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Using Tuning Forks

Music and Sound in the Healing Arts
By John Beaulieu

Tuning forks provide a simple and effective method for activating the overtone series in mediation and healing. Listening to pure Pythagorean intervals is a method of attunement with Sacred Sound. Through the act of tapping two tuning forks together we can hear Sacred ratios. These ratios are formed in nature and are considered by the ancients to be a fundamental part of the human soul or psyche. Each interval can potentially awaken within us a deep universal archetype. We can understand this best by first looking at the theory of resonance.

Resonance occurs when the vibrations of one object reach out and set off vibrations in another object. The word resonance comes from the Latin verb resonare, meaning to return to sound. If the two objects have identical frequencies and one is vibrated, the objects will also sound. For example, if you have two tuning forks of the same pitch and you strike one, the other will also make sound, This is call ed sympathetic resonance.

Forced resonance occurs when the primary vibration is transmitted by force to some other object. For example, the vibrating string of the piano forces the wood of the sounding board to vibrate regardless of the respective frequencies. As a result, the tone of the played string is intensified. Without the help of the sounding board, the vibrating string would be audible, but very weak.

The intervals of the tuning forks create a sympathetic resonance with the quality of Sacred Sound deep within us. The archetype begins to align our thoughts and physical body around its vibration. For example, when the forks are tapped, it is quite common to observe the head and body move and adjust to the proportions of the sound. This is a form of forced resonance. Our body and mind become a sounding board for Sacred Sound.

If we look at our bodies as actual manifestations of the patterns of Sacred Sound, we can begin to understand how the sound of the tuning forks can be used for healing. Body harmonic rations can be determined and related to a musical interval.

When we feel physical pain, or when our bodies feel numb or tight, there is dissonance and the body is out of alignment with Sacred Sound. If the points are sore there is a corresponding dissonance in the mind, and there may also be a weakness in the organs through which the line of force passes.

By allowing the client to feel and relax into the pain, it is possible to regain a sense of harmony. The person is gently guided into a more flexible harmonic pattern. The client experiences harmony as well as being-awareness and relaxation. To be aware and relaxed is experienced as a continuum ranging from calm to excited relaxation.

An excellent way to explore body harmonics is to use a tape measure and measure the distances between joints on different people. After a while the tape measure will give way to you internal sense of proportion. Remember that the body is meant to be flexible and mobiles, look good music. If you detect areas of rigidity, then the harmonics related to that area are not being expressed. It is possible to recommend tuning fork intervals related to the harmonics of the blocked area in order to assist he restoration of muscle tone.

A deeper key to understanding how overtones and music work on a physical level is to examine the relationship of body harmonics to the fluctuation of cerebrospinal fluid and craniosacral therapy. The anatomical term sacrum derives its names fro the Latin os sacrum which means sacred bone.

Proper harmonic alignment of the sacrum with the feet and head creates the intervals of a fourth at the coccyx, a fifth at the second fused bone of the sacrum, and a sixth a the top of the sacrum. This opens an area an inch and one half below the navel referred to as the Tan Tien in Taoism. Freedom of sacral motion and harmonic alignment of the sacrum is optimal for the production and flotation of cerebrospinal fluid. CSF was considered by the ancient Taoists to be the physical counterpart of Chi or life energy, and more recently by cranial osteopaths as the elixir of life.

This is an extract from John Beaulieus book Music and Sound in the Healing Arts and is published by Station Hill www.stationhill.org and is available in the Soothingminds shop.