Your Wise Magical Voice
I’ve been fascinated with the expressive, healing and spiritual aspects of our voice ever since I was a young voice student. When they say the eyes are the windows to the soul, I believe our voice is how we express that soul and it can offer us a deeper experience of our inner landscape. As a voice professional for over 40 years and voice teacher for 20 years, I have witnessed first-hand the powerful effects on my students and myself.
I grew up in an alcoholic family, and this dysfunctional way of relating created a great fear in me of speaking my mind. This fear stopped me from sticking up for myself in episodes of sexual harassment at work, kept me in bad relationships way too long, and I still feel it in the pit of my stomach during confrontational conversations. That, coupled with losing my entire family through tragic circumstances before age 30, created a log jam of suppressed expression in my throat chakra.
My own story of healing began when my mom enrolled me in voice lessons as a young teen. As I became more and more comfortable with opening up my sound and sharing it with others, I developed a sense of empowerment, poise and self-esteem that I attribute to awakening to the power of my voice. I have since written a book about the voice of the divine feminine, developed a workshop based on the book, and become a sound healer and inspirational speaker. I had no idea where this journey of voice would lead me, or where it will take me next!
Our voice is how we tell the rest of world who we are and what we are feeling and thinking. The tone of your voice can also engender feelings of love, trust and respect, or dislike, suspicion and contempt. Did you know that your voice is as unique as your fingerprint, and can be a holographic representation of your state of health? Your voice is also intrinsically connected to your whole body, and the vibrations of your voice have an incredible effect on you and others around you. Spiritual teacher Sonia Choquette wrote a song called “Inner Voice” and the lyrics say it all: “you have a holy voice inside you.”
The following are some compelling examples that will help you understand the voice as an amazing tool for expression, healing, and spiritual awakening.
Cymatics is the study of how sound vibrations affect matter, and it has evolved our understanding of how sound affects all of us. Most of us have heard how singing a very high note can shatter a glass, or the sound of a violin can move grains of sand. Well, the cells of our bodies, minds and spirits are affected the very same way by sound vibrations, especially the ones from our own voice!
A device was developed in 2002 called a CymaScope that uses a video camera to film the effect of a particular sound or vocal vibration on a drop of water. Each frequency or pitch makes a complex, unique sacred geometric pattern that would put a snowflake to shame! These universal resonance patterns mirror the underlying code that is common to everything in nature, from the spiral of our DNA to the spiral of our galaxy.
Some years back, my husband and I went to an open house for the Davis Center for Sound where I heard about the work of The Institute of BioAcoustic Biology & Sound Health. The science of Human Bioacoustics is based on the premise that the voice can act as a holographic representation of health and wellness.
BioAcoustics research has discovered that voice analysis may be used to detect a variety of wellness issues. At an appointment I had with a Bioacoustics practitioner, I was asked to speak into a microphone connected to a computer program that analyzed my voice. It produced a graph with high and low points which represented frequency-based biomarkers or possible imbalances in the frequencies of my body. I just had blood work done some weeks before, so I had a baseline for comparison. When I got the results of the voice print, they matched the results of my blood work!
Humming and Toning
Would you think that something so simple as a hum, tone or chant could improve the state of your health? Among other benefits, research has shown a simple hum or mantra can lower blood pressure and heart rate, facilitate the release of endorphins and melatonin, increase lymphatic circulation, increase oxygen in cells and release toxic emotions. Humming and toning are ancient practices that have been used in spiritual disciplines to aid in the connection with the divine.
The first time I was introduced to toning was at a weekend retreat. In one of the sessions, there were about 50 of us sitting in a circle and toning the chakra vowel sounds. The experience of being surrounded by the force of the vibrations released something in me and opened a floodgate of tears that washed away deep layers of grief I had been holding inside. This was one of the most profound healing experiences of my life.
Studies have been done regarding non-verbal communication or primal sounds. Are you ready for a shock? Well, these studies show that when explaining how we feel, only 7% of the words we use have an effect on the listener. So you could essentially gesture and grunt and get your point across effectively!
When you cried as a baby, neural pathways were developed that connected to your larynx and became hardwired. When children express themselves with shouts, screams, whoops of joy and other primal sounds, what do we tell them? What were you told as a child? Be quiet! This often causes us to develop unnecessary tensions which also become hardwired in the brain, and prevents us from creating free and authentic sounds as an adult.
It is interesting to observe the resistance in my clients when we work with organic sounds. They are surprised when I ask them to yell “Hey!” and it literally gets stuck in their throats. I think we’ve all experienced this choking feeling of words sticking in our throats. We all expend a lot of life energy tiptoeing carefully through conversations, saying one thing and meaning another, trying not to offend or inflame, fearful of reaction or rejection. One of the things that has helped me free up my voice when it feels stuck, is simply to take a deep breath and release it on a sigh, with my hands over my heart. Since our voice literally is carried on our breath, the sigh can move the “stuck” throat energy.
Voice of the Heart
“Listen to your heart” or “speak from your heart” are phrases that most of us are very familiar with, but does your heart really have a voice? The general idea that we are all taught is that the brain is the computer of the body and is the dominant “voice” of the body. However, new research is revealing that the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends to the heart!
Researchers at the HeartMath Institute have found that the nerve center of the heart is so complex they have termed it a “mini-brain.” The heart also produces neurotransmitters and hormones previously thought to only be produced by the brain. As if that wasn’t enough, the heart is about 100,000 times stronger electrically and up to 5000 times stronger magnetically than the brain. It produces a measurable electromagnetic field called a torus field which radiates out about 3 to 4 feet and reacts with other people, animals, nature and our environment!
You know that feeling when your “heart is full,” you really do feel like there is a fullness in your chest. Most of us have suffered the pain of a broken heart. Didn’t it feel like it was really broken? When people point to themselves, they don’t point at their head, they point to their heart. Isn’t there a sense of something in your heart when you’re faced with a difficult decision? These are all times when your heart is speaking to you. It is an organ of emotional intelligence and if you learn how to listen, it can also guide you.
Potential for Empowerment, Healing and Awakening
Current scientific research has made the connection between sound vibrations and their therapeutic benefits. More and more people are opening to the concept that we are beings of energy, and our own voice is a powerful tool of vibration, which can realign and rebalance our “out of tune” energies. Ancient cultures had this awareness and incorporated vocal sounds into their healing and spiritual rituals, and there is evidence to believe this approach has merit.
Don Campbell, founder of the Mozart Effect, writes “the human voice is a remarkable instrument of healing, our most accessible sonic tool.” In traditional Chinese Medicine, the voice is used as an instrument of release in order to shift the patient into a more enlivened state. In fact, an acupuncturist will often listen to the tone of a patient’s voice as one of the indicators of health.
Why does sound healing work? One of the reasons is that scientific research has shown that your voice emits a small amount of infrared light as the molecules of air vibrate and our cells respond to the infrared light spectrum. So when we make sound, we are singing the language of the cells! Cells also have hair-like antenna that respond to certain frequencies and take them in as nourishment. Also, since our voices vibrate at a much higher frequency than our bodies, and we are about 72% water, every time you make sound you are literally bathing your body in higher vibrations.
You don’t have to take singing lessons - just listen to the voice of your heart and hear what it’s telling you. Open your ears to your intuition for guidance on how to express your needs and wants. As you gain trust in the voice of your soul, you will find that your words come from a more empowered and authentic place. Something wonderful happens when we hum, tone, sing, or speak with intention; it awakens the wisdom our soul, and we begin to remember who we are - powerful, loving and divine!