Art credit: Public Domain Pictures
Sound is an exceptionally powerful energy. It has the ability to stimulate the release of hormones in the body, to reduce the stress response and induce relaxation, to penetrate to body and affect us at a cellular level, to rearrange molecular structure, and to shape matter itself. Our ancient cultures believed that sound was the fundamental force of creation, and perhaps they were right. Our modern scientist tell us that everything is vibration -- everything is sound!
When humming, the physiological benefits alone can do remarkable things. When you add the component of intent (belief, visualization, or whatever you wish you call it), extraordinary things can happen. It seems that our intention (or thoughts, beliefs, feelings, or purpose) can be encoded on the sounds we make to amplify their effect.
Our thoughts really do matter, and in this chapter we will be focusing on creating conscious humming by adding the power of intention to the hum. You’ll be adding the element of visualization or imagination as you hum. You may find that this component immensely increases your ability to experience the sound as well as enhancing the healing power of your hum. As our formula “Frequency + Intent = Healing” indicates, intent is as important as the actual sound you are creating.
Intention and Humming
From personal experience, when we’ve had a pain or discomfort -- it can be in our head or anywhere in our body -- and when we’ve focused the attention of our hum to that area, often (and usually quite surprisingly) these discomforts will disappear or at least diminish. This could be because of the release of nitric oxide or the production of endorphins or through relaxation or because of some other physiological factor. No doubt these physiological benefits occur whenever we hum. However, from our own experience, we understand that the intention placed upon the sound is a crucial component. Something powerful and important occurs when we hum with conscious intention.
The possibilities of conditions that can be positively affected by humming with intention are endless. Sometimes we hum to generate better blood flow to our tissues. Other times we may be feeling stressed out and take a few minutes to hum and calm down. We literally visualize the humming going throughout our entire body as we’re making the sound.
The possibilities of ways to project intention are also limitless, for conscious humming is only limited by your consciousness. For example, you might have a pain in a certain part of your body and perhaps envision a warm golden light radiating healing energy into that area as you hum. Or you might visualize encoding all your cells with vitality, dissipating any imbalanced energy.
An application of humming that we have only briefly mentioned is the ability of the hum to act as internal massage affecting all the cells in the area of your body where the hum is being directed. Just as there are numerous machines on the market that create external vibrations to help soothe parts of your body where you’re feeling discomfort, humming has natural soothing abilities and it can work internally as well, reaching places that many of these massage devices cannot. Once you’ve gained the ability to add intention to the part of your body that needs the sound, humming can be a truly powerful healing tool.
How To Hum
The most basic hum begins with the "mmmmm" sound. Pretend you've taken a bite of the most delicious food you've ever had, and with a comfortable and gentle voice, make a sound that shows your appreciation: "mmmmmmm." That's the hum.
As they learn to hum, people occasionally have slight difficulty initially making this sound. If that's the case for you, you might try starting instead with the well-known mantra Om, closing your lips after the "oh" and drawing out the "mmmmm." You could also start with the actual word hum, closing your lips after the "huh" and elongating the "mmmmm."
We keep our mouth closed and our lower jaw as relaxed as possible. Depending upon your oral cavity, this might mean having a slight space between your upper and lower teeth, or it could mean having your teeth rest lightly against each other. We do not recommend clenching your teeth -- we have found a relaxed jaw is best when you are humming for health and wellness.
In this exercise we will combine the physical act of humming with our conscious intention. Often we’ll be guided to our intention within the first few moments of focused breathing. At other times it may feel difficult to narrow our focus down to one single concept. If this is the case, remember that this is only a beginning and that tomorrow you can work on another aspect of intention. Simply choose one to start.
We suggest that you allow 15 minutes for this exercise -- 5 minutes for humming -- 5 minutes for relaxation -- 5 minutes for grounding. Please limit your actual humming to about 5 minutes.
• With your eyes closed, begin by taking a few slow deep breaths, releasing any stress or tension you may be feeling. As you’re breathing, tune in and sense how you’re feeling. Take as many deep relaxing breaths as desired.
• Now spend a few moments contemplating what your purpose for this experience of humming might be. Spend as much time as you need determining how you would like to use your intention while humming. (A possible suggestion, and one that’s particularly nice and easy to start with, is to imagine that you’re simply projecting appreciation throughout your body as you’re humming. Or perhaps you have found a place of discomfort and would like to see if humming can help. Imagine that you are projecting your hum into this area.)
• When you feel ready, begin to hum. Hum for about 5 minutes. Sometimes changing your pitch as you project your hum is immensely helpful in being able to feel the resonance as you encode intention.
• Continue humming, knowing that you have a purpose -- your intention has been set. You are engaged in conscious humming.
• When you feel ready, bring your humming to a close.
• Now, sit quietly for as long as you’d like, noticing any changes in your body -- tuning in to anything that you may have experienced while doing this exercise.
• When you feel ready slowly open your eyes. Give yourself enough time to become grounded and present in the moment. Allow yourself the wonderment of this state of being -- enjoying this relaxed state can be very healing.
Often the first experience of conscious humming is quite profound. Can you feel a difference in your physical, emotional, or mental body after doing this exercise? Were you successful in encoding your intent onto the sound? This can be a very powerful exercise -- especially the first time you do it.
©2017 by Jonathan Goldman and Andi Goldman.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Healing Arts Press. www.InnerTraditions.com
The Humming Effect: Sound Healing for Health and Happiness
by Jonathan Goldman and Andi Goldman
In this guide to conscious humming, Jonathan and Andi Goldman show that you do not need to be a musician or singer to benefit from sound healing practices — all you need to do is hum. They provide conscious humming and breathing exercises from simple to advanced, complete with online examples, allowing you to experience the powerful vibratory resonance that humming can create and harness its healing benefits for body, mind, and spirit. They explore the science behind sound healing and how humming not only helps with stress levels, sleep, and blood pressure but also increases lymphatic circulation and melatonin production, releases endorphins, creates new neural pathways in the brain, and releases nitric oxide, a neurotransmitter fundamental to health and well-being.
About the Authors
Jonathan Goldman, M.A., is an award-winning musician, composer, writer, teacher, and chant master. An authority on sound healing and a pioneer in the field of harmonics, he is the author of several books, including Healing Sounds, and the founder and director of the Sound Healers Association.
Andi Goldman, M.A., L.P.C., is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in holistic counseling and sound therapy, the director of the Healing Sounds Seminars, co-director of the Sound Healers Association, and coauthor, with Jonathan Goldman, of Chakra Frequencies.