The extended interview with FQ
FQ: What type(s) of sound therapy do you practice?
YL: The forms of sound therapy I offer include:
1 to 1 tailored sessions: which can include creating sound-scapes as well as use of tools for specific areas of the body, and/or facilitating the person to express sounds using their voice
Group Sound Baths: I create sound-scapes using selected instruments and my voice for a group of people
Voice Alchemy classes: Facilitating groups of people to explore the healing power of their voice.
FQ: What are some of the tools you use during your sound therapy sessions?
YL: The instruments I currently have in my toolset include:
FQ: How does sound therapy work?
YL: There are several levels in which sound therapy can be seen to be work. Fundamentally, the aim of Sound therapy or sound healing is using vibration to help the body back to its coherent harmonic state.
After a wee chat which will help shape the session, the person is sitting or laying down in a comfortable space to receive different sounds and tones. Sessions can be about 45-60 mins long.
Online sessions are also available for those that are open to use that method. The sound transmission is conveyed to the person using voice. Like a tailored live guided meditation and audio broadcast that aims to relax and uplift the person.
Some of the ways in which sound healing can be viewed:
‘Everything is vibration’
All things have a vibration from the chair we sit, to our bodies and our thoughts, beliefs and emotions. All things has its own resonance – a specific frequency at which it vibrates. Many people have heard of this statement being referenced in different spheres and it refers to the fact that solid matter does not exist as such but at the atomic level everything is in constant movement, therefore vibrating. Our senses perceive high density of molecules as something solid.
Sound is a form of energy or vibration.
In simple terms entrainment is the phenomenon in which two or more independent frequencies synchronise with each other. One object can actually change the vibrations of another object.
If you have two vibrating objects with the same natural frequency or corresponding harmonic, they will both have a forced vibration affect on each other. This process, given time, normally leads to a condition where both objects automatically synchronize. Once complete synchronization has occurred both oscillators are able to vibrate with less energy.
A well known example of this is the grandfather clocks experiment.
The Dutch physicist Christian Huygens, a contemporary of Isaac Newton, discovered entrainment in the 17th century. Huygens was also the inventor of the pendulum “grandfather” clock. He had a room full of these types of clocks of various sizes. One day he went around the room starting the pendulums of the clocks in motion at different times. When he left the room, the pendulums were all swinging individually. When he returned the next day, he found that all the pendulums of the grandfather clocks were locked in step with the largest of these clocks.
Other examples of entrainment can be found in the way music influences our respiratory rate, heart beat and brainwave states, or even finding a mutual pace of walking with a friend. Women living together will often have a menstrual cycle that synchronizes together
The common aspect to any modality or therapy is to assist the person and their body with stress reduction. Any form of relaxation will assist with the body to achieve homeostasis. Whether that be listening to favourite music or walking in nature, finding what suits the individual person can generate effective results.
What I also would add is intention and choice as being a core component to any healing journey. This element for any therapy in my perspective is the key to any transformation to occur. The choice to ‘be well’ for example.
Jonathan Goldman (who I trained with) came up with the formula:
Frequency + intention = healing
It means that the intention of the person working with the sound is as important as the frequency which is being projected at a person to create resonant frequency healing.
I resonate with this formula as finding the appropriate sound the person is willing to receive is just as vital as the intention of both parties of the giver and receiver of the sound.
FQ: Is there any touch involved? Why or why not?
YL: In the one to one sessions there can be touch involved but not an essential part of the session. It depends on the persons sensitivity and what their body requires. Touch maybe through the use of tuning forks lightly applied to different parts of the body and on the meridian lines, And some of the lighter sound bowls maybe place on the body e.g stomach
Going back to everything is energy, the vibrations will be working on many levels not only our physical body but also on as what people call the subtle bodies and many people associate with a chakra based energy system. So sound is not just an auditory experience – it is like receiving a massage with sound.
FQ: Can you share some of the reasons your clients come to you for sound therapy?
YL: From pure curiosity to finding ease with physical ailments, clients have varied with their reasons. The most common reason people come for sound therapy is to reduce mental and emotional stress.
I have had one client who is an ex-dairy farmer who did not want to go down the hip-replacement surgery route and wanted to a different approach and heard about sound healing. Through several sound and energy sessions, together we were able to reduce the physical discomfort is body was experiencing, gain better sleep, go for longer walks and he was able to carry out everyday activities with more ease.
