Universal Wellbeing Magazine, Australia
Excerpt from an article by Myra Panascia
Issue 90

Sacred Sound Healing

Sound has been used for thousands of years to access deep states of consciousness, expand awareness and heal.

Gong Therapy

The existence of the gong dates back to the Bronze Age, around 3500BC. Evidence suggests that the gongs existed at this time in Mesopotamia. Myth has it that sacred gongs included pieces of meteorites that fell from the heavens. Since the time f Buddha in 600BC, all sacred Chinese gongs have been inscribed with the two Mandarin Chinese characters "Tai Loi", which means "happiness has arrived". The gong's ancient use was as an initiation tool for enlightenment, etheric projection and exorcism of negative spirits. It has also been used by Tibetan monks, and the Chinese, for centuries as an aid to meditation.

New Yorker Don Conreaux has used the gong for sound therapy for more than 30 years. He says of the gong: "It really is an engine of power, more than a musical instrument, although it is used in symphony orchestras all over the world. This energy that comes through the gong is not just a fundamental tone, but here all the tones combine together to create a wall of sound. Rather like a tsunami, a great wave. It is really like a delivering of pranic healing."

Gong therapy can be done one on one with a practitioner or in a group situation. People who have a gong therapy session talk about experiencing waves of emotion and awareness of certain parts of the body. "Gong therapy is bathing in total sound. In other words, the sound erases all other sounds around you and you are just in this ocean of rolling waves and layers and layers of tones. And the tones go right through the body. They affect you on a mental level, an emotional level, a spiritual level and they cleanse you as they form a purification, which just washes away any worries or cares, and often obstacles that stand in your way of clarity and creativity."

"We call it the Music of Wholeness," Conreaux explains. "Whereas a lot of modalities read your symptoms and approach the body according to your illness, holistic sound healing works differently from that. What we do is approach the body as if it were already whole and complete, then we fill that body with vibrations that emphasize wholeness and resonance, and whatever the problem, the sound will go to that place that needs it and the body will pull it in and the cells will begin to regain their highest potential of resonance, or if you want to call it a feeling of love and completeness."

Conreaux has used gong therapy to help deaf children. Although in extreme cases the children cannot hear the sounds, they feel the resonance and Conreaux reports that some forms of hearing loss have been improved by the gong because its vibration massages the thousands of tiny hair cells that fill the inner ear. He also plays the gong to street kids who have shown signs of violence and says there is a definite shift away from aggressive and anti-social behavior.