Having focused mainly on using my voice and native american healing flutes in my sound therapy sessions I recently started working again with Tibetan Singing Bowls and thank Goodness I did! I have had some fabulous experiences with human clients for stress and pain relief, but last week I had the opportunity to work on a friend’s horses. I had been meaning to go for a while, but the time never quite presented itself. Then last Sunday the moment arose, and my subjects were four horses, three male and one female.
The main reason for going was to see Paddy, an ex race horse from Ireland who had often been subject to harsh treatment was because of his temperamental behaviour, often leading his owner to some injury, either being kicked or thrown! Only having worked briefly with horses in the past, I was eager to see what we could do. True to form, Paddy was not in the best of moods, and had been jumping at a show in the heat the day before. He had been quite annoyed, kicking and biting and had obviously not recovered from his day. Sensing him to be very unstable on my arrival (and having learnt my lesson previously with an agitated horse that stepped on my foot!!!) I turned my attention to begin with, to the other calmer souls inhabiting the same stable. I began playing one of my beautiful small bowls, and it sang so gently and sweetly, the smaller female horse immediately turned to look and later was completely entranced. She did not move, and her eyes gently began to close. A bit like the way a human being loses focus and switches brain state whilst having a treatment. Humans commonly move from Beta to Alpha. The male horse next to her was very intrigued and he to just stared, centimetres away from the bowl, slightly resisting the urge to fall completely into a trance like state!
I looked over my shoulder at Paddy behind me, to see how the sound was affecting him. He looked like a petulant teenager! He had turned completely away so that his face was in the opposite corner and his bottom was facing me. He wasn’t kicking and chewing anymore but he made it clear he wasn’t having any of this “new age” therapy! Just like a human reaction. Often in a sound therapy treatment, as blockages are cleared, the client can feel anger, annoyance, and agitation before succumbing to the feelings of relaxation. I was starting to see that Paddy was following the same pattern. His eyes were so full of anguish and upset, real aggravation that he couldn’t get over. I left him again and continued with the others. Whilst I continually played a smaller bowl, I asked my friend to accompany me with a larger bowl, just by gently striking the outside of it to produce a beautiful deep bell sound. We concentrated on the two original horses, placing the larger bowl on his back and around his body, which he seemed very happy about!
Singing bowls have been proven to strengthen the immune system and increase cells that fight infection. This horse had been suffering from a virus that had weakened him and we were hoping the bowls would do him some good. He couldn’t get enough of it. As my friend played the larger bowl, he tried over and over to place his nose into it to feel the resonance. Of course as soon as the sides of the bowl are touched they stop resonating, so eventually he placed his nose beside it.
I looked back at Paddy, who was actually looking back at me! As I turned to face him, he turned his huge body around and greeted me, centimetres away from the singing bowl I was still playing. For about the next 30 mins, he went through phases of turning his head flat on the side next to the bowls as we played them and resting his head on his owner’s (my friend’s) shoulder, eyes almost closed, interspersed with phases of coughing and sneezing, which again is a sign of a blockage being released. His eyes calmed and he looked peaceful. My friend said that she had never experienced anything like this with Paddy before. He had never allowed her this intimacy and trust.
I moved along to the final horse as my friend continued to work with Paddy. At that point her mum came in and said she could hear the bowls all the way at the back of the stable, and that a group of cows had gathered in the field behind, half entranced, staring into the stable.
After a little more, we felt the energy move and the session came to an end. We left the horses, calm and sleepy. It was their dinner time and usually they are awake and ready to eat. That night was different!
I will be going back in the next month to continue this work.
Alexandra Rigazzi-Tarling, my journey into Singing and Sound for healing body, mind and spirit of all beings.