The group sound bath is an accessible way for people to ‘try it out’ and that openness is having some profound effects for some people being able to have clearer insight to questions they have about their life. Most common feedback is better quality of sleep and being able to calm the ‘monkey mind’.
I have had one person share with me that they had been experiencing sciatica for a long while and after just one sound bath she was able to get up off the floor and walk to her car with ease. A year later she is still pain free.
Another person experienced intensity in their neck region during the sound bath then a sudden release in tension. They tell me that they had suffered years of neck problems from playing the violin and was able to move her head more freely after the sound bath.
FQ: How do you determine where an energy block may exist in the body?
YL: I always have a dialogue with my clients before the session to see what is going on for them whether that be physical, mentally or emotionally. ‘Your biography becomes your biology’ is a notion that is often referenced in vibrational medicine. Referring to all things we take into our body not only food, but our thoughts, actions and choices.
So the physical symptoms is one way to identify where the ‘blocks’ or ‘holdings’ as I call them, are in the body. Other signposts will be in what the clients share with me in terms of the mental and emotion patterns they are experiencing. It’s a collaborative session, so we work together to achieve a different level of awareness which can assist with shifting the blocks.
The draw with sound therapy is that we don’t necessarily have to talk about every issue and assess and analyse it. The sound vibrations does its thing. Whilst it may be helpful to acknowledge some holdings, not everyone wants to go there and talk about it.
From a more ‘woo’ perspective I am able to intuitively tune into the body and notice which area of the body on or off the body sound is required. It’s like the body is speaking to me and sometimes I sense it in my own body.
FQ: What can a client do to make the most of a sound therapy session?
FQ: How can people practice the benefits of sound therapy on their own in everyday life?
There are many audios people can access that are made for relaxation purposes and there are also some audios that are specially recoded that can entrain brainwaves to different states called binaural beats.
‘Vocal toning’ which is a simple and powerful way to meditate using our voice. It can be done alone or with a group. We all have an inbuilt instrument and it’s FREE! Vocal toning is the creation of extended vocal sounds on a single vowel. No melody, no words, no rhythm, and no harmony - just the sound of the vibrating breath. It is a simple yet powerful technique, accessible to everyone regardless of vocal ability or training.
Just 5 minutes of humming on a regular basis can lower blood pressure and heart rate; reduce levels of stress-related hormones, release endorphins and enhance sleep.
These are just a couple of simple ways to practice sound therapy.
FQ: How do loud noises and sounds that cause discomfort affect our mind and body?
YL: It depends on the state of being of the individual and their allowance or resistance to said sounds. I used to live in London and didn’t notice the diggers/road works affecting me, yet for some this causes some huge distress. My experience may just a short exposure to those noises, but over longer periods of time I may have a different response. I personally don’t like metal on metal sounds, but I know for others this is okay for them.
I think ANY discomfort experienced by an individual will have some affect on us physiologically and psychologically. Exposing ourselves (or our cells) regularly to something one does not like is bound to create stress on our systems. So one can either look to release the resistance to the noise/sound by changing their perspective of it, or change the situation.
‘Acoustic trauma’ as it’s known, is where certain sounds or noises can damage the ears. For example, extremely loud sound strikes such has high powered rifles being fired or repeated and extended exposure to high noise levels such as aircrafts. There are many studies and articles on sonic safety, it has been noted that there has been an increase in auditory damage with the popularity of MP3 players with earbud style headphones.
Going back to vibrations, it seems that we all have a preference of frequency to operate in and anything that is out of that range is going to be uncomfortable because there is some belief we don’t want to be entrained to. There are no right or wrong sounds or frequencies, like tastes in music, we will all have something we prefer to listen to and things we don’t and that may change over time too. So perhaps we can all be more aware of our choices of sound delivery and it’s loudness. The body never lies so go with how your body is feeling. What do we allow ourselves to be entrained to and are we okay with that?
FQ: What's your opinion on the thought that all disease and illness is related to stress?
YL: I would say that a large number of diseases and illnesses is related to stress.
My interest is looking at what’s creating the stress in the first place and in my opinion it is often a conflict in individuals where what they believe is in contrast to how they are actually living their lives. As many say the disease is actually ‘dis-ease’ – where there is a conflict we have with a particular situation we are in but we don’t often have the tools to know what to do about it.
Are our beliefs and values coherent with our actions? How many of us are in harmony with how we actually want to live and be in the world?
