Can Sound (Umm, Sound?) Heal What Ails You?

Find out at four Portland events dedicated to a sonic brand of medicine.

By Ariel Kusby March 8, 2018

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Stephanie Starnes points the way to relaxation with gongs, drums, and other instruments.

Sound healing? Some may call it woo. But anyone who’s ever been moved by music surely knows just how powerful sound can be. Luckily for those who want to take that principle further than a cathartic playlist, Portland is home to a thriving sound healing scene. Local practitioner Stephanie Starnes says sound healing is effective. “Specific tones and frequencies are actually connected to different parts of our bodies and energetic centers," she says. "So, through intention and taking the time to relax and receive the sound, one feels more at peace and more aligned physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.” Four events this spring delve deeper:

Shakti Gong Sound Healing

7–8:30 p.m. Fri, Mar 9 & May 11, Yoga Pearl6–7:30 p.m. Sat, Apr 7, The People's Yoga Northeast, $25
Bathe in ethereal sound, releasing the worries of the day while taking in the scents of soothing essential oils. Sisters Sarah and Stephanie Starnes will use a variety of instruments and techniques—including planetary gongs, crystal singing bowls, rain sticks, and their own voices—to induce a blissful state of relaxation. “Allow yourself to be cleansed, moved and held by sound and vibration,” they say.

Healing Crystal Bowl Sound Bath with Marissa Leigh

7–8:30 p.m. Fri, Mar 16, SomaSpace, $20
Music doesn’t get much more heavenly than the angelic sounds of seven crystal singing bowls. For the most relaxing Friday night of your life, experience Marissa Leigh’s sound bath in a friendly group setting. This sound healing session is designed to clear and release negative energy, open the heart, and promote a quieter state of mind. Harmonious sounds are created to support the body’s natural healing processes while you recline on the blankets and pillows provided. Each singing bowl is tuned to a different frequency that corresponds to seven centers of the body, realigning any energy patterns that might be unbalanced.

Portland Sound Sanctuary Oasis

7:30–8:45 p.m. Thu, Mar 22 & Apr 19Awakenings Wellness Center, $17–22 sliding scale
Get cozy on comfortable blankets while PDX Sound Alchemists make healing music over and around you. Special instruments such as chimes, harp, singing bowls, flute, and other surprise instruments will be played to heal the body at different frequencies, invoke a deep sense of calm, and rejuvenate the body and mind. 

Sound Healing Journey with Signa Cheney & Curtis Kidwell

8–9:30 p.m. Fri, Mar 30, Mandala Yoga, $20–40 sliding scale
Relax and let go while listening to the powerful vibrations created by gongs, singing bowls, a harmonium, and sung mantras. This workshop will promote tranquility through a guided, all-levels stretching warm-up, an hourlong sound healing session, and a closing group meditation. Blankets, eye pillows, mats, and meditation pillows will be provided, as well as therapeutic essential oils to help induce a deeper state of relaxation. 

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