Since singing bowls can promote relaxation, they are appreciated in sound therapy and other practices where stress reduction is necessary. Discover more details about these bowls.
Buddhist monks have long used singing bowls to promote relaxation and induce trance in their meditation practices. Rin gongs , as they are also known in Japan, are made of metal and their sound resembles that of a bell breathwork.
Likewise, they are usually manufactured in a large number of Asian countries. Although the evidence is scarce, it is believed that they could be used in sonotherapy or sound therapy, which is related to benefits such as stress relief and improved sleep. We show you everything you need to know about Himalayan bowls.
How are Tibetan bowls used?
The most common way to use singing bowls is to rub or hit them with a wooden stick , to which accessories made of various materials are added that allow other sounds to be generated. However, softer objects or materials that generate bass sounds can also be used.
In general, suzu gongs are played in two ways. The first is percussion, which consists of hitting the outer edge of the bowl with the drumstick. This should be done gently, although it can be alternated with strong blows.
The second is the shake, which focuses on making circular movements, between fast and slow, with the drumstick on the outer edge of the bowl, until it begins to sound. Also, keep in mind that not all bowls make sounds with the shake , but they can do so through percussion.
Now, Tibetan bowls are usually used in massages, yoga sessions and music therapies. In the latter, the person lies on a stretcher with their eyes closed and must concentrate on the sound of the bowls.
What benefits are attributed to Tibetan bowls?
Several theories have emerged to explain the benefits of ring gongs . One of them is based on the idea that the vibrations of the bowls could affect the mind and body.
The other explanations serve as a complement, stating that the sounds of the bowls are capable of stimulating brain waves , promoting relaxation and having effects on the mind similar to those of listening to music.
Relieve stress and improve sleep
According to research published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine , Himalayan bowls are capable of promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety levels . This, in turn, can improve sleep quality. However, more research is still needed in this regard.
Lower blood pressure
A study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion hypothesized that a 12-minute relaxation session with singing bowls could reduce systolic blood pressure and heart rate more effectively than silence before starting the exercise.
Help fight depression
The same study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine found that therapy with these metal bowls could boost mood and act as an adjuvant in the treatment of depression symptoms .
Ease the pain
According to a study published in the medical journal Forschende Komplementarmedizin , people with chronic spinal pain felt a decrease in the intensity of their pain after a Tibetan bowl therapy session. However, the placebo group experienced the same effects; which is why experts cannot ensure its effectiveness.
Other benefits of Tibetan bowls
Therapy sessions with these bowls could have other benefits. Anyway, there is no scientific evidence for the following, rather it is anecdotal data, supported only by practitioners.
In this sense, proponents of the therapy claim that the sounds emitted by singing bowls promote a healthy immune system . It is something that has not been reliably demonstrated.
On the other hand, they propose combining the bowls with other practices to enhance them. They claim that the use of suzu gongs could improve the results of meditation and deep breathing.
Possible side effects of Tibetan singing bowls
Evidence on the side effects of singing bowls is sparse . Therefore, you must be very careful with its use. If you are using this therapy to relax, it may help.
However, if you aim to reduce blood pressure or alleviate depression, you run the risk of believing that you are getting better, when you are not. This therapy should always be used as a complementary approach and should not replace what is indicated by the medical specialist.
The bowls can cause a headache if you are too close, used too frequently, or if you are a person prone to migraines. Those allergic to certain metals should not come into contact with them.
For pregnant women and epileptics there is no proven safety . Patients with epilepsy could have seizures due to music and its vibrations.
Tibetan bowls: an ancient relaxation method
Tibetan bowls are known to promote relaxation . The sound they emit is appreciated by sound therapy to reduce stress and improve sleep. However, there is not yet enough evidence to support the effects on blood pressure or depression.
Therefore, you should consult with a specialist before starting this type of therapy, and always consider it an alternative and complementary treatment. Never top of the line. Likewise, pregnant women, those allergic to metals and epileptics should avoid it.