From Humming to Harmonics - Vibroacoustic Sound
Vibroacoustic Sound is what happens when we hum! And who better to tell us about that than Jonathan Goldman and his life partner Andi. I'm very excited to have them with us for the second time.
Jonathan Goldman is a well-recognized international authority and pioneer in sound healing. He is a renowned writer, musician, and teacher.
Yes, and Jonathan is the author of several books, including Healing Sounds, which has celebrated its 30-year anniversary. How amazing is that? There's also The Divine Name, a past winner of a Visionary Award for the best alternative book of the year. And there's another one called The Seven Secrets of Sound Healing. Intrigued? Well, you should be. His multi award-winning recordings include Chakra Chants, The Divine Name and Reiki Chants. And his most extraordinary album as well is called Tibetan Master Chants, which was a Grammy finalist for Best World Music.
The founder and director of the Sound Healers Association and CEO of Spirit Music, Jonathan Goldman is named one of the Watkins MIND BODY SPIRIT's Magazine's 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People. Now, some of you know that John and I actually both share that honor, and we're thrilled that Watkins has listed us as living people.
I think Andi and I are both happy you're both listed as living people, as well. So let me tell you about the delightful Andi Goldman. She is a licensed psychotherapist. She specializes in holistic counseling and sound therapy. She's the director of Healing Sound Seminars and the co-director of the Sound Healers Association. She's a musician, a teacher, a sound healer, an award-winning author, and of course, the wife and partner of Jonathan Goldman. Together, Jonathan and Andi have co-authored Chakra Frequencies, which is the winner of the Visionary Award for Best Alternative Health Book of the Year, and their best-selling-book, The Humming Effect, which if you remember when Jonathan appeared last in our program, we were talking about The Humming Effect. Well, that too has won an award in 2018, the Gold Visionary Award for Best Health and Healing Book, both from Inner Traditions.
From Humming to Harmonics
Well, together Jonathan and Andi have dedicated their lives to a path of service, helping to awaken and empower others with the ability of sound to heal and transform. It's what it's all about. Andi and Jonathan, welcome to the show.
Oh, Monika and Lee, thank you so much for the beautiful introductions and for having us on today. What a treat this is.
Well, what I'd like to know is where are things now for today? Because the subject of what you want to share with us is from humming to harmonics, what is going on in the world of sound for the two of you today?
Well, it is a real blessing because Healing Sounds has had its 30th-anniversary edition release. I've probably been in this field for over 40. Andi and I have been working together for 27 years as of this year.
And it's just sound continues to grow and be really, if you like, embodied by so many people as great for shifting and changing our vibrational level, our body, mind, and spirit. We thought we would share with you some really important overall, if you like, concepts of how to use sound for healing, something as simple as that. And Andi, where do you think I should begin?
How Sound Affects Us
We’d like to take the audience on a journey starting with the effects of how sound affects us.
But before that, let's talk about how sound heals. Everything in the universe is in a state of vibration, from the electrons moving around the nucleus, from the atom to planets and distant galaxies moving around their suns. They're in vibration, they're conceptually, at least, creating a sound. And this includes our body, every organ, every bone, every tissue, and every part of our body is in a state of vibration. We are, if you like, like this wonderful orchestra that's playing the symphony of the self.
But what happens if the second violin player hits the wrong notes? They lose their sheet music, they're hitting the wrong notes, and suddenly the entire orchestra actually sounds off. And this is, if you like, akin to a part of our body vibrating out of its proper, normal, resonant frequency. And if you like, it's vibrating out of ease, out of harmony. We say it's a disease.
So the very basic principle of using sound as a healing modality is simply to restore to that string player the sheet music, to restore to the body that part of the frequency spectrum that was missing and vibrating. So getting it to basically vibrate back in tune. It's very simple, but it's actually found in almost all the alternative therapeutics.
