The Art and Science of Sound Healing: An Interview with Philippe Garnier
“Sound Healing improves and transforms a range of physical and emotional states. It is especially effective for those with chronic illness, allergies, and compulsive behavioral patterns, or who are recovering from trauma and grief,” says sound healer and teacher Philippe Garnier. Originally from Paris, Garnier now lives in Woodstock, New York and runs the Sage Center for the Healing Arts there with his wife, craniosacral practitioner Lea Moore.
“Everything vibrates,” says Garnier. “We all vibrate at our own frequency. Different sounds can unblock certain vibrational energy where there’s congestion.”
When he was 35 Garnier left his life in France as magazine art director; he moved to the U.S. and made a radical change in his life. “I went to live in the New Mexican desert with an Apache tribe,” he describes. “I met a medicine man, and he taught me different types of ceremonies. It was there that I began to explore the healing power of sound. These ceremonies taught me that our body is a symphony with different instruments. For instance, even our organs vibrate. When something is sick, like a kidney, you can bring a tone to help heal it.”
Sound healing has been clinically shown to support people suffering from stress related disorders and chronic pain, as well as patients undergoing cancer treatments. As research in the field expands and intensifies, the ancient art of sound healing is rapidly developing into a new and honored science in the contemporary world. There is now a mass of research into the healing benefits of ultrasound, including its use in breaking up kidney stones and shrinking tumors. In addition, infrasound and audible sound are now also recognized as having immense healing properties.
The most important principle of sound healing may be considered “resonance,” term with several implications. In the context of human physiology, resonance can be described as the frequency of vibration that is natural to a specific organ or body system (such as the heart or the respiratory system). This innate frequency of the body is known as the prime resonance.
At the cellular level, all cells emit sound frequencies in the course of enacting their metabolic processes. Further, there is an interaction between the cells’ own sounds and those imposed by the environment, including sound healing devices. In sound healing, resonance principles are employed to re-harmonize cells that have been imprinted with disruptive frequencies. Such troublesome imprints may have been a result of toxic substances, emotional traumas, pathogens, or long-term exposure to noise pollution.
Sound also acts upon cellular ion channels to elicit a healing response. Situated within a cellular membrane, ion channels are the means by which the cell receives nourishment and communicates with neighboring cells. In dysfunctional cells, it is believed that some of these vital channels are shut down causing cells literally to fall asleep. In this hypothesis, sound opens the closed channels, supporting the cell to awaken and resume normal functioning and replication.
Another key aspect of sound healing is “cymantics,” the study of wave phenomena, as pioneered by Swiss medical doctor and natural scientist, Hans Jenny (1904-1972). Jenny discovered that he could use sound to animate inert powders, pastes, and liquids into life-like, flowing forms that mirror patterns found throughout nature, art and architecture. What’s more, all of these patterns were created using simple sine wave vibrations (pure tones) within the audible range. Sound creates a dynamic mandala-like pattern in every water molecule of your physical body and, since the body is 75% water, the effect on your whole system is quite effective. Thus we see a physical representation of vibration, how sound manifests into form through the medium of various materials. “In the beginning was the word…” takes on a whole new meaning while looking at these experiments!
In addition to working as healer in one-on-one sessions, Garnier leads group healing sessions. He plays nine crystal bowls with a suede wand and believes that when he is in that performance-healing space he is just a conduit to the universal energy field. “I never know what I’m playing,” he says. “I just have to be totally open to love, compassion and healing in order to become a link and allow the healing to come through me.” The tone of each crystal bowl is attuned to a different chakra, connecting with the individual on the spiritual, emotional, and physical level.
To experience Philippe Garnier’s work and learn how to practice the art and science of sound healing yourself both for personal growth and to help others you can join the 2011 Sound Healing Retreat Intensive at Menla House in Phonecia, New York (just two hours north of New York City in the beautiful Hudson Valley). The four-day workshop will be held from June 2-5. Learn more: http://bit.ly/18fJNNl