Music & Sound: Potent Transmitters for Healing
by Marnie Jones, April, 1997
The Philippine psychic surgeons cleared a sort of sand from my eyes and I saw better. The color came back into a woman's face after twenty tumors were removed from her stomach without anesthesia and without pain. An elderly man could hear better after holy oil was dripped on a piece of cotton and passed in one ear and out the other. Was this all a slight of hand? Perhaps. Was the energy there? YES. And the cures were too.
Numerous healing miracles later as my eyes slipped back into myopia, I was left with a sober understanding. Our tour leader had told us that unless we took responsibility for our health, with the required changes in lifestyle and attitude, we might recreate our disease. Since then, I have learned that nearly all illness results from a lack of self-love on one level or another. Often, it is the traumas which left us feeling unlovable as children that play themselves out physically as adults.The reversal of physical disease may not be enough to bring us permanently to health.
Music can offer us ways to heal the unloved self. A song written and sung from the heart can bring one to tears (the cleansing mechanism of the soul). A song which gives voice to the long-silenced inner child can disarm the ego and invite us into a new connection with ourselves. A song touches the mind and heart simultaneously and can keep the mind busy so that healing can slip past its defenses.
Instrumental music allows the mind to develop its own pictures and thoughts. Nearly anything played with love helps people to de-stress. A piece of soulful cello music helped me to heal a painful lack of bonding with my mother. Music is in some ways universal and yet can be made specific. One option I use is to invite an individual's energy to "play" me on my harp. The music which results is thus specific to him or her. I begin by intuiting a key. Then I play a piece which is supportive or healing in a general way. Often a second piece oriented towards specific needs or goals(i.e. specific healing, abundance, more free time, more creativity) follows. As I worked with a woman from Puerto Rico, the music made it clear that because her exuberant Latina soul felt stilted in the Anglo-dominated culture, it was time to dance Flamenco!
Music and sound can work physically as well. A woman at one of my workshops had her foot propped up on a chair. After an accident and resulting surgery, it was taking a long time to heal. I "tuned in" and saw that although the bones were in place, the energy "blueprint" that normally kept everything pumping and flowing was scattered and diffuse. The high tinkly tones I played on the harp seemed to "crochet" the damaged energy pattern back together. The tight pain which had been focused under her arch lightened up, and spread briefly up her leg and then out her toes.
A friend of mine battling lymphoma with every available means-allopathic and alternative sensed that his disease was linked to his feeling from childhood that he couldn't find peace or safety on earth. I aimed my playing to his child within. After a mixture of songs and intuited pieces on the harp and autoharp, subtle multicolored energy threads connected him upward and to the earth. The music brought him a feeling of connection to his higher nature and a resulting sense of safety, compassion for his inner child, and a small optimism that peace on earth was possible. Whereas many factors will contribute to his physical outcome, it appeared obvious that healing had occurred on the spiritual/soul level.
The extraordinary range and subtlety of the human voice can provide vast and focused healing potentials. My first awareness of this came to me when a massage therapist who worked with spirit guides suggested that I sing while her touch helped me to focus. I found that I "knew" which precise tonal pitches and colors would melt the blocks. Since then, I have discovered that tight places or pains with no decernable medical cause (or cure) are often the body's way of giving us information. With tuning in, images, scenarios, faces and feelings give us windows on our lives' dynamics.
In these ways, the body is indeed a report card for the soul. A woman with a stiff neck asked me to "tone" it out. Instead, I listened. After a moment, I said, "You're angry at someone". She gasped, "How did you know?!" She said what she needed to say to that person and released the proverbial "pain in the neck". A teacher of "challenged" teenagers had a sharp pain in the middle of her back which led her to know that a student was "doing something behind her back". Right away, she said "I know who it is". Another woman who has trouble staying warm has spent her adult life with a man she can't "warm up" to. These metaphors ask us to "listen" in deep new ways to how our lives are affecting our bodies.
Another use of the voice is in sounding out emotions. If we know something is stuck but can't find the tears or the feeling, we can make its sound in ourselves and others. And, not all angers(for instance) sound the same. One might be tinged with fear while another emerges from a fountain of self pity. If we are open, we can become sonically empathic with these emotions, and as their sounds are made, typically the release is effortless and results in a deep sense of relaxed peace.
A note about self empowerment. If someone is unable to clear a feeling or a pain, but wants to be free of it, should we do it "for them"? Most people have never thought of sounding out their stuff and it is my understanding that each person's healing really comes from within. If a sound catalyzes you into a release, it is like a light on your path and on some level you were in agreement with the release. A neck injury from a car accident responded to a very piercing tone. The woman later wrote to me that she had been pain-free for a week and that because she had heard the tone once, she was now able to control her own pain.
In summary, there is probably a healing use for every form of music and sound. "Healing music" is not limited to "new age" or monks in temples. I have seen the Chambers Brothers and Michael Jackson enact a much needed balance, groundedness or humor. However, if we musicians, composers and healers really want to bring profound healing to others, we must learn to love ourselves first in a deeply compassionate way. Only then can we be in touch with wholeness and only then can we really hear what another needs and what our guidance shows us is the best use of these sacred gifts of sound and music.