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Oct 27, 2016 12:37PM

Calming vibrations: Singing bowl therapy works to heal body, quiet mind


By Annie L. Scholl
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Maria Dummermuth offers personal and group sound-healing sessions mostly out of her home just outside of Cedar Rapids. Dummermuth says the holistic therapy works to bring the cells of the body into balance through sound and relaxation.
When she scheduled a singing bowl therapy session for herself and a couple of friends, Maria Dummermuth was looking for a fun activity that she hoped would also help the three friends get back into sync.

What she got from the session, though, was so much more than that.

"I was hooked," says Dummermuth, 42, of Cedar Rapids. "I could literally feel energy moving through my body. I left the session feeling alive and pulsing with life."

Himalayan singing bowl therapy is a holistic therapy practiced for many years by Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian spiritual healers. The premise, Dummermuth explains, is that because our bodies are made up largely of water, when we have an injury or distress, our cells might vibrate out of balance. The goal of Himalayan singing bowl therapy is to bring the cells back into balance through sound and relaxation, she says.

After the initial session with friends, Dummermuth returned for a private session, which she says was even more powerful. After the session she bought a book about singing bowls. Though she calls herself "super frugal," Dummermuth took a "leap of faith" and decided to take training in singing bowl healing through the Atma Buti Soul Medicine Sound and Vibrational School in Boulder, Colo. She also invested in a full set of bowls.

"This was really important to me to learn to follow Spirit and to trust," she says.

During a two-year period, Dummermuth completed the necessary training to become a teacher-trainer through the school, including many hours of volunteer work and 200 hours of actual sessions.

Dummermuth offers personal and group sound-healing sessions, and also teaches certification courses. Most of her private sessions are held in her home just outside of Cedar Rapids. Sessions are $65 per hour.

During a session, Dummermuth generally starts with a relaxation sequence, playing the bowls either on or around her client's body. She often uses warm water or essential oils in the bowls to intensify their healing properties.

"As I am gifting this service to others, it brings me great joy to see them relax and completely surrender to sound," she says, adding that her clients often fall asleep during sessions. "The vibrational quality of the bowls allows people to access the sensation of energy in their body quite easily," she says, "and to quickly enter a relaxed state, which can be difficult for many people to do on their own."

She believes we all can benefit from the relaxation singing bowl therapy offers.

"We live in a stressful world today, and our mental, physical and emotional states are all a reflection of what is going on in our lives," she says. "So many of us are in dire need of relaxation."

The sessions can be particularly helpful for people who suffer from issues such as anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, arthritis and insomnia, Dummermuth says. Beyond feeling relaxed, her clients also tell her they feel increased energy and less pain after their sessions.

"Most clients love having the bowls played on their body as the vibration is more intense and noticeable, not only in the physical body, but in deeper levels of consciousness as well," Dummermuth says.

The bowls she uses are handmade and are of Himalayan origin. They create a unique sound with multiple tones and vibrations, she says.

"The bowls speak to me at a level that completely sets my heart free," Dummermuth says. "The sound and feeling that I receive from the vibrations is unbelievable."

Sound healing sessions and trainings fit in well with Dummermuth's other work as a yoga and Pilates instructor.

"My goal as a teacher and healer has always been to empower people to look inside themselves and find their own source of healing," she says. "I believe there is no quick fix. We have to do the work to truly heal ourselves, both internally and externally."

As a sound healer, Dummermuth travels for continued education, retreats, and even to perform with the bowls.

"I pinch myself all the time thinking, 'Really? I get to do this for a living?' Plus I have truly found my tribe — a group of healers who I connect with who speak my language."
Annie L. Scholl is a frequent Radish contributor. For more information about Maria Dummermuth and the services she offers, visit mariadummermuth.com.




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