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Gongs Sound Healing

The wonders of gongs

 

Our featured instrument this month is the mighty gong, the king of sound healing instruments.

The gong is such an adaptable instrument for sound healing. You can play it very gently and softly to produce waves of soothing vibrations which can quickly send people into a deep altered state of consciousness. One of my regular participants reports that she never hears anything of the sound bath after I start playing the gong. She drops off into a deep, restful sleep. Yet she still gets the benefits of the vibrations. For me as a participant, gentle gong playing in a sound bath sends little tingles up and down my spine and soon takes me to a place where I feel very safe, nurtured and relaxed – it’s like being cocooned in beautiful sounds.

When the volume is slowly raised, it can penetrate deep into the body shifting stubborn blockages and cutting through mental chatter. I store a lot of tension in my solar plexus at times and I really feel the gong’s vibrations releasing all the tightness and opening it up.

In March I had the privilege of spending a whole day learning about flumis (special rubber balls that create wonderful sounds when pulled across the gong surface) from Bear Love, the UK flumi expert and manufacturer. After a whole day of gong vibrations my stiff back had relaxed and the pain had gone.

Symphonic gongs (like the one pictured above) produce a large range of overtones helping the mind to switch off. This is why so many people fall asleep when the gong is played. They are wonderfully versatile gongs producing a wide range of tones.
22" Wind Gong with Beater | Gong, Gongs, Wind
You may think that gongs are only for skilled sound healers costing thousands of pounds and you can only dream of owning one. Well, the good news is that anyone can own a gong. Wind gongs are relatively cheap to buy and also produce some beautiful sounds. They start at 14 inches and go up to 35 inches though 18 inches is the largest that you can really hold. Large ones need a gong stand.

Wind gongs are easy to play. Take the mallet and simply use gentle upward or downward strokes, slowly building up the sound but at the same time, pausing to give the sound time to blossom. They can be wafted over the body giving the receiver a feeling of the wind (hence the name!).

A word of caution, if you’re thinking about attending a gong bath, check the practitioner is well qualified. If gongs are played insensitively and too loudly, they can bring old trauma to the surface. So do your research. You can also read my blog post about how to choose a sound bath.

One of Bear Love’s gongs – an 80 inch beauty