The Gong Bath Experience
The Gong Bath
When a Gong Bath is experienced for the first time it can be difficult to let go of the tendency to need to make sense of the sounds and how they are produced. When participants are able to totally ‘surrender’ to sound their brains begin to exhibit right hemisphere characteristics (shifting into creative, timeless, intuitive, inhibited and spontaneous responses) rather than left hemisphere activity that is time orientated, data processing and analytical. Brainwave patterns slow down in response to the deepest drone pitches underpinning the gong sounds and a deeply relaxed, meditative state is attained.
The gong is often promoted as one of the most powerful healing instruments. It has the potential to produce an enormous range of tones in the hands of a skilled practitioner, sounds that help the body to retune and balance both physically and energetically. Clients report it ‘homing in’ (felt as vibrations) to parts of the body. This is an instrument that needs to be played instinctively and intuitively, approached with a sense of reverence and played sensitivity.
Intention on the part of the practitioner and the listener is vitally important. Clients need to understand that every session is likely to take them on a different journey according to their needs. As a practitioner Sue is aware that each client will have a different experience and trusts that the gong will provide what is required for the highest good of everyone during a Gong Bath.
What to Expect in a gong bath
This is your time to relax and be conscious of being present in the ‘here and now’. This is a time for you to stop and enjoy the benefits of being bathed in sound to improve overall health. You may feel the vibrations from the instruments in your body, a bit like a sound massage.
Sounds are predominantly subdued but the introduction of graded rise and fall in dynamic levels, and the occasional higher pitch or a dissonant sound, stretches and releases the system. It is a little like having a sonic massage as brief stimulating sounds lead to even deeper relaxation.
Outline of a Gong Bath
A Gong Bath begins with bell-like sounds on the Himalayan Bowls. Then wands are used to gently trace the outer edges of the bowls to produce warm, soothing, nurturing, safe, soft, gentle and peaceful tones; an intimate ‘sonic embrace’ that encourages deep relaxation.
As the gongs are gently phased in, for the first of two or three extended sections, their depth of resonance is all encompassing and will often ‘tune in’ physically to various parts of the body. When the gongs are played participants often report hearing whale ‘song’, voices and ‘choirs’, or alien sounds; participants submit themselves to a landscape of sound that is often described as oceanic, boundless and otherworldly.
At a later stage in the gong bath the pure, clear sounds of the Crystal Bowls will be introduced. The sound signature of crystal bowls are often described as sounding sublime, cool and linear. These tones are deeply relaxing and induce a hypnotic and timeless effect as they promote slow brainwave activity.
The Gong Bath draws to a close with therapeutic percussion instruments. Chimes, rain stick and series of shakers introduce a primitive edgy atmosphere that stimulate the system as they increase in intensity to bring you back to the tangible world – to a normal state of wakefulness.
How it works
Gong Baths induce a deep state of relaxation. As the session progresses brain waves move from a state of wakefulness (Beta) into a meditative state where slower Alpha and Theta brainwaves predominate. This is achieved through the process of entrainment as the brain waves gently begin to lock into phase and synchronize with the sound waves produced by the instruments. Spending regular periods of time in this deeply relaxed state where Alpha and Theta brainwave levels predominate is very therapeutic.
After the Gong bath
Clients often look dazed as they sit up and come back into the space after a gong bath. It takes a little while to come back to reality and ground before returning home. There is no rush and everyone takes the time they need. This can be an opportunity to share experiences either with one another, the group or on a more personal level with Sue.
It is recommended that you take it easy and nurture yourself in the days following a gong bath. Drink more water than usual, avoid alcohol and spend some time outdoors enjoying nature.
Reduction of stress and anxiety levels
Improved quality of sleep and raised energy levels
Reduction of muscle tension and physical pain
An overall sense of wellbeing and positive mood
Please contact Sue to find out more or book an event or session.
You too could benefit from the kind of experiences described above.