“Bronze bowls have undoubtedly been produced in Himalayan region for centuries. They were widely used as begging bowls, chalices or kitchen bowls, although there appears to be no written historical evidence that they were widely used for the production of sound. Furthermore, there is no evidence that singing bowls formed part of traditional religious practices, as bells other musical instruments are known to have done. However, bronze ‘kitchen bowls’ have always been highly valued possessions in the homes of Northern India, Nepal and Tibet, and they were passed down from one generation to the next.
Western interest in the sound produced by these old bronze bowls seems to have taken hold in the Sixties, as these areas became part of the ‘Hippie Trail’. Singing bowls are now produced throughout the Himalayas and India to satisfy demand in the West.
Although the way the Himalayan people used these bowls is open to question, one thing is certain – Westerners are often affected in a particular way when they hear the unique sound of a singing bowl for the first time. The resonances cannot be reproduced by any instrument in Western culture, nor can a recording of the sound produce the same effect. Many people feel their spirit has been touched when they hear the sound.
Increasingly, sound therapy is being used in healing. Powerful vibrations emanate from a singing bowl when it is played, and these can spread quickly through the cells of the body. Physiotherapists also make use of the phenomena of internal massage with ultra-sonic sound waves. It is claimed that the harmonic frequencies of singing bowls can be used to stimulate the natural harmonic frequencies of different parts of the body.
Mystics throughout the ages have used music and chanting to achieve altered states of consciousness. The normal state of the brain produces Beta waves, whilst Alpha waves are present when the brain is in a state of meditation and calm. The sound wave pattern produced by some singing bowls is equivalent to the alpha waves produced in the brain. These bowls can induce a sense of deep relaxation and access to the inner self.
Furthermore, healers and mystics often the powerful vibrations of the singing bowl to clear negative energies within a room.”