CC BY 2.0 IMCBerea College
To begin, we sing (or should we say hum!) the praises of the humming bee. This small but magnificent creature pollinates flowers, makes honey, and fills the world with its buzzing, humming energy. Without the humming bee, life would be very different on this planet. In fact, there are many legends from different traditions about bee deities, such as the bee god in the Mayan tradition who is a transdimensional shifter of energy.
Doctorates in Bioenergetic Medicine and teachers of the ancient Egyptian healing and spiritual tradition, Meredith McCord and Jill Schumacher shared information with us about the Bee Teachings of ancient Egypt and the sounding practices associated with these teachings.
In this ancient tradition, the humming sound of the bee was said to stimulate the release of super hormones known as the “Elixirs of Metamorphosis.” This sound also resonates the ventricular chambers in the center of the brain, which are filled with cerebrospinal fluid. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear, colorless body fluid found in the brain and spine. Produced in the ventricles of the brain, it acts as a cushion for the brain’s cortex, providing basic mechanical and immunological protection to the brain inside the skull.
CSF also circulates nutrients and filters chemicals from the blood, removes waste products from the brain, and transports hormones to other areas of the brain. (Many different spiritual traditions also believe this fluid is sacred and is the conduit for vital life energy that travels up and down the spine and into the brain). Doctors McCord and Schumacher also told us that the humming sounds of the bee resonate and stimulate various structures of the brain, including the pineal gland, pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and amygdala, whose functions we have discussed in other portions of this book.
The Disappearance of the Humming Bees
We initially thought material about the humming bee would be too much of a digression to include in this book, but then a program on PBS—a documentary chronicling the disappearance of humming bees—sparked our interest. This is not a new phenomenon but one that has gained more and more mainstream attention in recent years.
Bees, it seems, are disappearing—they have been literally dying for no apparent reason. Their colonies are dispersing and they are vanishing. No one knows why, but it is not uncommon for dozens of honeybees to come tumbling from the sky—dead! Scientists and beekeepers alike are trying to discover the reason why so many bee colonies are breaking down.
This phenomenon has been given a name: colony collapse disorder. It occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear, leaving behind the queen bee and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees. The bee colony cannot survive under these conditions.
As we know, bees make honey. They are also Mother Nature’s way of pollinating plants and allowing their continued reproduction. If the mystery of colony collapse disorder continues, not only will bees disappear, but much of the flowering flora of the world—fruits, flowers, vegetables, and all kinds of wild plants—will suffer.
The PBS special did not resolve the dilemma, although there was a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that there was a relationship between colony collapse disorder and pesticides. This problem was on our minds when we took a walk together at Walden Ponds, a wilderness preserve near our house in Colorado.
The Bee Lady
On this particular Sunday, toward the end of December 2014, we were walking quietly through Walden Ponds when we passed a man and woman. Usually we would have smiled, said hello, and continued on our way. People walking through nature preserves generally don’t like to be disturbed. But on this day, for some reason, we stopped and started talking with this lovely couple. Neither of us can remember how our conversation began, but we talked for a while, and eventually one of them asked us, “What do you do?”
When people we don’t know ask us about our work, normally we say something about composing music for meditation and relaxation. It’s much easier and less complicated than getting into the details of sound healing and the various layers of this work, since most people are unfamiliar with it. But somehow, on this day, we not only began talking in depth about the use of sound for healing, we told this lovely couple that we were writing a book on the healing properties of humming.
They then began to tell us about a friend of theirs who lived in the mountains outside of Boulder. This woman apparently worked with bees in a healing capacity. They told us how to contact her, and we did. Her name is Dr. Valerie Solheim, and she is called the “Bee Lady.”
Valerie is a Jungian psychologist and beekeeper who uses the humming sounds of bees as an integral part of her healing sessions with clients. We traded a copy of Jonathan’s album Cosmic Hum for one of her Healing Bees CDs. Her CDs are recordings of a humming beehive during different seasons and different activities. Continuing on with the synchronicity that seemed to have followed humming and bees, it turns out that the person who recorded Dr. Solheim’s CDs was Kimba Arem, a prominent sound therapist and dear friend of ours.
The Healing Power of the Sound of Bees
Valerie had much to say about the healing power of the sound of bees. She related many stories about the powerful healings her clients had experienced when they listened to the Healing Bees CDs. Most extraordinary for us, however, was Dr. Solheim’s claim that she had played one of her CDs for a hive with colony collapse disorder, and as a result the imbalanced hive had come back to a state of normalcy.
According to Dr. Solheim, the restoration of hives with colony collapse disorder is made possible thanks to the same principles we have been utilizing with sound healing for many years: vibrational resonance and entrainment. The colonies that were suffering from collapse disorder were simply resonating out of their natural harmony. The humming of healthy bees was able to entrain the distressed colony and help it heal.
This is just an anecdote, of course. However, considering all the information about sound, humming, and healing that we’ve disclosed in this book, it certainly makes sense to us.
We have received many e-mails and letters from people who have experienced healing through listening to Jonathan’s Cosmic Hum recording. We have little doubt that listening to the humming sound of healthy bees could indeed be healing for both people and bees. And if listening to the sounds of healthy bees can heal colony collapse disorder, perhaps it could assist in averting a natural disaster.
Many texts on sound healing and sacred sound might end with an Om. Instead, we’ll end with a hum. Thus, we begin again: mmmm.
©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.
Books by these Authors