A Brief History of Sound Healing
To be whole is the very meaning of healing. Across cultural bounds (nomadic shaman, the Tibetan Lama, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, African or Jewish priest, musician or cantor) sound has been used as catalyst throughout human history. Chant and mantras have been long understood to have the positive effect of sound healing. For thousands of years, mantras with Sanskrit sounds are used to balance the chakras and heighten consciousness.
The use of sound as a healing modality dates back to prehistoric times when shaman chanted and drummed to heal people. In the ancient mystery schools of Greece, India, Egypt and other centers of knowledge, the use of sound and music for healing was a highly developed sacred science.
Sonic vibration was known to be the fundamental creative force in the universe.
The power of sound to heal was used by most ancient cultures. As it had almost disappeared in the West until the 1930s, acoustic researchers discovered ultrasound and its medical properties. With this discovery, the ancient art of sound healing is rapidly developing into a new science. Now there is a mass of research into the healing benefits of ultrasound, also including its use in breaking up kidney stones and shrinking tumors. Infrasound and audible sound have now been recognized as having immense healing properties
The first known culture to heal with sound are the Aboriginal people of Australia. For at least 40,000 years didgeridoo has been used as a healing tool.
The Aborigines healed broken bones, muscle tears and other kinds of illnesses using this enigmatic musical instrument. In addition, the sounds emitted by the yidaki are in alignment with modern sound healing technology. It is very apparent that the wisdom of the ancients was based on sound principles.
Drums and rattles are two of the earliest known musical instruments in the Egyptian and Babylonian cultures. Its low frequency sounds from drums and the ultrasound created by rattles are now both known to accelerate healing. Vowel sounds in the Egyptian culture were used in their rituals, as written by a Greek traveler, Demetrius circa 2000 C.
The first person to use »music as medicine« was Pythagoras, circa 500 BC. He used the flute and the lyre which were two of the primary instruments that were used for healing purposes. He is also credited with being the first to understand musical intervals from his work with the monochord, a single-stringed instrument in which the string tension was established by a fixed weight.
Healing with sound has been used as a way of soothing the mind and emotions and it is one of the oldest and most natural forms of healing known to man. In some Eastern cultures, there have been long realized that the beneficial effect goes much deeper than just a sense of emotional well-being. The harmonious sounds have a healing effect on the body at a cellular level. Nada Yoga is the ancient science in India that celebrates the effect of musical vibrations on the human organism. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks also realized that the power of the sound has the purpose of healing and they often composed and performed music in this way.