19th June 2023 Singing and Voice Healing for Everyone!
Wow, I thought it was time I started writing a blog again! The last one was written in 2017 and what a shift we have encountered as a world since then!! However, the constant in my world is VOICE! Nothing has changed there, except that it has gone from being a relatively unknown tool for accessing wellbeing, to a very well known one! Researchers, Sound Healers, Singing Teachers, to name but a few have suddenly realised the healing potential of the human voice, for themselves and others. Many have locked into the scientific research that tells us all manner of things from the feel-good chemicals that are released into our system from the simple act of singing, to the cognitive benefits for those suffering from conditions such as Dementia. Other practitioners are pursuing voice from a sound healing perspective and since 2017, I have trained several. The incredible phenomena of applying frequency to the body and mind via the voice. A new world of sensing, audibly, visually and through sensation. The power of intention, literally the frequency of our thoughts working as a powerful magnet, directing the energy as intuited. But what is it about voice? For me, it's the incredible journey of personal development and healing that people encounter when they begin to use their voice without judgment. This can be a difficult aspect, as we carry so much conditioning, so many ideas of what we think we should sound like. Even voice healers take what seems like forever to really believe in their sound, to stand aside from the criticism of the thinking mind. As voice healers, we understand that the voice works as a diagnostic tool. When we perceive fluctuations in energy, our vocal tone will be disrupted. This can manifest itself as a simple dip in the sound, or as a huge frog in the throat! Either way, we accept that when we are using the voice in this way, it is the fluctuations that give us the information we need for the healing session. This is a difficult concept, because often people are so hung up on the idea of sounding 'good' and 'nice' and like that singer on the radio. In the context of professional performance and singing, and I'll say that again, 'professional performance', that is a different thing. The performance world demands that we hone our craft, understand the workings of the voice and can fit into the particular genre that we choose, but this is the professional singing world, and that is a CHOICE! Even at that level, it's important to stay connected to an authentic, joy filled place when it comes to vocalising, but for your average person, the right to vocalise is akin to the right to breathe. We are sounding beings. We gurgle, coo, cry, scream and hum from birth. It is the gateway to self expression and through that expression we access the wellbeing benefits, the release of endorphins, a correct movement of the diaphragm, an open relaxed jaw and non retracted tongue, all 'normal' things pro singers think about, but what about regular people? The voice is so very important on all levels of being. Physically it helps us release tension. Emotionally it allows us to sound our pain and our joy. Spiritually we find a connection within ourselves that transports us, helps us transcend the stuck and stagnant world we so often encounter. Most recently, Singing Therapy took me to a SEN school in London, to offer online sessions to a teen with autism and other suspected mental illnesses. We made a lot of noise in that session and most importantly the student was allowed to make noise and vocal sound. I continued to congratulate her much to her surprise. The more she sounded, the more she smiled. Then the real treat happened, it turned out that this student could not only sing in many different styles, from pop to opera, she had a finely tuned ear that allowed her to sing in accordance with western tuning! It was like discovering a diamond from the rough. The session, as far as I was concerned, was all about healing. Seeing such joy of sounding, can only come through healing. I often get asked how I manage to offer so many variances on singing and sound and voice healing, from coaching singers and speakers to working with voice as a therapeutic tool. The thing is, to me, it's not about anything else other than allowing healing. Imagine you come to me for a public speaking session. You are afraid of speaking publicly and you hate doing it at work, but your job demands it. Let's say we forget about the public speaking and see what the real fear is. How about we do some singing and sounding and noise making? Let's see how we feel and respond to that. After a while, we realise that it's not a fear of public speaking at all that's the problem, it's just that you've never sounded, never been allowed to make noise. You did once, a long time ago, but your well-meaning parents wanted you to fit into society, and so told you not to be so stupid. You felt humiliated. You felt tension. You felt anger. And guess, what? It never got released. Now when you use your voice, it all comes up to be dealt with. How do I know that? I've seen it time and time again. The same story. The shame story which affects our ability to ground and stand in our own power.
Consider this. Your voice is part of you. If you shut it down, or it has been shut down, then a part of you goes with it. A valuable part of your wholeness. A valuable part of your ability to control your nervous system. A valuable part of your ability to experience joy, to feel emotion, to feel good and so much more. The wonderful thing is, it's all there to be discovered if you can allow it. Start with humming with intention a few minutes a day and see how it feels.
I understand that for many this blog might feel like an overstatement. I say, don't mock it until you try it!