Singing bowls come in a single, inverted bell form, but come in different sizes, ranging from a few centimeters to a meter in diameter. The smaller ones produce more delicate sounds, while the larger bowls produce deeper, full-bodied sounds. To produce a sound, singing bowls are often struck on their rim or side using a mallet. Each method produces very distinctive sounds.
Some of the possible uses for singing bowl therapy include:
Stress relief: Some research supports the use of Tibetan singing bowls as a way to promote relaxation and reduce feelings of anxiety.
Improving sleep: Because singing bowl therapy has been linked to decreased anxiety and tension, it may be helpful for improving sleep. Further research is needed, however, to support this.
Lowering blood pressure: A preliminary study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion in 2014 examined the benefits of starting a directed relaxation session with 12 minutes of singing bowls and found a greater reduction in systolic blood pressure and heart rate compared to silence before the session.2
Reducing depression: One study linked singing bowl therapy to improvements in mood and suggested that this approach may be a low-cost way to help reduce symptoms of depression
Stimulating the immune system: Some also claim that Tibetan singing bowls can stimulate the immune system and produce beneficial changes in brain waves.
Pain relief: One study looking at chronic spinal pain found that people treated with singing bowl therapy experienced significantly decreased pain intensity as well as decreased stress.3 However, placebo treatment had the same effects, so the study’s authors concluded that singing bowl therapy’s effectiveness for pain relief could not be confirmed.
- Balancing and harmonizing the body: Many proponents claim that the vibrations of a singing bowl can produce beneficial changes in the body by “harmonizing” the cells and “balancing the body’s energy system.”
- Enhancing other healing practices: Some people use the bowls in combination with other healing practices, such as meditation and deep breathing.