Anthropologists studying traditional societies around the world know that if someone complained of depression or disheartenment in a traditional society, the natural healer, medicine person or shaman would focus on their relationship with the sensory, experiential and energetic world and have them re-engage with life/qi/spirit.
As Angeles Arrien, in The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Pathsof the Warrior, Healer, Teacher and Visionary, says, “They would ask you questions like: ‘When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?’”
In contemporary culture, we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories or finding comfort in silence, and it is here where we have experienced the loss of soul. There has been value placed mainly on thinking and figuring things out. Hopi prophecy teaches that the connection of head and heart (body) is necessary to have full health as a species. Native elders also teach that there is a need to balance the honoring of both the feminine and masculine archetypes within people, so that we learn to honor the planet and each other and to go beyond many of the “isms” that prevail.
Dancing, singing, storytelling and silence are the four universal healing salves, and that’s where sound healing comes in. Healing music produces the relaxation response, a psychological and physiological de-stressing of body, mind and emotions. Sound healing is seeing new application and acceptance in hospitals and the medical and veterinary communities, via doctors such as the integrative oncologist Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, in New York.
Even the U.S. military has been seeking alternative methods to support soldiers returning from the Middle East with post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), and sound healing is one of a number of modalities offered in theseprograms. The sound healing program for the military is for soldiers that want more than drugs to handle the symptoms of PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. Many soldiers with these issues cannot sleep, and successful sound sessions often result in a room full of snoring soldiers.
Jodi Roberts, the owner of Star Coyote Sound Temple, in Plano, is an anthropologist who has trained as both a shamanic practitioner, sound healer and Tibetan bowl and gong musician for almost 30 years. Being the first sound healing/ meditation specialist at the Fort Hood Army Combat Stress RESET Program in Killeen TX, and creator of the Care for the Caregivers program for nurses at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, she has recorded nine music CDs, one titled HeartSide, which is used extensively by individuals that have trouble sleeping peacefully at night. Connect with Roberts at 512-788-1236, SacredInspiration.com or StarCoyoteSoundTemple.com.