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Tibetan Singing Bowls and Sound Therapy

Updated on July 25, 2015
Seven Tibetan Singing Bowls Katie uses in her therapy. They relate to the main chakras.
Seven Tibetan Singing Bowls Katie uses in her therapy. They relate to the main chakras. | Source

Sometimes life presents us with an opportunity that ends up taking us in a different direction. That happened to Katie Roach, a massage therapist at Be Well Now in Alton, Illinois.

Katie was living in Boulder, Colorado and finishing massage therapy school. Her teacher invited two women to the class to play Tibetan Singing Bowls. The women brought 100 bowls with them and as they played them, Katie had an out-of-body experience.

“At first I was pretty freaked out but then just went with it. It totally revolutionized my way of viewing the world,” she said.

Katie decided to learn to play Tibetan Singing Bowls and took a two-day workshop from Shree Krishna Shahi, a Nepalese Singing Bowl Master. She was lucky to be given one-on-one lessons by the Master and at the end of their sessions, he gave her his set of bowls with the stipulation that she “play them forward” with free concerts and short therapy sessions.

I was fortunate to have a chance to hear a concert she gave as well as to receive a complimentary15-minute Singing Bowl Therapy session.

Below, Katie gives a brief explanation of her Tibetan Singing Bowls, how they are made and how they correspond to the seven chakras.

The client lies on the floor with the bowls arranged around her in a semicircle.
The client lies on the floor with the bowls arranged around her in a semicircle. | Source

Singing bowl therapy can help alleviate:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Overall pain and tension

Playing Tibetan Singing Bowls for Sound Therapy

Tibetan Singing Bowls are an ancient healing tool. They are used to balance the chakras and in meditation and sound therapy.

According to tradition, singing bowls are made of seven metals - gold, silver, copper, tin, iron, mercury and lead - although in reality not all bowls have all seven. In accordance with the seven visible planets the seven metals are: lead for Saturn, tin for Jupiter, iron for Mars, copper for Venus, mercury for Mercury, silver for the Moon, and gold for the Sun.

There are several ways to play singing bowls. They can be struck with a mallet, as Katie did during her concert. Or a wood or leather-wrapped mallet can be rubbed along the bowl's rim. The pitch of sound depends on the bowl's size, thickness and weight.

Singing Bowls not only produce a unique sound but they also create a physical vibration that can be felt. Sound therapy provides “massage” for your cells, helping to regulate irregular cellular frequencies (which lead to pain) that are a result of imbalance.

It’s common to experience physical sensations during Singing Bowl sessions. As chakras are opened and blocked energy begins to move, the listener might feel pain or pleasure. Feelings and memories might come up that haven’t been experienced for a long time – if ever - as the vibrational sounds penetrate the listener and increases a connection to the inner self.


Chakras ("wheel" in Sanskrit) are energy centers in the body. There are hundreds of chakras but seven main ones people are most familiar with that are located along the spine. Chakras regulate, balance and transform the flow of energy. If these are underactive or overactive, we experience physical and psychological problems.

Tibetan Singing Bowls are used in vibrational meditation to regulate the seven chakras with each note relating to a specific chakra. Katie said when she is playing the bowls concert style, she is able to target all seven chakras.

Note on scale
Psychological Function
Physical Function
Associated Color
3rd Eye
Ideas, Intuition
Love, Compassion
Solar Plexus
Relationships, Power
Sexuality, Pleasure
Sexual Organs
Grounding, Survival
Excretion Organs

Below is an audio of a free concert that Katie gave at Be Well Now. It’s on a video loop so you can just close your eyes and allow yourself to get into the music. As Katie mentioned in her explanation of the bowls in the video above, don’t have a preconceived notion of what you “should” be experiencing – just experience it.


Interested in purchasing your own Tibetan Singing Bowl?

Bodhisattva Trading Co. Inc., has a wide variety of bowls, gongs and tingshas. You can listen to each bowl’s tone as well as search for a bowl by a particular tone or chakra.


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