Recently a friend raved about his amazing experience with sound massage. I’d never heard of sound massage, but hearing his glowing report immediately intrigued me. After all, who wouldn’t want to experience a total-body massage with singing Tibetan bowls?
I had to know more about this sound massage for deep, rejuvenating healing, so I went to the source. Barb Nichols has been a Lomi Lomi massage therapist on Whidbey Island, Washington for nearly 30 years. Twenty years ago she had a life-altering experience that inspired her to add vibrational sounds to her massage therapy treatments.
Serenaded by Humpback Whales
Barb and her husband Mike were snorkeling alone off the Big Island of Hawaii early one morning when three humpback whales swam right up to them. While they were looking directly into the eyes of a yearling calf, a male below them started singing. Barb felt the deep song vibrations resonate through her whole body and was forever changed. She knew she had to find a way to combine vibrational sounds with her massage therapy.
What is Sound Massage?
Flash forward 20 years, to Barb’s amazing Sound Massage studio. The massage table is a waterbed with speakers inside of it. Tibetan singing bowls surround the table, and other instruments including a Balinese gong, ocarinas, mbira, drums, wind chimes, a synthesizer and an ipod round out the accompaniment.
As you lay on the waterbed, Tibetan bowls are placed directly on your body. Barb starts the bowls “singing” with their mallets, and suddenly you’re engulfed by sound vibrations through you and all around you. Then Barb really starts to create her magic, composing a song for you, based on what she feels you need, playing the various gongs, chimes, drums, and synthesizer, while natural sounds of birds, forests, and water are played through the speakers in the waterbed.
Healing Theta State
As the music and vibrations begin to fill your ears and every cell in your body, that’s when the real healing begins. Your mind is lulled into the “Theta state”, the subconscious, between sleeping and waking, like being in a very deep meditation. All thoughts disappear and you are “gone”, to a universe far, far away…or deep, deep inside. This is where deep rest and rejuvenation occur, your cells can repair and deep-held emotions can be released.
A recent client, Dr. Bob, had this to say: “Barb Nichols sound massage/performance-art was a miracle in healing my abdomen after surgery. Just the power of Barb’s presence is healing!”
Lomi Lomi Massage
Lomi Lomi Massage, a type of very gentle Hawaiian massage, adds to the healing process. As the sounds continue to reverb through your body Barb begins the massage with long strokes, helping to incorporate the vibrational sounds into your whole body.
Wow, truly an amazing sensation that’s almost indescribable. I just wanted to stay there on that table with the bowls singing through my bones forever. Barb offers a Sound Journey CD with some of her compositions that is fabulous for meditation and can help lull you to sleep as well.
Another client, Sara Giswold said: “I was emotionally exhausted and drained before my session, but after the sound massage I felt replenished in my heart and soul. The healing vibrations, sounds of nature, and gentle massage were so wonderful!”
And then there is the color therapy room, to help brighten up those dark Pacific Northwest days. Lights swirl and dance through a rainbow of colors, helping to open up your chakras and let your energy flow as your eyes take it all in. For someone like me who has always loved color, this room was truly amazing. I want a color room of my own! And lucky for me, Barb is actually working on offering color therapy packages to transform your own room or corner of a room into a color oasis.
I can’t say enough great things about this one-of-a-kind experience. If you are anywhere in the Pacific Northwest or can make a trip here, Barb’s Sound Massage on Whidbey Island is not to be missed. You can find out more about Barb and her healing work on her website, WhidbeySoundMassage, and be sure to watch the Sound Massage experience video from Evening Magazine.
Please leave a comment to let me know what alternative types of healing you’ve experienced?