Sound healing has achieved recognition internationally as an effective healing modality for stress, reduction, pain relief and the healing process for many life threatening illnesses in humans. San Diego based Tibetan bowl sound healer, author and recording artist, Diáne Mandle has also been working with animals and teaching pet owners how to use sound to reduce stress and increase well being in their animals.
On October 15, 2006, twenty-five people gathered under a covered arena in Phoenix with their forty-two dogs. People and their dogs greeted one another in a friendly and social manner as they put out their chairs and blankets for the first known event of its kind. The dogs of course continued to jump, pull, sniff and bark happily long after their owners had settled down.
Mandle placed her bowls on a table and began to play. After about ten minutes she looked up because she noticed that the arena had become totally quiet. Pet owners had closed eyes and slowed breath; dogs were lieing down quietly with a far away look on their faces. They were transfixed by the sounds and the energy in the room had completely shifted into a peaceful, quiet mood.
The afternoon event entitled Sound Healing for People and the Animals they Love, was a concert and lecture jointly presented by Ms. Mandle and Phoenix based Dr. Anne Smith, VMD, OMD who has been practicing alternative veterinary medicine since 1975.
Mandle discussed the history of the ancient instruments and science behind their healing potential. She explained that the Singing Bowls, produce the primordial sound of ‘AUM’; the fundamental utterance of energy metamorphosing into matter. They alter space, mind and time; awakening cellular memory and healing the energy body. The act of listening to their captivating overtones stops one's internal dialog and transports the listener into a space of tranquility and balance. Through a process of sympathetic resonance our brainwaves literally take on a matching frequency with the bowls initiating the relaxation response and inhibiting the stress response.
Animals are extremely sound sensitive and can hear more layers of sound and more notes than humans. They respond well to bowls with lower tones that are played in a soothing manner. This was demonstrated by a recent workshop with Diane where a dog, recovering from surgery and in a leg brace was invited in to the room for the sound meditation. He was very close to the instruments and appeared restless during much of the concert. At one point, Mandle selected a grounding bowl, picked it up and walked toward the dog singing the instrument very softly. His eyes met hers and as she continued to play, he backed down onto his haunches, keeping eye contact and put his head on his paws. Clearly, the stimulation from several bowls, some of which were higer in pitch were too much for him. However he immediately responded to the one low pitched bowl when the energy was also clearly directed at him vs at the group. It was very impressive.
These instruments are used to:
- reduce stress and pain
- balance energy
- create vitality and spontaneous healing.
- effectively alter consciousness into a peaceful and expansive meditative state. (trance induction)
- deepen meditation ( in humans)
Dr Smith explained that in animals foci or 'spots' in the brain or DNA material, inflammatory in nature are triggers. In the world of animals, 'triggers' can be set off by sight, sound or smells depending on the brain location of the 'triggers'. In general all 'reflexive' behavior is a result of these 'spots' in the brain. Aggression, for instance, is reflexive behavior, 'triggered' by sight, sound or smell. When triggered, the aggressive dog 'goes off' into serious attack mode to do the job, leaving the former current context altogether. It often takes some considerable time for the aggressive dog to come back, calm down and rejoin the owner.
Says Smith , “ I have a friend that is a dog owner that has a pit-bull, lab cross with these aggressive bouts. He is 3 years old and she has been working 3 years to modify, mitigate his aggression. The net success frankly was insignificant - until the singing bowls. After 3 sessions with the singing bowls, the outbursts were less frequent and the time to return to present very much shorter.”
Dr.Smith is using some other tools as well, but the inroad to modifying the bouts of aggression were the singing bowls. The potential for healing of all sorts in the context of these 'triggers' is very large.
Both Mandle and Smith feel strongly that the level of stress and behavior of a pet owner strongly impacts the behavior of the pet. This is why they recommend that both the owner and the pet receive sound healing treatments which will help them individually and as a team.