I believe our voices are sacred. In many cultures there are creation stories that describe it being the word or the voice that brought the world into being. Abrahadabra actually means “I create as I speak” It is the Intent behind the words the voice conveys. Yet so many of us have issues with our voices – whether it is not speaking up, not expressing ourselves, fear of public speaking, or wanting to sing yet feeling inhibited or not feeling good enough. The voice conveys so much and when we hear a singer connected with the emotion of a song, it can speak to us heart to heart or soul to soul. Similarly, working with the voice can dramatically shift and transform our blocks.
My own personal journey involved learning to speak up, stand up for my self and others. I also used to have debilitating performance nerves, yet I knew singing and music was such a deep part of who I am so I had to overcome my limiting beliefs and my conditioning. Over the years I have studied and applied to myself psychology, counselling and psychotherapy theories and principles, NLP, Shamanic practices and spiritual teachings, trying to ‘fix’ things that were ‘wrong’ with me, to understand myself but also trying to help myself feel better having had issues with depression, anxiety and self worth.
Now, training in the BAST method of Holistic Voice Therapy, it brings together so much of what I have learned and together with my experience and training in singing and vocal coaching I can offer help with singing, projecting, public speaking but also for transformative therapeutic work, on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level, depending on what the client’s needs are.
Whilst it can be useful for working with the voice itself, Holistic Voice Therapy may be particularly helpful for relationship issues – to the self and with others but also as we are holistic beings we often find working on certain issues or elements be they physical, emotional, mental or spiritual, can free up energy and find we have relief from physical pain. Or working on the thoughts and feelings we have around a physical health problem can bring much benefit on all levels of being and aspects of life.
Visit http://sacredvoicehealingdrum.co.uk/contact/ for more on Naomy and her work.
Holistic Voice Therapy
The BAST method of Holistic Voice Therapy is a one to one treatment consisting of Passive Voice Therapy treatment and dynamic breathing, vocalisation, visualisation and movements (depending on need and relevance) called Vocal Processing Techniques (VPTs). A client may have just a passive treatment, just an active treatment or a combination.
A passive treatment is very much like a personal voice bath. After a sharing and exploration of what you are bringing to the session and would like to work on, you are invited to lie comfortably on the couch while I create a series of vocal tones and overtones, designed as a treatment personal to you. People often find this a very enjoyable, relaxing experience and may enter into a very deep state similar to that of meditation or just before falling asleep and may experience feeling warm, seeing colours, having imagery, a distortion in time or personal insight as they enter an altered state of consciousness. You are invited to observe your experience as a compassionate witness during the treatment. If at any time you are not comfortable, just raise your hand.
At the end of the treatment I will play a series of grounding percussion instruments to gently bring you back from your relaxed state and afterwards you will be invited to share how that was for you. If we are doing a partly active treatment I can then offer some exercises (VPTs) for you to do in the session and / or as homework between sessions, depending what I feel will be of most benefit to you.
A purely active treatment involves a similar sharing and exploration of the issues brought to the session and then I can offer exercises (VPTs) for you to do using your breath, voice, visualisations and movements depending on what I feel will be most helpful to explore, express and transform. Working in this dynamic way with your own voice really can be truly powerful work.
The drum has been used for healing and altering consciousness since ancient times. Drum Journey, inherited from Shamanic wisdom and practice around the world, uses a repetitive beat to induce a trance state – a very deep relaxed state akin to meditation and dreaming.
Modern science explains this as the sound entraining the brain to slower waves ( theta / alpha theta border) which are associated with numerous physical benefits – lowered blood pressure and heart rate, reduction in stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and balancing of sodium potassium balance, essential for many bodily functions.
Psychological benefits can include information, insights, creativity, awareness, psychic phenomena and shift in perspective. Visuals are common, hence the idea of an inner journey. It can also be helpful for pain control.
Typically people lie down and get comfortable after setting an intention for their journey – healing, information, guidance, relaxation etc and I play for around 30mins, then gently use graduated percussion (shakers etc) to help them come back to a grounded waking state. People are encouraged to bring yoga mat or blanket to lie on and / or cover up with and water for afterwards.
During a 121 session, we would explore what a client wants from the session and how the issue is experienced before the client lies on a therapy couch for treatment and afterwards perhaps offer a rhythm or breathing exercise to move forward. The rhythm can be played close to the body or as in the drum journey, played away from the client’s body. All the techniques help induce an Altered State of Consciousness (ASC), a deep trance-like state, akin to deep meditation during which numerous physical and psychological benefits can occur. Drum massage can be particularly helpful for pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.
As well as described as being very relaxing, calming, focusing and centring, clients report enjoying the feel of the strong vibrations on their body. Drum therapy can be good for muscle or bone pain (not headache or broken bones), arthritis, muscle tension, stress-related symptoms, general relaxation and physical pain. I have also found it to be very effective for stress related insomnia.
What is the BAST Method?
We work in a Person-centred way – the person who knows best about your process is you. We hold a space for you to experience, explore and reflect and we use the model of the 5Rs Resonance, Resistance, Reflection, Responsibility, Release to help understand that process.
Sound frequencies interact with the system, affecting similar frequencies and Resonating. This may be experienced positively – warmth or expansion for example and has potential for self-recognition. If something resonates that is experienced negatively we call that Resistance, this however is seen as a good thing – sound is having an effect and therefore has the potential for Release. It is in the Resistance that we can focus for the most learning and insight. Reflection on our process holds the potential for learning and self awareness and learning to take full Responsibility for our own process is empowering, holding the potential for transformation.