Gongs Can Keep You Healthy
For those of us who have experienced the effects of a gong well-played, there is no doubt that the sound of the Gong promotes healing all on levels.
Could there also be a connection between using the gong to not only heal past conditions but to prevent the body from becoming sick? Simply put, can the Gong build immunity?
There is research as well as anecdotal evidence that listening to the Gong can strengthen your immune system.
When you typically listen to the gong, the heart rate becomes relatively steady, and breathing is deep and slow, and so stress hormones decrease. Dr. Mitchell L. Gaynor, an oncologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York and the author of The Healing Power of Sound, said “that is significant because stress can depress every aspect of the immune system, including those that protect us against flu and against cancer.”
In a medical research study called “Mind-Body Medicine and Immune System Outcomes: A Systematic Review” published in 2009, the researchers and authors concluded that: “Overall, relaxation training demonstrated the strongest evidence for a mind-body intervention to influence immune outcomes overall. Incorporating some type of relaxation training into mind-body medicine therapies may help improve health outcomes through immune system mediation.”
Psychologist Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, who studies the neuroscience of music at McGill University in Montreal published in a meta-analysis of 400 studies that found that music improves the body’s immune system function and reduces stress (Trends in Cognitive Sciences April, 2013).
“We’ve found compelling evidence that musical interventions can play a health-care role in settings ranging from operating rooms to family clinics,” says Levitin, author of the book “This is Your Brain on Music” (Plume/Penguin, 2007). The analysis also points to just how music influences health.
The researchers found that listening to and playing music increases the body’s production of the antibody immunoglobulin A and natural killer cells — the cells that attack invading viruses and boost the immune system’s effectiveness. Music also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. “This is one reason why music is associated with relaxation,” Levitin says.
While research indicates that listening to the healing sounds such as produced by singing bowls and gongs contribute greatly to both reducing stress and strengthening the immune system response, sound healers also speculate that there are even specific frequencies that may be conducive to explicitly working on immune system function.
One such frequency mentioned specifically for enhancing the immune system is 285 Hz, one of the nine Solfeggio frequencies used in sacred music. Gongs with this level of frequency tend to be very small in size, such as Eichenwurzel bronze gong made in Germany.
If you work with the octaves, reducing this frequency by a factor of 2, you can approximate the 285 Hz with gongs that are larger, around 32” (80 cm) in size, and with a lower octave. The Mercury planetary gong for example comes within 99% of that similar frequency range.
Regardless of the actual frequency of your gong, however, remember that all gongs can be used to heal and strengthen the immune system.
And remember – it is a gift to play the Gong for yourself and for your own healing.
Join Mehtab in Austin, TX for How to Play the Gong
May 23rd & 24th