The art of sound healing

Sep 12, 2017

Eric Cetnarski works as a sound healer in Oakland. Sound healing can be many things: from listening to our favorite songs to using our voices. 

In our modern world, he says, we’re exposed to a lot of stressful noise. Things like electronics, cars and construction transform our soundscape.

Twice a month, Cetnarski leads a donation-based sound healing session at his studio, Samana.

People walk in softly, remove their shoes and quietly sit on pillows. Traffic on Telegraph goes by but all that noise fades when the sound bath begins.

Using singing-bowls made of quartz crystal and metal, Cetnarski generates pure, consistent tones for his audience.

People often see circular patterns and go into a dream-like state, he says. “But you don’t have to see it, sometimes you just feel it.”

The sound waves can hit different parts of your ear, traveling around the room, having a psychoacoustic effect on the listener.

“I could feel the vibrations all over my body. It was calming me down, my mind got clear and relaxed,” Luna Mehrain said after her first session.

Bathing people in sound, Cetnarski says, is a way to “give people a chance to be still, to relax.” You don’t need instruments like gongs and singing bowls, though.

“The voice is the original sound healer for humans and animals,” Cetnarski says. “It is powerful and can be used in many different ways.” Cetnarski hopes asking people to focus on sound and voice will inspire people to think deeply about the tones they use when speaking to loved ones or even co-workers.

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This story originally aired in June of 2016.