When we're talking about sound, basically sound affects us in primarily two different ways. It can affect us vibroacoustically and psychoacoustically. And we'd like to tell you about each one of those topics. I'm going to start with vibroacoustics because that is when we are actually feeling the sound going directly into our bodies at a deep cellular level. Now, it's interesting because there are a lot of things that can, sound can go in our body, but in our experience, the most powerful vibroacoustic sound is through our own voice through humming. And we're going to talk about that a little more in a moment. But Jonathan, maybe you could talk about psychoacoustics.
Here is a little tidbit about vibroacoustics. Here's a quote from the New York Times, just so you know that this is real and that it's not brand new. February 8th, 1988, New York Times the subheader of the science section is, "Sound shaped into a dazzling tool can make, break, or rearrange molecular structure." So we're talking about power, an energy that can rearrange molecular structure, and that's an aspect of vibroacoustics. But the other way that sound affects us as well is called psychoacoustics, and that's where the sound goes into our ear, into our brain, it affects our nervous system, our heart rate, our respiration, our brain waves.
Using Your Voice as a Healing Instrument
In fact, as we listen to music, we're going to talk a little about the importance of listening to harmonics, for example, but as we listen to music or even our voice, we are responding to that. Indeed, we like to say that it's really important that when we speak, or even conversationally, that we project kindness and love and light whenever we're doing it, that really, people are affected by that, they pick it up and you're using your voice as a healing instrument, even with conversational voice if it's encoded with love.
Along with that, I want to just mention a formula that Jonathan created probably 40 years ago, and that is frequency plus intent equals healing. So Jonathan, what you were just saying, the importance of having that intention, holding that intention of love and healing and compassion, loving-kindness, all of that is so very important when we are working with sound, whether it's our own sounds vibroacoustically or we're listening too to sounds psychoacoustically.
Totally. It was so interesting when this... “Frequency plus intent equals healing,” first came to me a long time ago, it was very difficult to be talking to people about the importance of intentionality. They kind of looked at me and would scratch their head and would say, "Is this guy from another planet?" Which I am. But regardless...
The Importance of Intention
It's so wonderful now to get the work of Bruce Lipton and Joe Dispenza and Lynne McTaggart and Masaru Emoto, all these people doing work on the importance of intentionality, so that now people go, "Oh yeah, I understand so I can talk about intention." That is just so very cool. So, intention is very important. Actually, that was first projected in my book, Healing Sounds, the first time that manifested as a formula on the planet. I didn't create the idea it's in all the magical and spiritual traditions since the beginning. They would do vocalization plus visualization equaling manifestation. But I don't think anybody had put it into a formula.
No, Jonathan. I think it was you. That was a long time ago. You can imagine, through all these many years, Jonathan, 40-some, me almost 30, we have worked with so many frequencies, so many unique sounds, mantras, vowels, sacred vowel sounds. Several years ago, we decided, "We really want to bring sound to the people in a way that people who may not have even known about the concept of sound for healing, but when they could make sound and use their own voice, how could we do that?" We looked at each other and thought, "What is the sound that everybody can make, that everybody can relate to?"
And that is when we investigated the power of the hum. I'm going to jump for a second and just suggest one quick thing before we get into the hum, because we're going to dive into that deep, but I want to just suggest that in my book Healing Sounds, the subtitle, the Power of Harmonics. I describe what harmonics are.
Harmonics are the Color of Sound
Harmonics are the color of sound. On a level, they are the magical aspect of sound that makes our voices all unique. And what's important about this is two aspects. Number one, we realize that most, in the universe, single-tone frequencies mostly don't exist. They're actually multiple composite, mathematically oriented frequencies that are called harmonics that make our sounds occur as they do. That's number one.
