Also known as vibration or sound therapy, gong therapy can help a powerful affect on the nervous system, helping to re-harmonise mind and body through soundwaves. Team it with Reiki to provide an intense, one-to-one rebalancing treatment
Words: Trish Lesslie
It might sound improbable, but the gong is one of humanity’s oldest therapeutic instruments. From as early as 4,000 BC (and perhaps even earlier), gongs have been used in various cultures as ritual, ceremonial and sacred instruments. They’re growing in popularity here and now, too, thanks in no small part to Alicia Davies who runs popular fortnightly gong bath sessions at Zen Yoga in Camberwell.
You just turn up, lie down and try to stay awake for an hour or so as Alicia mallets her way around various gongs to produce sounds at different frequencies – apparently in tune with the vibrations of the earth, sun, moon or wind, depending on the gongs she uses.
Also known as vibration or sound therapy, advocates maintain that the soundwaves created from gongs can have a powerful affect on the nervous system, helping to re-harmonise mind and body
The sounds created are indeed elemental. From a gentle rumble reminiscent of far-off thunder to roar-like booms, Alicia slowly builds layer upon layer of sound. But enthusiasts believe there’s much more to the experience than feeling the vibes. Also known as vibration or sound therapy, advocates maintain that the soundwaves created from gongs can have a powerful affect on the nervous system, helping to re-harmonise mind and body.
The theory is that everything in the universe vibrates at its own frequency and that certain frequencies have healing properties. It’s based on the idea that illness and disease are characterised by blockages in energy channels – think chakras in yoga and meridians in traditional Chinese medicine. The vibrations from certain gongs supposedly unblock trapped energy and have a healing effect on the body’s cells. The soundwaves can also help you attain a deeply meditative state quickly.
Alicia has now teamed up with Reiki and Shiatsu therapist Abigail Caller to provide an intense, one-to-one rebalancing treatment
Alicia has now teamed up with Reiki and Shiatsu therapist Abigail Caller to provide an intense, one-to-one rebalancing treatment. Sessions take place at Abigail’s charming period home a short walk from Loughborough Park station. You lie on a massage couch as Alicia begins to gong (she used just the earth gong, which is meant to have grounding properties, during my session). Abigail hovered over me and touched my feet a little, but in general the treatment was hands-off, though in such a relatively small room, the sound of the gong was pretty intense and I could feel the vibrations flowing through my body.
I was a little spacey when I got off the couch, but by the time I got home I felt more grounded, calm and energised than I had for months. It could just have been the ‘because I’m worth it’ factor of having two therapists at once focused on my wellbeing, but the effects stayed with me for well over a week. I’ll definitely have another session next time I feel in need of some fine-tuning.