My way of working is to invite light into people’s lives so that they can make inspired choices to generate a better way of living. Offering intentional sound as a way to do that makes it more accessible to many.
When we are in harmony with ourselves, we can gravitate to those that we resonate with and create beautiful symphonies together we call our reality. And oh my there are many realities to play in!
Yee Ley is a Sound Healer, Intuitive and Facilitator of Possibilities. Yee Ley provides transformational classes and sessions around the globe and aims to invite light into people's lives so that they make inspired steps to create greater. She also has a range of albums called Sonic Tonics which is available on all major digital platforms #yeeleylau #sonictonics
"How often do we listen, yet not really hear? And is what we hear when we are not actively listening the secret to a deeper knowing and insight?
If I had been told that five fragile, yet exquisite crystal bowls, half a dozen random instruments and one tiny woman with the voice of an angel, would take me on one of the most profound meditative journeys of my life thus far, I would have snorted and made mutterings about hippy-dippy, super-subtle nonsense; my scientific, practical brain just couldn’t imagine running with such esoteric energies.
Enter Yee Ley Lau and her Sound Bath
It was almost instantaneous. My being transported emotionally and physically to an enchanted forest where fears were released and dreams were realised. I floated. I was carried. I dashed playfully. And I lay tranquil and mesmerised as Yee Ley wove her spell of aural harmonies and tones. I felt as though my body and emotions were totally dissolved on a cellular level; I was raw, entranced, inspired and above all, peaceful.
Yee Leys unique ability to connect so authentically to the energies and vulnerabilities of her clients ensures she creates a sacred, safe and vibrant space during her Sound Baths, where each participant feels honoured and held.
I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to release the grasp of their rational, thinking mind and allow themselves to be transformed by the magic carpet ride that is Yee Leys Sound Bath."
Blessings and gratitude
Leisa Harford, New Zealand
It's happened again as if by magic. I'm in the NZ press again with my sound bath work. Thanks to Tickle My Feet Yoga in Whanganui hosting me. What more is possible?
Exert from article:
"On a whim I sign up for a Yin yoga and sound bath workshop. It sounds interesting. And maybe a bit weird.
I'm quite keen to go.
It's the day of the workshop and I'm full of the lurgy. Plus I haven't done any yoga since having surgery a few months ago and I'm not 100 per cent sure how I'll cope with it or just what the sound bath will involve.
My now-lukewarm enthusiasm plummets when I read some online reviews by people who have been to a sound bath session. One describes 10 minutes of it as being akin to an entire evening of a Pantera concert, more distracting than relaxing and when she went home her husband said she smelled like she'd been at a Grateful Dead concert.
I do NOT want to go...."
(Read full article: NZHerald.nz)
Ask a question and see what shows up
I've picked up a few handy tools on my explorations and one creative tool from Access Consciousness is asking a question. Yes - asking a question is actually a tool, and hey look at that - it's free to use!
When you ask a question without coming to the conclusion or have to think of a logical answer, some interesting things can show up. What if you don't have to work it all out. 'Let go of the how, when, what and why' and allow yourself to be the space of curiosity!
ooh what's over there?...
hmmm what else is possible here?...
So what if things can show up can be waaaaaay beyond what your mind can make up and what you expected?
Questions to ask
After I recorded the first 2 Sonic Tonic Albums, I set them a task to 'go look for the people who are looking for you' and also asked 'I wonder who these sonic tonics can contribute to that will create greater for them?'
I pressed the publish button on Sonic Tonics in November 2018 so it could go out to the world. Then off I toddled and went on with other creative projects.
A month later I get a message from the features director of Fashion Quarterly magazine who was looking to do a piece all about the benefits of healing through sound, and could she pick my brains about it and she'll add my website details in there.
that will be no brainer YES!
Did I ask to be published in NZs glossy magazine? nope. So Sonic Tonics is now reaching more people I never thought possible.
How does it get any better than that and what else is possible here?
I wonder what questions you can ask that will create greater for you?
Connect with your inner-peace
There is a 'humungo' (a large) amount of tools out there about relaxation, de-stressing, meditating, energy, breathing, moving, not-moving, protecting, not protecting...it can be quite overwhelming especially if you feel like you are new to all of this 'energy stuff'
So in this blog we come back to our breath; where our life began! (according to some traditions)
'Breathe is the essence of life; it is sacred'
Many spiritual traditions are aware of this, and their action word for breath incorporates this awareness of the life energy in the breath. This energy is called 'prana' in the Hindu traditions, or 'Chi' in Chinese or 'Ki' in Japanese. This energy goes by many different names in the various cultures, countries and paths of consciousness on our planet. Yet it is the same. It is the energy of life - the energy of the breath.