Number two, they are the colors of sound. And Lee, I remember you and I were talking a while ago and you were talking about I believe it might have been Kryon, talking about new colors coming in. I said, "Aha. Yes." And we may hear also the colors of sound. So on a level talking about psychoacoustics, that as you realize harmonics and you realize them, listening first to them, then being able to create them literally how you experience reality shifts and changes because one of your primary senses, the sense that we perceive of as being sound, whether it's hearing or making the sound, it's enhanced, and it's amplified and it becomes greater. So, it's almost like getting a superpower when you encompass the world of harmonics.
Right, and it's interesting because in every sound in nature, there are many, many, sounds that are going on simultaneously that we don't consciously hear, but once we open up to harmonics, we hear them, and it's almost like we take these sonic earmuffs off and we start really hearing at much deeper levels.
Therapeutic Effects of Harmonics
You’ll find many different exercises in the book, including the work with chakras. You see, different parts of our body in the etheric centers will vibrate with different sounds, and if you want to experience this at home, if you make an ah sound, put your hand on your heart and just make an ah sound and then at the top of your head and go an E sound. You go, ah, e, ah, e.
Do it once more, ah, e, and I could literally feel the sound going from here to here, and I wasn't changing the pitch that much. Each of these vowel sounds has different harmonics that are most pronounced and they're responsible for the vibroacoustic resonance that occurs as well. So with that one, I just wanted to share that with you as another little experience of the fact that we're going to be diving into humming about right now, but I wanted to share with you that the vowel sounds also are interrelated with the hum. All these self-created sounds, particularly the hum, have many therapeutic effects.
Trust the Hum
When we are using our voice for self-created sound, there are so many physiological benefits that are happening in our body. For instance, there's more oxygen that is generated in our cells. Our heart rate and blood pressure lowers, and there's a myriad of different hormones that are emitted, such as melatonin, which regulates our sleep cycle and other things as well, and also what I love is when we're making sounds together with other people, the hormone oxytocin releases and that is the trust hormone, and often when we're sounding together, we feel this connection with those people around us, and the world, and that's oxytocin. And of course, we don't want to leave out nitric oxide, which is a molecule that... Jonathan, take it away. He loves to talk about this.
I think that nitric oxide won the Molecule of the Year by Science Magazine in 1998. It's not new and it's a vasodilator, which means it opens up and winds your circulatory system, which is no small thing. It's hugely important. The other thing that has really come into consciousness lately is the fact that nitric oxide is also an antiviral agent. So if you hum, you get 15 times the amount of nitric oxide normally generated, and it's enough to take care of some nasty critters that may lodge in your sinus cavity. So people with sinusitis, for example, can work with the humming and have very therapeutic effects.
When we're humming, it also stimulates the vagus nerve as well, which is the main nerve in our bodies. So, what we do like to say, though, is when we talk about humming, we call it conscious humming because we're consciously making the sound. We're taking a nice, deep breath, a nice diaphragmatic breath. We call it a belly breath. It's easy to put your hands on your belly and feel that belly expand with that inhale, and on the exhale, we can hum. When we do that consciously or even unconsciously, these physiological benefits that we just talked about are occurring.
You notice Andi hummed on one note. She wasn't doing zip-a-dee-doo-dah, which is great, but you hit one note. You get this vibroacoustic feel that is generated. In fact, what we'd like to do with you is just for everybody to experience doing five conscious hums, and the first thing we're going to suggest is that you check yourself out before you begin. How are you feeling? What do you feel? What's happening? Take a couple of nice, slow deep breaths, and check yourself out, Andi.
Take those nice deep breaths and feel your body just coming into a place of relaxation, and after you've taken a few nice, deep breaths, we're going to begin on the exhale to have that hum coming out. So Jonathan, shall we begin that?
Silence is Where Change Occurs
So, let's take that in breath and when we exhale, we will hum and we'll do this five times. Then we'll be silent for just a minute because silence is... If you like, an aspect of sound, it's the yin to the yang of sound, and in the silence is where the true shifts and changes occur. So, we're just going to sit here for a few moments afterward because this is... Hey, we don't want to bore you with just watching us sit there in silence and meditation, but that is a really key element, don't you think?
