Singing bowls are bowls used to promote relaxation. They produce sounds and vibrations when hit or circled with a mallet.
Those sounds and vibrations are said to help you relax. Some people say they can also help: lessen pain, improve sleep, reduce anger, improve blood pressure, improve respiratory rate, reduce depression, improve general well-being
Sound therapy in general is an ancient practice. Singing bowls have been used in Tibet and neighboring areas for religious and spiritual ceremonies, as well as meditation.
Traditional singing bowls are made out of metal alloys, but some singing bowls can be made out of crystal.
Science of singing bowls
It’s unclear how exactly singing bowls are supposed to work. However, there are theories as to why it might have positive health and well-being effects.
These theories include:
- The sound from the singing bowls can actually change your brain waves to types of waves that make you feel relaxed.
- The sound waves from the bowl act on the energy field of your body and cause you to relax.
- It’s not the sound from the singing bowls but the vibrations that lead to its effects.
There’s also some evidence that music therapy more generally can reduce your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. When your levels of cortisol are lowered, you feel more relaxed.
Listening to music may also help boost your immune system by increasing production of certain immune cells.
How to use Tibetan singing bowls
During singing bowl therapy, you’ll be lying down on the floor, with the bowls in one of several configurations. They may be placed:
- on different points on your body
- around your body
- around the room (if there are multiple people doing the therapy), with at least one bowl near your head
The practitioner will then use mallets to strike or circle the bowls in a particular sequence, creating sound and vibrations.
Singing bowls may be used with or without guided meditation.