I will NEVER ever claim that the SoundBirth tools (toning and crystal singing bowls) will completely take pain away from you. Pain free births? No way! Powerful? YES!
Sorry! As I have already said, pain is part of giving birth. “It’s GOOD pain” as my Mother informed me before I watched her give birth to my youngest sister when I was 10 years old.
But I will say that if you use these tools as a way to give you some relief, focus and strength you won’t be disappointed!
Try this experiment out for yourself! And get your partner doing this with you!
The Ice Experiment: From “Birthing from Within” by Pam England and Rob Horowitz
(Warning: Don’t do this experiment if you have arthritis in your hands.)
What you will need:
• 1 or 2 blocks of ice per person
• 1 timer or clock
• Hand towel or face cloth
• Piece of paper and pen if you are writing
• Optional: A crystal singing bowl
Each time you do each step write down or share with someone how you felt, what you were thinking about, what you felt like doing, how you basically coped with the pain
1. No tools at all: Hold a piece of ice in one hand for one minute (about the length of a contraction) without doing anything in particular. Put the block of ice in a towel while you have a short break.
2. Affirmation: This time choose a birthing affirmation and focus on it…such as “I am open and relaxed”
3. Body awareness: This time bring your awareness to the area of your body where the pain is. Go right into it.
4. Breathing: Do this again but this time just be aware of your breathing…take full deep breaths.
5. Toning: Do this again and this time make the "Ahhh" sound on your exhalation.
6. Toning with a crystal singing bowl: And finally (if your hand hasn’t frozen off yet…) and if you have a crystal singing bowl handy, tone with the bowl!
Which technique was the most effective for relieving the pain?
Every time I do this exercise with a group the answer is always toning with a crystal singing bowl. Toning was the next best. The feedback is that they could FEEL the vibration in their body and HEAR the sounds all around them so the pain just disappeared … it wasn’t the focus anymore!
Anyway … I’ll leave it for you to experiment with and see for yourself!
Here I will share with you what I know about these awesome bowls from my own personal experience and from a bit of reading and this will be enough for you and your partner or other birth support person to be able to use your bowl in a safe and effective way during your SoundBirth.
History of Bowls making Sounds!
Have you seen and heard those metal Tibetan singing bowls? The Tibetan monks created these bowls centuries ago to be used for healing, ritual and practical purposes. They are made from a combination of 7 different metals (gold, silver, nickel, copper, zinc, antimony and iron) and played either by tapping the side of the bowl with a wooden mallet or moving the mallet around the edge of the bowl (like you do when playing music with your wine glasses!).
By the way … I use top quality Tibetan Singing Bowls from Germany (but made the traditional way from top quality metals) when I give people a “Sound Massage”. Click here to find out more! If you haven’t experience a sound massage yet stick it on your list of nurturing things to do for yourself!
Where Did the Idea of Crystal Singing Bowls Come From?
The crystal singing bowls were stumbled upon while the computer industry was making silicon computer chips in the 1980s! They used these bowls to grow pure silicon chips for their computers. If the bowls were not perfect enough they were thrown into the bin! One day while a bowl was being chucked out someone recognised that it made a beautiful sound! And here is where the crystal singing bowl was born … near the trash bin!
What are They Made From and How and They Made?
Crystal singing bowls are basically reconstituted quartz crystal. They are made from a sand-like substance called silica which is pure quartz in nature. It is very pure, the same sand that is used in making fibre optic glass. The sand is placed into a spinning mould and heated at temperatures that reach approximately 4000 degrees centigrade. This process melts the silica and creates the solid crystal singing bowl.
Different Sizes and Pitches
They come in a variety of sizes from 8 inch in diameter to 24 Inch. The smaller size creates the higher pitch and larger the lower pitch. I have chosen the perfect size and pitch for having a SoundBirth so you don't need to worry about this. It is not too small (we don't want you making high pitched sounds during labour). It's not too big (someone might need to carry it to hospital for you and they get rather heavey if too big!). It's just the right pitch (not too high, not too low...JUST RIGHT!)
The Healing Qualities
Here’s a fact for you that you might find interesting! It has been found that because crystal singing bowls are made from 99.99% quartz crystal they have a greater effect on the human body than any other instrument. Apparently this is because our body has a natural affinity to quartz as it is composed of many crystalline substances – the bones, blood, DNA and the liquid–colloidal structure of the brain. Even our cells contain silica balancing our electromagnetic energies and have the same formula as natural quartz crystal.
Ted Andrews explains this in Crystal Balls & Crystal Bowls,
“The electrical aspects of the quartz emanations trigger strong responses within the crystalline structures and patterns of the human body…”
Mitchel Gaynor MD from The Healing Power of Sound has found that when toning with a crystal singing bowl,
“the sounds permeate our systems, resonating with our essence, so that inner chaos, conflict and dissonance seem almost immediately to be transformed into harmony.”
This is the reason why they are used now for healing and transformation by many sound therapists around the world.
Uses and Benefits
“The intention behind the sound is of extreme importance. It may, in fact, be as important as the actual sounds that are created". Jonathon Goldman, Healing Sounds: The Power of Harmonics
Jonathon Goldman also came up with this equation which I use a lot in my other programs (Sound Nutrition) and in my life!
Frequency + Intention = Healing
Vocalisation + Visualisation = Manifestation
Something else for you to think about and maybe try out for yourself!
Crystal Singing Bowls symbolise the creation of “new life”. The bowl represents the feminine energy, the “womb”, the “Great Mother”. The wand is the masculine, the “Father”, the activating or releasing force. The magnificent sound they co-create when joined together is the birth of “sacred sound”.
How beautiful it is then to have this sound supporting a woman as she births the baby that she, the feminine and he, the masculine have co-created!
That's all I know so far about these bowls! If you know anything else that you would like to share please do so in the comments!
Nicole Lloyd B(Mus) is a mother of four girls and creator of SoundBirth. Here she shares her experiences using sound before, during and after the birth and anything else about sound or birth that she feels like writing about!