Consider the Alternative
Exploring the avenues of non-traditional therapies
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Vibrational therapy uses vibrations elicited from sound, aroma, crystals and even flower essences to balance the body. The concepts are distinctly New Age, but they have historical roots. Vibrational therapy is where modern physics’ string theory and ancient shamanic rituals meet. The common idea is that our world is made up of energy, and when we can transfer specific energies from one vital life form to another, blockages can clear, pain can lessen and our systems can regain balance.
A Healing Note
Any audiophile can attest to the powerful effects of music. It can move us from the depths of sorrow to the heights of joy, and today, scientists are studying how music affects the brain.
Alternative sound therapy aims to re-pattern unbalanced physiological systems. At Canyon Ranch spas, therapists use tuning fork therapy. Spa spokesperson Heather Wendling said their therapists apply the vibrating forks to “acupuncture points, chakras and trigger points to awaken and align the meridians and energy centers of the body.”
-Brian Greene, physicist
During healing sound workshops held by the Spanish Association of Sound Therapy, people lie comfortably on mats while sound therapists play a variety of instruments, including Tibetan singing bowls, flute, Native American frame drum, Australian didgeridoo, ocean drum, rainsticks, tuning forks, the kalimba and more.
Local acupuncturist and massage therapist Veronica Rheinhart uses the sound of quartz crystal singing bowls for their soothing sounds. A suede-covered mallet rides the rim of a bowl, creating clear vibrating tones, and the body “picks up vibration like food,” Rheinhart said.
Not Your Average Stone
Crystals and gemstones are among the most valued natural elements on Earth. There’s a reason diamonds are the symbol of our most sacred ceremony; historically, rare crystals have been valued for more than their beauty alone.
While its fringe following is easily caricatured, crystal healing has historical roots. Gemstones such as jade, turquoise and lapis lazuli were used for amulets, ceremonies and daily adornment by ancient cultures including the Chinese, Hopi Indians and South Pacific islanders. The Chinese emperor Qianlong allegedly wrote more than 800 poems about jade, he loved it so.
In modern day crystal healing, gems are said to generate a healing vibration. The crystals can be worn as jewelry, carried in the pocket, placed on a specific part of the body or used in meditation. Judy Hall’s Crystal Bible is a comprehensive source book. Here are a few common gems and their properties, according to Hall:
A selection of gems used in healing:
Jade Prized especially in the Far East, the stone is a symbol of purity and serenity. It is said to release negative thoughts and soothe the mind. Jade mining came under much scrutiny following the 2002 release of Stone of Heaven, by Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, two enterprising British journalists who covered the history of the stone, right up to its brutal mining practices in Burma (today’s Myanmar).
Citrine This crystal (pictured above) is said to carry the energy of the sun. Citrine ranges in color from yellow to a smoky brown, but buyer beware, as heat-treated amethyst is sometimes sold as citrine, and the natural variety is relatively rare. The stone is said to cleanse the chakras and, unlike some crystals, never needs cleansing itself.
Amethyst One of the most common crystals in the world, this purple-violet quartz was traditionally worn to prevent drunkenness. The name is Greek in origin—a (not), methystos (drunk)—and is said to have a sobering effect on overindulgence and passions. -SVM >>>