THE POWER OF SOUND TO HEAL
Shelley Snow, Ph.D.
The human voice has a remarkable ability to improve our health and well-being in ways that are not widely known. This book will introduce the reader to the dynamically expanding field of sound therapy and sound healing, and demonstrate the power of sound to heal through a presentation of research, theory, and numerous examples from the author's clinical practice, group work, and training workshops. The book is for both the general reader seeking simple, practical techniques for harnessing the healing power of sound in their daily life, and for music therapists and other professional therapists and practitioners who are interested in learning how to use sound-based models and interventions in their work, or to further their knowledge and expertise in this area. Easy-to-follow exercises with accompanying audio tracks will guide the reader to immediately begin experiencing the benefits of sound for mind-body health. Chapters on trauma and sound, toning and mindfulness, mantras and mental health, and Tibetan singing bowls are steps along the path of this fascinating and rich journey into the world of healing sounds.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shelley Snow, Ph.D., M.T.A., is a music therapist and licensed psychotherapist pioneering the research and development of sound-based therapies for mind-body healing and health. She conducted the first major study of sound healing by a music therapist, and is an Associate Researcher at the Centre for the Arts in Human Development at Concordia University. Another study involved a collaboration with neuroscientists at the prestigious International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research in Montreal on a study of a form of singing which uses sounds called Toning. A practicing therapist for 30 years, her wealth of clinical experience informs her work with sound, as does her life-long background with eastern and indigenous spiritual traditions. She founded The Dorian Centre for the Healing Arts in 2011, where she conducts a clinical practice in psychotherapy, music and sound therapies. Shelley is also a professional musician.
THE POWER OF SOUND TO HEAL
This is an excellent book that traces the scientific and spiritual aspects of sound as a healing and transformational modality. It covers the gamut of both new and traditional information that will fill anyone’s desire to become immersed in the subject. Dr. Snow has been involved in important research with toning - the power of the voice to heal. Indeed much of this book focuses on this topic in such a manner that will enable everyone to participate in their own personal sound healing experience. Enjoy The Power of Sound to Heal!
-Jonathan Goldman, Renowned Sound Healing Pioneer
This is probably the most complete study of the power of vocal sound healing. In this book Shelley has shown why the human voice is the ultimate healing instrument. She has carried out her own ground- breaking academic research into the power of vocal toning for healing. She also provides some amazing first-hand accounts of people’s experiences receiving sound healing.
Shelley shows the many ways that sound healing can be used and provides lots of practical exercises for readers to use. There are sections on trauma and sound, group work with the voice, toning and mindfulness, mantra and using singing bowls with the voice for healing. I recommend it to anyone. It will change your life!
-Simon Heather, Principal of the College of Sound Healing
Rare Combination of Science and Spirituality full of Practical Information
Dr. Snow has created a powerful resource that is full of diagrams and pictures to help activate healing sound in anyone's life. This includes vocal work, singing bowls, toning, mantras, and sound baths. This book is excellent for clinicians in both sound healing and music therapy fields. Dr. Snow addresses scientific evidence and best practices to boost immunity, balance energy, treat mental and physical conditions, and heal through sound. I loved the chapters on trauma and sound as well as mantras for mental health. I highly recommend it.
Christine Stevens, MSW, MT-BC, Founder, UpBeat Drum Circles
Shelley Snow has taken toning to another level with this book. Weaving her knowledge of Depth psychology with years of experience as a music therapist focused on working with sounds and toning, Dr. Snow has created an illuminating book that should appeal to a variety of people in the helping professions looking for a way to reach their clients on a deeper level and effect change through the power of sound.
-Dr. Diane Austin, D.A., L.C.A.T., Author of Vocal Psychotherapy
This book fills a gap in the literature by providing a theoretical, scholarly and step-by-step instructional approach to sound healing. Stories from the author's practice make for a captivating read and clearly illustrate the many ways in which sound has the power to heal. An excellent resource for music therapists and other health professionals using sound work in their practice.
-Dr. Debbie Carroll, MTA, Retired Professor of Music Therapy,
Université du Québec a Montréal
This book is a treasure of information about a rather new treatment: sound therapy or toning. Toning, put simply, is the act of producing various vowel sounds of different pitch and volume during long and relaxed exhalations. Written by a seasoned music therapist and psychotherapist, Dr. Shelley Snow, it offers an introduction to what this fledgling field is about.
Snow begins by describing several numinous experiences that drew her to work with sound. One such experience occurred while she was visiting Chaco Canyon, a sacred site outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the Anasazi Indians lived until the 13th century. As she entered the canyon she had an otherworldly experience of hearing voices and seeing images of the Anasazi who welcomed her there. She began playing her flute and singing, producing different sounds, which she had never done before. After several other such numinous experiences she found herself composing new styles of music. Already a music therapist Snow later trained in sound therapy.
The author describes various techniques in treating the patients who come to her for help. Richly illustrated with photographs and precise details she instructs both the therapist as well as the average person on how to address such problems as stress, anxiety, insomnia, and poor self-esteem. In her practice she also works with patients with more difficult issues. For example, toning can help patients who have been traumatized to relax and unlock memories and emotions that have resided in the body for years.
One of the features of the book is an inside look into how a therapist can use her intuition. For example, intuitively she has introduced working with Tibetan singing bowls as part of her sound therapy techniques.
Dr Snow also describes the research she had conducted at McGill University in Montreal to demonstrate the effectiveness of toning, comparing it to other modalities such as singing familiar songs or silent breathing. It has been found to be superior to these in promoting a relaxation response, slowing down respiration rates. Other studies are described as well which demonstrate similar results regarding the usefulness of this method in reducing intrusive thoughts during mindfulness practice, for example. Toning has been used in various medical settings to reduce pain for example with during childbirth and for oncology patients. (Recently while undergoing a medical test the nurse suggested I hum.)
A very helpful adjunct to Dr. Snow’s book is a series of audio selections which illustrate various toning exercises as well as some work with mantras. Just listening to the audiotape with the author’s heavenly voice is enough to produce a state of relaxation!
The book would appeal to the music therapist and can be very helpful to the average person as well. Other therapists can apply some of these techniques with their patients. After all, talk therapy has been based on using the voice since its inception.
-Dr. Mary Harsany, Clinical Psychologist, Montreal, Canada