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Sheila Whittaker
Category: Gong Work


As a Sound Healer I work with high quality soundinstruments to bring the body/mind/emotions back into a state of harmony. Thinkof an orchestra, which has many different instruments making up its whole. Thisis a good analogy for the human being : each of us have many different organsand body parts making up the whole, plus the mind and emotions which also playa major part in our well-being. I like this analogy of the body as anorchestra, as for some years I was a professional musician and have played withmany different orchestras during my mainstream musical career. I can tell youthat if one or more instruments are out of tune, it affects the overall soundquite dramatically for the worst.

The same is true of ourselves. If a part of the body isnot “in tune” and vibrating at the correct frequency, or if we are emotionallyunder par or mentally overburdened, the result is a stressed, under functioningperson who feels from unwell down to quite ill. This “dis-ease” of body, mindor emotions, whatever stage it has reached, can be aided by the application ofsound to re-tune the person, and start to bring about harmony in the human beingas a whole. I believe that the human body/mind contains all the resources itneeds to heal itself, given the opportunity. We only need to apply the rightsounds to enable it to begin this process.

The instruments I mainly work with for this purpose arelarge high quality gongs. I have been a sound healer for some years, andspecialized in using gongs ten years ago. To me, the gong is the ultimate soundhealing instrument, as larger gongs encompass such a wide and full range oftones and harmonics, that they are able to “re-tune” all parts of thebody/mind/emotions very effectively. The process of tuning up the body usingmainly gongs and other compatible sound instruments is called a “gongbath”.This is because the person is literally bathed in the sounds of the gongs,enabling every cell to be tuned and re-harmonised with the whole.

The recipient of a gongbath ideally lies down on acomfortable soft bed or couch, and is encouraged to relax completely, lettinggo of any worries or frustrations, and surrender totally to the soundexperience. This is their time to receive – there is nothing to do but just“be”. The gongs have the effect of altering the brainwaves, and taking thelistener into a meditative state automatically. Even highly stressed, uptightpeople usually succumb to the gong sounds within a few minutes, and often findthemselves drifting into deep states of meditation. Some people go to sleep,and I have had very tired people sleep right through a gongbath even though thewaves of sound being produced occasionally reach a higher volume.

The result : most people “come back” from their gongbathjourney feeling refreshed, de-stressed and rejuvenated. Some physical aches andpains may have disappeared. Emotions are calmer, and people generally feel morein control of things, and often have been “given” solutions to problems thathave been worrying them. People usually feel tingly and as though the gong soundis still working on them, which of course it is – the effect is generallyongoing for several days or even weeks. The gong sounds clear away anyenergetic debris from the subtle energy body and leave people feeling clear,light and re-energised. Re-tuned, in fact, as their whole system has been powerfullyvibrated and brought back into a state of harmony. Just as the players of theinstruments of the orchestra need to tune them before the orchestra can startplaying its musical repertoire – so the gong sounds re-tune the whole human energysystem, bringing our whole being back into a state of harmony, or at leastkick-starting that process, so that we can move on and engage with the variedrepertoire of our lives.

Depending on how “out of tune” a person is, it can take anythingfrom one to a number of gong sessions to re-tune us back into a state ofharmony and health. A builder who once attended a gongbath reported that anongoing shoulder problem had cleared up – this happened quickly after only onesession. Another person reported immediately improved vision and no furtherneed for wearing reading glasses. We have also had particular ongoing successwith fibromyalgia, for instance. With other gongbath recipients it is a gradualprocess of improvement in all the different areas – physical, mental andemotional. Other people have reported better sleep, improved digestion, painrelief, morning sickness cured, headaches gone, increased ability to cope withthe problems of everyday life, relief of stress, and greater ability to relax,among other effects.

Played well and sensitively by an experienced andwell-trained practitioner, the gongs re-tune our whole being back into a stateof harmony and enable all the parts of our human body/mind to functionoptimally in the concert of life, just like the re-tuned instruments of theorchestra joining together to perform in perfect harmony.  

Sheila Whittaker is a Sound Healer, musician, teacher& author, who has specialised in using high quality gongs for her SoundHealing work. She runs the Gong Practitioner Training course for the College ofSound Healing, teaching the course to new groups of students each year, andalso teaching other sound healing workshops. She has written two books abouther work with the gongs. She lives in Devon, UK, and has a private therapypractice. As an experienced professional violinist she is also part of thePandia early music duo.

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