'As you breathe in, your body takes on a charge of this energy. As you hold your breath your body builds this energy charge. As you release your breath, your body releases this charge of energy. This is a simplification of the science of breath, called 'pranayama' in the Hindu tradition. Yet, in its simplicity, there is much truth in the above statements about breath, for when we focus our awareness on the power of breath, we can regulate and change our energetic bodies.' Jonathan Goldman - Chakra Frequencies
Below are several different breathing techniques you can try. Explore which method resonates with you. Perhaps try a technique for a week or so, and a different one another week. It may seem strange that there is such a thing as 'breathing exercises' as breathing is a given. We are all doing it aren't we? Well some athlete's may tell you otherwise as that vital force can change their performance. So what about our everyday life? Can a few breathing techniques change the way we perform in life? It has mine. By becoming more conscious of our in breath and out breath can really tell us how well we are in our inner world. Are we short of breath with fear of fully take life in and allowing it to flow out? Are you waiting with bated breath for something to happen in our lives. Do you breath a sigh of relief when you finally get some time to yourself?
The breath not only brings essential life, but its rhythm is used to calm and focus the mind - watching the in and out flow of the breath is the basis of most traditional forms of meditation. You can transform how you feel simply by changing your breathing pattern.
Technique 1: Observe your breath
- Sitting or lying comfortably, close your eyes
- Just watch/observe your breath for a few moments
- Breathe into the upper part of your chest - notice what you notice
- Breath into the middle of your chest - just notice what you notice
- Breath into your belly - notice what you notice
You may find that the 'belly' breath tends require longer and fuller breaths which means that the diaphragm has become more relaxed. Feel your belly rising and falling with each breath in and out and notice how your senses become calmer and quieter. If it helps, place your hands on your belly and feel the breath that way.
Technique 2: Count In & Out
- Take in breath for 4 seconds (or 8 seconds)
- Pause for 4 seconds (or 8 seconds)
- Take out breath for 4 seconds (or 8 seconds)
- Take in breath 4 seconds
- Pause for 8 seconds
- Take out breath for 4 seconds
Technique 3: Nose & mouth variations (Sufi 5 element breath technique)
Relax, breathing your natural breath. As you do the breath pattern for each element in turn, attune with the cosmic element and experience its qualities within you. Experience the purification of your being on all levels: physical, mental, heart, soul, spirit. 5 breaths for each element, or longer.
Earth: Inhale nose, exhale nose
Qualities: nurturing, solidity.
Water: Inhale nose, exhale mouth
Qualities: fluidity, purifying, giving life.
Fire: Inhale mouth, exhale nose.
Qualities: enthusiasm, transmutation.
Air: Inhale and exhale mouth
Qualities: freedom, releasing from constructs, cosmic identity.
Ether: Very fine breath inhaling and exhaling through the nose
Qualities: ‘emotion of the soul’. Peace. Unity.
Technique 4: Alternate Nostril Breathing
There are variations to this technique so find the one that is suitable for you. This one is my personal favourite. If you start to feel light-headed or spacey at all, then stop the practice and return to it at a later time.
Make yourself comfortable and be in a relaxed seated position.
- Place your right thumb on the right nostril
- Gently breath in for x counts through the left nostril
- Place your ring finger on the left nostril and PAUSE for a moment (both nostrils will be closed)
- Release your right thumb and breath out for x counts through the right nostril
- Gently breath in for x counts through the right nostril
- Place your thumb on the right nostril and PAUSE for a moment (both nostrils will be closed)
- Release your ring finger and breath out for x counts through the the left nostril
This is one round
Repeat to as many rounds as you feel is appropriate e.g. 9 rounds or more or less
X counts is the number you feel is appropriate for you. Some people keep the count of the breath in as the breath out. e.g.
4 counts breath in; 4 counts breath out or
8 counts breath in; 8 counts breath out etc
Some people like to double count of the breath out e.g.
4 counts breath in; 8 counts breath out or
8 counts breath in; 16 counts breath out or
16 counts breath in; 32 counts breath out.