Many of you know me for my therapeutic massage and organic facials. I do have to say there are many sides to this Holistic Practitioner and since our business move in 2016, my cozy treatment room has inspired nothing but creativity. It’s opened the door to another passionate venture: offering crystal singing bowls for professional and personal development.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with these bowls, when played they sing in a way similar to running your fingers around the rim of crystal glasses filled with water. However, there is a big difference. When these crystal quartz bowls are played, the rich sound and vibration can resonate throughout an entire room and bounce off the walls, creating a “bath” of sound, hence the term “sound bath.” It connects with our own energy on a cellular level. It fine-tunes each of our energy centers, or chakras, benefitting us on physical, emotional, and subtle-body levels.
Playing Crystal Singing Bowls Can Help:
Activate the parasympathetic nervous system
Regulate the vagus nerve (the longest cranial nerve) that controls digestion, heart rate, breath, speech, and body temperature
Stimulates both hemispheres of the brain: Yin & Yang energies
Release endorphins, minimizing acute or chronic pain
Reduce anxieties and stress
Change brain waves, initiating a calmer state for meditation
Ground and center your thoughts
Break up old frequency patterns that no longer serve you
Introduce frequencies that may be lacking in your own signature song
Raise your energetic vibration, boosting your immune system
Bring peace, clarity, and focus into your daily life
Who knew that something so simple could affect us in so many ways?
My own journey with them has been an exceptional one. Since I began working with them in 2011, they’ve helped me with many of my own personal challenges. One in particular involved serious panic attacks. Let me tell you a short story…
For the span of 20 years, I experienced panic attacks that affected me physically, emotionally, and not to mention, socially. It began when I was in high school and each year that passed, it worsened. By the time I was in college, it got to the point that my throat felt constricted on a regular basis. Some days it got so bad, it was too painful to sing in choir. Most days I became very self-conscious of my neck, and I’d break out in red hot splotches that looked like rashes all over my chest. My wardrobe often catered to these attacks, so I’d wear shirts that covered my chest, and could absorb extra perspiration if I experienced a bout of hot or cold sweats during the day. There was also a grab-bag of other repercussions I experienced: lip twitches, feeling excess heat from my core to my crown, and the constant fear I had knowing I could be triggered at any moment. Simple triggers happened with bright lights, meeting people for the first time, and being on stage. Believe it or not, I wanted to pursue acting when I was younger.
Playing Julie Jordan in Carousel. (1995)
When I spoke to friends and teachers, quite often I couldn’t pay attention to the conversation because I was so focussed on my fear and how my body would appear to them. “What’s that on your chest?” Many friends would point out their observations and it would fuel the fear. Every day was a challenge, a constant fight with myself, and I was clueless in how to rectify it. With the direction I was going, the idea to pursue a career in the performing arts was out of the question. Even still, I managed to put up a good fight with myself on and off the stage throughout high school and college because I didn’t want it to control my life.
Towards the later years of my attacks, I gave in. I stopped singing in front of people. I stopped performing. I stopped going out to large social gatherings. I wanted to become a hermit. Once I graduated college, then massage school, I felt like I could take a break from my attacks. Very few clients triggered them so I allowed myself to breathe a bit. My social circle of friends shrunk but the smaller groups I did visit still challenged my adrenals. When I had a trigger, I was determined to suffer silently on my own. I always covered them up with clothing and a smiling facade. It was too embarrassing for me to tell anyone about it. How can you talk about something you and doctors don’t even understand?
My late childhood/early adulthood was a very rough period in my life.
The year 2008 became a huge turning point for me. Many life changes were occurring during this year and I decided it was time to face these panic attacks. I thought of how amazing my life would be to live without the constant fear. It seemed unimaginable and unattainable, but I was ready to take steps and explore them; to meet the monster behind the curtain.
I developed my team of natural healers (Acupuncture, Reiki, Therapy, Herbs)…quite a team of support. Then I was introduced to a Shamanic Women’s Circle. The host of the group had a son that wanted to play crystal singing bowls for us. The experience I had from listening to these bowls was phenomenal. Many events have changed my life and this one definitely goes on that list!