Absolutely, and I want to mention that it is in that silence that we really listen within and we hear our own inner wisdom coming through, so that silence is golden. So, here we go. Take in a nice deep breath, and on the exhale we'll hum, and please, everyone who was listening or watching, please join us. Take a breath in... and exhale on the hum. Breathing in, exhaling. One more time, breathing in and exhaling. Now we'll be in silence for just a few moments.
I'm forcing myself to come back because even though I'm in a semi-blissful state, our time with you is ending, and we wanted to just share one important, from our perspective and perhaps from a planetary perspective, an important event that is happening this February 14th, 2023. It's a Tuesday if I'm not mistaken.
World Sound Healing Day
It is called World Sound Healing Day, and this is our 21st annual World Sound Healing Day, and people throughout the world go to the website worldsoundhealingday.org, and there are hundreds of different events and thousands of different people who co-create sacred sound to manifest and project a sonic valentine for the Gaia matrix, our beloved Mother Earth in order to raise the vibratory field of all sentient beings. So, we invite you to check that out on Valentine's Day.
Come in, sound forth for healing for Mother Earth, and as you do that, remember that we heal ourselves, and we heal the planet. So, please join us on World Sound Healing Day, February 14th.
And, thank you so much for this opportunity of sharing with you just a little of the aspect that sound is among the most... In the beginning, was the word. Sound is a truly powerful and transformative energy form and sacred sound. Sound coupled with intentionality is maybe one of the major keys to shift and change at a transformational, interdimensional level.
This has been such a beautiful opportunity for us to be of service. So, Monika and Lee, thank you so much. Thank you to all the people who are watching.
Tell Us How You Two Met
You will not get away that easily. We have people wanting to know too, because we have a few minutes left, and thank you for everything you've shared. How did you meet?
Well, we met 27 years ago, and honestly, we had a mutual friend that many people may remember, Don Campbell who produced the Mozart Effect.
Don and I had known each other since our early 20s and Jonathan and Don knew each other and we met through Don back in 1995.
We wonder the two of you are so complimentary in your separate interests, were you both aware of your interest in sound?
Well, being a psychotherapist I used expressive therapies and sound was the main modality that I used. Don was just such a masterful sound healer. He and I were dear, dear close friends so, I would go to his workshops. He'd always bring me over music and all the people that studied with him would come and stay with me. So, I was very connected to the world of sound. However, I never quite knew how connected I would be with Jonathan.
And, I'm just going to share that from my perspective. When Andi and I first met, I said, "This is among the most compassionate beings I have ever encountered on the planet." And I said, "Whatever it takes, I'm going to make this work."
I love that. You guys are just amazing and I love the simplicity of the humming exercise that we did because anyone can do it. I am not a singer, Lee can attest to that, but humming doesn't require any training and you instantly have the health benefits and the health effects. I actually feel that we're returning to what our ancestors did. Singing and dancing and celebration were part of village life, and community life. And so, I love that we're recreating from our very, distant past, as the Indigenous still do today, and you’ll be showcasing on World Sound Healing Day. Are there any last words for people, just before we go to the break, that you want to share with people about what your passion is for people to know about humming and harmonics?
Sound is a Portal of Consciousness
Once you explore the realm of sound, whether it's self-created sound, or even just realizing listening to sound on a deeper level, it becomes an extraordinary portal of consciousness that has been used in spiritual traditions since the beginning, and we invite you to journey into this realm because it is perhaps one of the great, safe, and powerful ways of getting contact with the divine.
And, what I'd love to say in closing is, of course, as a holistic psychotherapist working with sound, when we are doing something as familiar as humming, we reduce the levels of stress in our bodies. We come into balance and we can be our own therapists. So, there are so many blessings to work with when we are working with sound.
Oh, thank you so much. Thank you both for joining us and sharing the beauty of sound and inviting us all on February 14th for the 21st annual World Sound Healing Day.