certain words and rhythms having an impact on your mind and body. It is a particularly powerful tool, as not only are you receiving the benefits of hearing the sounds, but you are also using your own voice to generate vibrations and shift energy.
Tuning forks: Tuning forks are primarily used to tune other instruments, but they can also be used for healing. A therapist will strike a tuning fork, producing a specific tone and frequency. Moving the fork over your body, specifically certain chakras or spaces, it can help send vibrations to open blocked channels and create feelings of relaxation and meditation. The ends of the forks can also be directly put on your body to enhance the impact.
While there are a number of emerging sound therapists and healers in Hong Kong, here are some of our favourites. Be sure to check if your preferred healer is licensed or has completed sound healing training!
Yinki, the founder of Yin-ki Wellness & Coaching, blends holistic and mindfulness techniques to help you achieve mental, emotional, and spiritual clarity. With her certification in integral sound healing with crystal singing bowls, she hosts sound healing sessions with quartz crystal singing bowls to help you attain your goals.
Her 60-minute group sound healing session, “Align and Ascend,” is designed to create space for meaningful rest and tap into altered states of consciousness. If you are looking for something more personalised, you can work with Yinki directly to conduct an energy assessment to pinpoint specific issues and use sound healing to transform vibratory rates from negative to positive.
Yin-ki Wellness & Coaching, Flat 3A, 3/F, New Central Mansion, 39–49 Gage Street, Central
One of the most established sound healing studios in Hong Kong, Red Doors Studio offers a number of modalities to bring balance, calm, and focus to one’s mind, body, and spirit. Founded by Martha Collard, Red Doors has worked with prominent brands such as Mandarin Oriental, Rosewood Hotels, KPMG, and Lululemon to provide sound healing services to help elevate energy.
She has also done extensive work with schools, non-profits, and special interest groups. In the beautiful Wong Chuk Hang studio, you will find not only a path to your own inner peace, but also Asia’s largest personal collection of meditation gongs used for meditative gong baths.
Red Doors Studio, Flat A, Floor 21, Lee Fund Centre, 31 Wong Chuk Hang Road | (+852) 2110 0152
Certified under the government-registered Natural Sound Healing International School in Nepal, Nepalese-born Akash Banjara is the founder and teacher at Singing Bowls Master. Using 12 different kinds of singing bowls from around the world made of seven different alloys (gold, silver, copper, tin, mercury, lead, and zinc), Banjara offers a number of sound healing sessions that cater to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Additionally, if you are looking to become a healer yourself, you can take one of the many courses available at Singing Bowls Master to learn the secrets of sound healing. Courses include basic sound healing (21 hours), advanced sound healing (45 hours), and master level sound healing (100 hours).
Singing Bowls Master, Room A12, 15/F, Hover Industrial Building, 26–38 Kwai Cheong Road, Kwai Chung
Madalena Ng is the full-time sound healer at Re-mind Workshop, operating with the aim of leading people to discover the source of their own problems and solutions to achieve a state of harmony between body and soul. Using a number of different techniques, she works with her clients in both their personal healing as well as training future practitioners. Instructed by spiritual leaders across the world, Ng has obtained a number of different professional qualifications. She is adept in using Himalayan singing bowls and shamanic drums for individual or group healing sessions and conducts training in these as well as a variety of tuning forks.
Re-mind Workshop, Unit 15E, World Tech Centre, 95 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong | (+852) 5405 8683
Having travelled the South Asian continent over the last half-decade collecting antiques and handicrafts, founder Tsering Ngodup is well-versed in selecting and practising with high-quality singing bowls. Combined with his training with respected masters, he has discovered his own unique and effective style of delivering sound spas and various sound healing treatments. His reputable sound therapies are popular not just with individuals, but also in his pro-bono work with the Asia Society and Hong Kong Cancer Fund. From his online shop, you can purchase a range of high-quality singing bowls amongst other Tibetan antiques and ritual items.