Funny thing, I still waited quite a while before I bought my first bowl. The financial investment was a big turn-off and the timing just wasn’t right. Then one day, I visited a metaphysical store and saw one. This particular sacral chakra bowl called to me. When I played it, it felt so good. Strange to say, but that was the feeling I got. How could a sound physically feel good?
I brought it home, and played it every day after that for several months. During that time, I got nudges to sing as I played. I integrated different pitches and began to harmonize with the bowl. Vowel sounds and mantras also felt so good to vocalize. I found myself holding out notes, stretching my vocals chords with long breaths, and just feeling and being aware of its affect on me. Immediately, I became an observer in the moment. It was a place I wasn’t used to being. Usually I was in the past or the future. The bowl brought me to this space and time, the now. I felt safe to stay in my body.
Every time I played my crystal singing bowl, it felt as if there was an invisible teacher showing me what to do, what to sing, and what sounds to carry out. I could see notes appear in my head, almost like the bouncing ball you see in a sing-a-long. Whatever I saw in my mind’s eye, I followed the instructions I got.
After my integration with the first bowl, I got my second and third bowls; Root & Heart. It was then, that I developed a nudge to play for other people. I still had panic attacks but the bowls mellowed them out for me. I could play a little bit here and there, maybe sing a little bit here and there in front of a few friends and be okay. My self-esteem improved. My confidence level increased.
The excitement I got from playing these bowls pushed me forward into new territory. The next nudge I got was to hold a meditation for a group of people. I was concerned about how my body would respond to this experience, but everything seemed to click into place so quickly, I didn’t have time to really think about it.
A yoga studio in Long Beach, allowed me to hold my first meditation. When I saw 35 people show up, I felt an instant fight or flight response. I plastered a smiling face on for the group, but in my head, I was screaming in fear. I trusted the bowls would guide me and help protect me from my tsunami of a panic attack. Surprisingly, they did. As I played, I could feel myself let go. My panic subsided and I got swept away in the frequencies. Afterwards, the feedback was so supportive. I was invited back to continue this event on a monthly basis.
Years have passed since then, and I am profoundly moved by the growth I’ve developed just by playing these bowls. I have been very blessed and grateful for the individuals who allowed me to hold sound baths at their establishments in San Fernando Valley, Long Beach, and Orange County cities. I am ecstatic to say I no longer experience panic attacks, and especially at that magnitude. Although I may get pre-event jitters, my body now responds at a more comfortable level. I can now be more of service and hold space for others. No more fear of the fear.
©2017 Kathy Crumpacker
I chose to share this story with you because one, there is even more healing that takes place through communication and transparency. Two, I invite you to face one of your darkest fears. You will be surprised how strong and powerful you truly are when you speak to your monster face-to-face. In fact, your monster may be that little child whom, once forgotten, is ready to speak to you with compassion and understanding.
…And three, I am ready and very excited to announce my new workshop “The REMLA Method of Sound™.” This is my first series of crystal singing bowl workshops where you gain the knowledge of playing these extraordinary bowls, using the same self-healing techniques and guidance I received in my very first play.
At the end of this workshop, you will take with you:
Explorations of The REMLA Method of Sound™ A taste of the mysteries of life revealed through sound
The truth about sound healing
How to work with crystal singing bowls
Heart-based playing & Intuitive exercises to deepen your connection with the bowls
Quadrant beats© and how they create your flow
Self-care for you AND the bowls
Dependable tools to begin your own crystal singing bowl journey
If you’re feeling the nudge to attend “The REMLA Method of Sound™” workshop, I encourage you to listen. Nudges got me to where I needed to go so far, listen and honor them. To see the most current dates for registration, visit the events page on my website and take that little step outside your box. Let the fundamentals of this class encourage you to begin your own journey with sound. Perhaps one of the bowls will call to you. All you have to do is listen to their song.
Singing Like A Canary,