Goosebumps spread all over my body like ivy. What was causing this? Just the mere interaction of my ear with the soothing hum that originates from a singing bowl. Our host and recognized sound healer Mangal, a humble and kindred spirit, walked us through an inner journey experienced solely based on the sounds he produced via his instruments.
I went into the vibration bath session as a skeptic. I was not inclined to believe that using vibrations to produce sensations of calmness would be effective. After undergoing the session, my views were changed and I realized how ignorant I had been the whole time prior to the session. Now I share my experience with you.
As you walk into the room, the sight of the gongs and bowls overwhelm you. There are gongs of all sizes that surround the room and singing bowls of all sizes are neatly lined up towards the front of the room. Before you get to the bowls however, there are rows of zero-gravity chairs that comprise the majority of the room. At the center of the front of the room lies a great, white crystal bowl which almost seems out of place with the aesthetic of the room. Nevertheless, the power it holds in the process of vibration bath is incomparable.
I felt goosebumps forming on my skin as the process continued. This was the pinnacle of my experience as I let go of all other sensory stimuli and was focused solely on the vibrations that were around me.
As you lie ensconced in the zero-gravity recliner chairs, you can already feel a sense of weightlessness engulfing you. The tension in your body alleviates to some extent even though you haven’t even started with the vibration bath therapy. The term “vibration bath” can be a little misleading if you were expecting to immerse yourself in a warm, relaxing bath. You do not immerse yourself in water, rather you immerse yourself in the vibrations produced by the myriad of instruments that are in the room.
Here is a breakdown of the vibration bath process:
Phase One – Gongs and contained chaos
The first phase started with striking the enormous gongs that lined up along the side of the room. It started with striking the gong once with timed intervals in between. This was followed by fast paced striking of the gongs, building up a crescendo of sound waves which reverberated throughout the room. I was part of a session that had maximum occupancy with other members comprising of a few Ministers of Nepal and a host of tourists from Taiwan. I could see that every single participant was enchanted by what was going around them. It was a new experience for all of us and we could all agree that the concept, albeit being new, was one we could wrap our heads around.
Phase Two – Singing bowls and serenity
In the next phase, Mangal introduced the singing bowls. He produced vibrations of different pitches and frequencies with the use of different singing bowls. Some even had water in them, which I believe changed the type of vibration produced. As Mangal walked around the room with the singing bowls, I could recognize the doppler effect of waves. The sound registering in my ears felt as though the source was at varying lengths from me. The closer the singing bowls were to me, the sharper and more distinct sounds I could hear and vice-versa.
As we entered the second phase, I could sense that my fellow participants were more relaxed than they were previously. The only sounds I could hear were the sharp pitches from the singing bowl and the breathing of the other participants. Vibration baths successfully attempt to change the energy states of our brains. Deep breathing is an effect related with the brain registering into a calmer state. This is where the brain falls into either of the Alpha, Theta or Delta states. These states imply that the brain waves are produced with a frequency of anywhere from between one-half Hertz to thirteen Hertz.
I could even hear some people snoring; their brains now entered the realm of sleep. This was an indicator of how the vibration bath affected select people. They were rendered calm enough to have been able to fall asleep. In this moment, the corresponding frequencies of their brain waves fell into the lower spectrum of the aforementioned range(from one-half Hertz to eight Hertz).
Phase Three – Wind chimes and complete surrender to the soundscape
My favorite part of the whole experience was the next phase where, Mangal introduced wind chimes along with the singing bowls. The build up of vibrations by the repeated rimming of the singing bowls coupled with the occasional chiming from the chimes was the part where I felt most relaxed. I felt goosebumps forming on my skin as the process continued. This was the pinnacle of my experience as I let go of all other sensory stimuli and was focused solely on the vibrations that were around me.
Phase Four – Bringing it back and tying it around
The last phase of the vibration bath incorporated all of the instruments used in the previous sessions as well as the crystal bowl that took center stage. The whole process then ended with the striking of the gongs thus, bringing the session to a full circle. I remember for that for one of the participants the whole process was so soothing that he was still asleep for a few minutes after the session had ended.
Mangal was received with dignified nods and subtle applause at the end. Words were hard to come by for all participants. We were all in awe of what we had been part of and this fostered a sense of unison around the room. People acknowledging the profoundness of the experience their fellow participant had gone through. Mangal then went on to explain the history behind his work and his visions for the future.
Our guide into the vibrational realm, Mangal, stated that he was going to increase the number of sessions he conducted per month. This also indicates the widespread popularity that vibrational baths has achieved throughout the years. I hope that other healers incorporating vibration baths in their healing process take a note from him and continue flourishing the vibrational bath landscape.