Get the most out of your Gong Bath experience
Before you come along for a relaxing and meditative Gong Bath here are a few handy hints to improve your experience. The aim is to arrive relaxed and calm with everything you need and have a good idea of what to expect.
Improve your Gong Bath Experience
Before you come along for a relaxing and rejuvenating Gong Bath here are a few handy hints to improve your experience. The aim is to arrive relaxed and calm with everything you need and have a good idea of what to expect. New experiences can sometimes be challenging so it makes sense to understand what you are letting yourself in for. Knowing what to bring, what you may experience and will put you at your ease and reassure you.
What will the venue be like?
My Gong Baths take place in either Marilot Hall at St Teresa’s’ School (Surrey) or the Yoga Studio at Hever Wellbeing Centre (Kent). Both venues provide a warm, inviting space in which to relax and parking is available at both venues (my first question when attending any event). The Gongs, Himalayan Bowls (sometimes known as Singing Bowls or Tibetan bowls) and Crystal Bowls will be in place at the front of the hall or studio. I usually have 4 – 6 Gongs, depending on the size of the venue.
How to prepare
Eat a light breakfast, lunch, or snack. Leave plenty of time for your journey and aim to arrive a good 5 – 10 minutes before the Gong Bath is due to start. Comfort is so important so please check you have packed everything you need.
- Yoga mat or something thicker. One lady brings a memory foam topper (single bed size).
- A blanket not only keeps you warm but cocoons you and it feels nurturing and cosy.
- A pillow or cushion is an absolute must to support your head.
- A rolled-up towel placed under your knees is recommended to support your back.
- Bring an eye mask if you prefer to exclude light.
- Wear relaxed clothing.
- Water bottle – you will be thirsty at the end of the session.
When you arrive
Choose where you set up your mat and get comfortable. It’s good to chat, relax, settle down and aclimatise to your surroundings. Switch off mobile phones and any electronic devices and go to the loo. This is a good time to ask questions if you are unsure about the Gong Bath. Feel free to come and have a closer look at the instruments before the session starts.
What to expect during the Gong Bath
New experiences are so important for personal growth, brain health and wellbeing. If this is your first Gong Bath, treat it as an adventure with child-like curiosity. If you have been to a session before, please do not expect the same experience. Every session will be different according to what your body needs at the time. You will have a different response to other participants in the room and that is ok. You are unique and although responses may be similar, they will be different.
I always start a session by introducing the instruments. This will stop the temptation to ‘peek’ during the Gong Bath. If you open your eyes, you will come out of the Altered State of Consciousness.
The meditative state: ASC
The aim during a Gong Bath is to achieve a mediative state as brainwaves begin to slow. This is called an Altered State of Consciousness. You will gradually move into this deep state of relaxation as your heart rate and breathing slow down.
- Beta – normal wakeful state
- Alpha – the first layer of the subconscious mind. Focused yet relaxed, creative ideas, peaceful state
- Theta – hover above sleep, trance-like, vivid imagery (colours/movies), open and aware of a connection to everyone and everything, no boundaries, floating, no edges
- Delta – sleep, healing, immunity boosted, unconscious mind
In normal waking moments when you are involved in everyday activities Beta brainwaves are dominant. As breathing and brainwaves begin to slow down you will move to Alpha and through to Theta brainwave levels. You may even fall asleep if you drift into Delta. Aim to stay awake if you can, you might not want to miss some of the potential experiences when in Alpha or Theta states (see above).
Coping with the chattering mind
Once the Gong Bath is underway your mind will still chatter, just as it does when you meditate, and that’s fine. The way to deal with it is to be aware of it but not get caught up in the ‘conversation’. Observe your mind, stay neutral and non-judgemental. Let the thoughts come and go.
You will drift in and out of awareness and lose a sense of time. Keep your eyes closed so that you stay in a deeply relaxed state.
Unexpected noises inside or outside the room during the Gong Bath need not be distracting. You may hear participants breathing heavily as they hover above sleep, they may sigh, cough, or clothing may rustle as people shift position. There may be creaking noises within the room, a ticking clock, birdsong, or the sound of a car outside. Notice them and then come back to focus on your breath and the sounds of the instruments. Observe any emotions, physical sensations or thoughts that arise and let them pass without judgement or irritation.
What to do after the Gong Bath
When the session finishes allow time to come back to full wakefulness. Check you are grounded before you leave the room. Being grounded involves checking that you are back into physical, sensory reality. Look around, drink water, chat or just sit quietly, be aware of your feet on the ground when you stand. Take your time. Don’t go ‘floating’ out of the room in a daze.
You can ask questions or share your experiences with the group, your next-door neighbour or individually with me. Remember to look after yourself. Spend time in nature walking or gardening, rest and relax. Be gentle with yourself, your body may be adjusting to a different way of being. Drink a little more water than usual to flush your system and eat nourishing food.
Experience the benefits of a Gong Bath
The benefits will often continue for several days. These may include relief from pain, improved sleep patterns and quality of sleep, feeling energised plus a more positive outlook on life. Occasionally people experience a release of emotions and may burst into tears for no apparent reason. Others may become aware of solutions to problems and begin to make changes in their lives. People often comment that they feel reset and balanced.
Please contact Sue to find out more or book an event or session.
You too could benefit from the kind of experiences described above.