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Healing through sound: An exploration of a vocal sound healing method in Great Britain


Healing through sound: An exploration of a vocal sound healing method in Great Britain

Snow, Shelley (2011) Healing through sound: An exploration of a vocal sound healing method in Great Britain. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

Text (application/pdf)
Snow_PhD_S2011.pdf - Accepted Version


This thesis reports the results of ethnographic research conducted on a vocal sound healing method practiced in Great Britain at the College of Sound Healing, founded by acupuncturist and sound healer Simon Heather. This phenomenological, narrative inquiry embraces a perspective recognizing the dialogic nature of ethnographic research, and includes the perspective of sensory anthropology by exploring the role of the senses in sound healing. The research also positions sound healing in relation to the field of music therapy, the career practiced by the researcher. The study involved a sample of 13 individuals who had undergone sound healing. Data collection consisted of interviews and participant observation/sensation.
Findings of the study reflect a wide range of experiences which embrace a holistic conception of health encompassing both mind and body. Categories evolving out of participants’ own language used to describe their experiences include the following: physical, mental, insight, emotional and spiritual. Effects such as the release of emotions and trauma, a change from negative to more positive thought patterns, the elimination of physical pain, relaxing, calming effects and receiving deeper perceptions of life situations, are among the experiences described by participants.
Contributions to an evolving theory of sound healing include the recognition that altered states of consciousness appear to play an important role in facilitating certain kinds of healing; the phenomenon of after-effects of sound healing which extend and evolve for sometimes days, weeks and even months after a sound healing session; the role of the senses in terms of healing efficacy, with colors experienced as healing in and of themselves; and an analysis of the relationship between intuition, intention and the sounds utilized in this method of sound healing.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Snow, Shelley
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Special Individualized Program
Date:April 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Howes, David and Jourdan, Christine and D'Amico, Miranda
ID Code:7351
Deposited On:13 Jun 2011 15:11
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:30
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