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The Sound of the Unconscious – Singing Bowls and Hypnotherapy sessions

this blog post from guest author Paulo Franco from Portugal gives an insight into the combination of Singing Bowls and Hypnotherapy sessions. Let’s start with a short meditation:

Imagine yourself, your eyes closed, your body allowing itself to relax… Then, the primordial sound of the Universe echoes and resonates throughout your whole body, involving your being in a journey into the very core of Being, letting yourself flow…

And, simultaneously, a voice is also heard, asking you to focus on that very special and unique sound, and leading you into a very deep relaxation, promoting peace and comfort, and hinting at attaining a profound sense of belonging to and moving with that wave of letting your self go, deeper and deeper… While descending numbers from ten to one are counted, you are invited into an ever deeper state of letting go, accompanied by that bass, relaxing sound…

As the mystical sound continues, in its slow rhythm echoing throughout the entire room, your are lead by that voice, relaxing both the body and the conscious mind, and you begin to enter into contact with the deepest part of your being, the unconscious mind…

And the journey continues, your conscious mind goes from a light trance into a deeper one, taken by the wings of that resounding sound, helping you to always stay focused, while the voice takes your unconscious mind into a path of self discovery and inner growth…

As minutes go by, you lose the track of time and you begin to feel as if you were levitating, and your conscious mind departs towards the land of dreams, while the unconscious is rebuilt from within, in a path of self-healing… Seeds of optimism, trust, joy and resilience are sown inside the deepest layer of your being, where they begin to sprout, to grow and then finally they will appear on the surface of you being… Inner strength and stability is established in your self, and a deep sense of tranquillity is installed, while that deep, wondrous sound continues to communicate with your entire body, mind and spirit…

Towards the end of this almost magical journey, the voice directs your attention to coming back to the physical realm of being, slowly and carefully taking you back to the present moment, starting an ascending count from one to ten, while a soft treble sound is heard, helping you to come back to the physical reality…

Then, finally, you are invited by the voice to open your eyes… And when you do open them, you doubt if you had always been there, because it seemed ages had gone by and you had lost the track of time completely…

Being both a Clinical Hypnotherapist from the London College of Clinical Hypnosis and a Singing Bowl Massage Practitioner from the Peter Hess Academy in Portugal, I began to use the wondrous sounds of the singing bowls together with the Clinical Hypnosis in 2008.

My singing bowl massage instructor, Ingrid Ortelbach, invited me to do a presentation during the “First Meeting of Sound” in December 2008, on how to combine singing bowl massage with other healing modalities. Then, I proposed talking about using sound during Clinical Hypnosis, which I named „Joining the Being with Sound“.

Previously, I had thought, „What if I used the wonderful, deep sound of the pelvic singing bowl to help my patients relax even further, while I’m doing Hypnotherapy?“ I felt it would be wonderful, especially when deepening the so-called „hypnotic trance“, during the 10 to 1 countdown.

With an audience of about 60 people, I did that presentation on my views about both healing processes, and then I invited the people to participate in an experiment of group progressive relaxation with Hypnotherapy techniques. I asked them to gently allow their eyes to close and then I began the process.

Instead of just relying on my voice, as usual, and as a Hypnotherapist normally does, speaking more slowly, with some inflections in the speech, to help people’s minds and attention to allow themselves to relax, I did a surprise to the audience!

I began the hypnotherapy process by asking them to focus on the sound of the pelvic singing bowl they were listening to, and lead them into allowing themselves to relax their bodies and minds deeper and deeper… while I continued with the hypnotherapy approach, as well as inviting the audience to be aware of their senses and feelings, and letting themselves literally „go with the flow“ of creating an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity inside of them… and I did the 10 to 1 countdown while making the pelvic singing bowl sound with each descending number… and I kept sounding the bowl during the whole hypnotherapy process, continuing to fill the atmosphere with these deep and peaceful sounds…

I also used the heart singing bowl, while I continued to invite them to let sound permeate and fill their entire beings, awakening senses and feelings yet unknown to them, and filling both the surrounding space and the time between phrases with sheer, wondrous beautiful sounds… During this process, I continued the Hypnotherapist task of reinforcing them with suggestions of continued relaxation, self-control, personal empowerment and self-esteem for the weeks and months to come…

At the end, preparing the audience for the awakening stage, the coming back from this relaxing state, I used the big zen singing bowl, while I was counting up, from 1 to 10, to allow them to come back to a conscious state, being fresh, alive, more alert and feeling much better than before.

The experience was a success and people looked really well after this process, with smiling relaxed faces, in such a blissful state!

For the past 8 years I’ve always used singing bowls healing sounds together with Hypnotherapy sessions.

Reflecting on the effects of the combination of both techniques joined together, I concluded that the effect of one reinforces the effect of the other. Both of them create a peaceful state of both body and mind, leading to a much deeper relaxation.

The purpose of Hypnotherapy is to come into contact with the so-called unconscious mind, in order to reprogram it, to help deal with psychological problems, trauma, phobias, panic attacks, depression, lack of self-esteem, quitting smoking, etc.

But to relax the conscious mind and the physical body, the Hypnotherapist must lead the person in a relaxation process, so that the unconscious mind becomes highly receptive and suggestible to hypnotic suggestions, to calm the nervous system and to allow the person to become mentally and emotionally stronger, from inside out.

That is when the sounds of the singing bowls come into play, helping with the relaxation process and enhancing the Alpha and Theta brain waves, facilitating the deepening of the hypnotic trance and allowing the reprogramming of the mind, according to the needs of each individual. Besides that, the Alpha waves are the „bridge“ between the conscious and the unconscious mind, which makes it so useful to fill the surrounding atmosphere with the sounds of the singing bowls.

Moreover, the brain is the command centre of the body, and it has been proven that sound affects the limbic system, which is the seat of emotions and perceptions in the body. The hippocampus and the Mandel nucleus, which are a part of the limbic system, also play an important role in learning and memory.

Given the fact that Clinical Hypnosis aims at helping people to promote inner change, so it makes all the sense to take the advantage of the sounds and resonance of the singing bowls to tap into such areas, to promote change, in the healing of the inner learning processes and recycling memories.

If sound massage has been proven that it can positively help manage stress levels, relieving tiredness, reducing pain, tension and sleep disturbances, then it is a wonderful complement to add throughout a Hypnotherapy session.

Paulo Franco Vita:
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist Practitioner (London College of Clinical Hypnosis)
Singing Bowls Massage Practitioner (Peter Hess Academy, Portugal)
Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist (Nanjing University of TCM, China)

If you want to knew more about the Peter Hess Academies worldwide, read on here…

When you are interested in the Peter Hess Academy Portugal, read their blog post here…

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