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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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    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois

      Hi Healtone. You're absolutely right, there are many sounds in nature and other sounds and chants that are soothing to the soul. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!

    • profile image

      Healtone 4 years ago

      There are certain sounds of the nature which relieves and rejuvenate human mind and soul like sounds of river or sea waves, waterfalls, chanting of “OM” and mantras, wind chimes and bells. Healing sounds can be incorporated into many types of healing methods, such as meditation.

      Tibetan Singing bowls and Tibetan Himalayan bowls are a very ancient process of healing with sounds.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

      Hi Mohan, no, you don't need to use headphones to listen to my video/audio clip. Thanks for reading and for you interest in my hub on Tibetan singing bowls!

    • profile image

      MOHAN 5 years ago

      is it necessary to use headphones to listen to tibetan bowls ?

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you Night Magic. I hope you enjoy the concert when you get a chance to listen to it. The bowls are beautiful, aren't they?

    • Night Magic profile image

      Night Magic 6 years ago from Canada

      What an interesting hub!!! Liked the website of where to purchase the bowls and how to purchase one for yourself. I must try a small one. When it's a bit more quiet around here, I will listen to the concert you went to.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks for reading NetBlots. Good luck on your band's cd!

    • NetBlots profile image

      NetBlots 6 years ago from Melbourne

      Ohhh I love utilizing tibetan singing bowls in music (we put a heap in our bands new cd!)

      It's not going to be released for another month at the earliest, however for those who want to listen when its done... =)

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Hi Cyndi, I hope you do get a chance to listen to the audio and that you enjoy it. Thanks for reading.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 6 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Danette, this is a great article. I will return later this afternoon and listen to the audio when I have more time. I wholeheartedly believe there is so much more to healing than what is traditionally practiced. Thanks so much for SHARING this information with us.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment pagesvoice. I agree, we can learn a lot about alternative healing methods from the east and not rely on western medicine exclusively. Fortunately, I think some insurance companies and doctors are beginning to agree.

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 6 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. While I subscribe to Chakras I have never heard of the Tibetan singing bowls. There is so much we can learn from other cultures, beliefs and people...all we have to do is read and have an open mind. Thank you for educating me today.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks debbie! I'm glad you enjoyed the concert and thanks for sharing.

    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 6 years ago from Greece

      I'm listening to the concert as I write this, the singing bowls make a surprisingly soothing sound, theey just keep ringing in a nice way. I had never heard of them before.

      An interesting on an interesting topic. Voted up and shared.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Yes, the bowls are expensive. If I ever come across a mini bowl, I"ll buy it for you sis. Thanks for sharing.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      I love this hub-interesting, informative and soothing. I enjoyed the video and was happy you included it. The photos help give a visual about what a 'singing' bowl is.

      I followed the link and found the site very useful, but the products sadly expensive. I wish they offered miniture bowls for a smaller price.

      Thanks for sharing this awesome hub-rated up and across minus funny and I'll be sharing it as well. Great job.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks Alicia. I hope you enjoy the concert.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This hub is very interesting, Danette. I'm looking forward to listening to the videos tomorrow when I have more time. I love the sound of Tibetan singing bowls, and the idea that they can be used for therapy is fascinating.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks xstatic and Gail, for reading and commenting.

      Xstatic, I also am convinced that we in the West limit ourselves in healing practices because of our prejudices. I hope you enjoy the concert. It was a first time video and the image actually turned out poorly so I had to find something to replace it with. I'd be interested in some honest feedback if you do listen to it.

      Gail, I'm glad you found the hub interesting. Katie gave me a 15 minute free session and I plan to go back to see her again. It took me about that long to really start to relax and by the time I was starting to feel some effects from the bowls' vibrations, it was over. Maybe next time I'll be quicker in 'zoning out.'

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Although I've heard of sound therapy before, I never heard of Tibetan Singing Bowls being used as sound therapy and incorporating specific activation of the Chakras so I found this very interesting as well as informative.

      Thanks for sharing this comprehensive hub that includes a sample concert.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      What an interesting story. I firmly believe that there is more to medicine than we know or practice in the West.

      I will listen to this concert in a quiet time and share it with my wife as well.