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Six Healing Sounds: Recognizing Emotions in the Body

05 Aug Posted by in Podcast, Qigong, Taoist | 1 comment
Six Healing Sounds: Recognizing Emotions in the Body

For many in the West, emotions are experienced namely as a mental phenomenon without a connection to the body. The ancient exercise of the Six Healing Sounds works through the use of sounds which resonate with the different organs. It is a gateway for reconnecting with the bodily component of emotions.

© Juan Li

The best known use of sound in Taoist practice appears to be the Six Healing Sounds, also known as the Six-Syllable Secret or the Six Basic Soundless Sounds for Health. The practice has attributed both to a six-century Buddhist hermit or a fifth century famous physician, Tao Hung-jing, via a description of the system in his writings .

One should take air in through the nose and let it out slowly through the mouth. There is one way of drawing breath in and six ways of expelling breath out. The six ways of expelling breath are represented by the syllables.

The benefits described are thus more physical than spiritual per se, but to the extent that the Taoist tradition values balance and physical health, they could perhaps be considered a foundational practice for Taoist students. In addition to the benefits listed previously, each sound is associated with an organ (sometimes more than one) and with a phase from the Five Phases system of Chinese metaphysics. Ni Hua-Ching states: “Each of the six vibrations has a psychic influence on its corresponding organ sphere which prompts the expulsion of impurities from the sphere and its manifestations, and the gathering of fresh energy into each system.”

The therapeutic effects of the Healing Sounds
• Harmonize the organs
• Open the throat and increase oxygen into the blood stream
• Increase Qi flows

Sound and healing from the beginning of time, all animals have the use of sound to express, communicate and to defend themselves. In time of stress and sickness, we often emit different spontaneous sound that helps to heal and soothe us. The crying sound of sadness, the laughter of joy, the moaning of sickness, the cooing to baby. The therapeutic effect of those primordial sounds become buried with the excessive use of sound as speech and singing. People has forgotten how to use the primal healing sounds to heal themselves and others with the exception of few remaining aboriginal tribal shaman in the Amazon who still chant their healing songs, and blowing away sickness.

Parallel to the development of the mantra, the Taoist healing dated from 200 B.C. expands into the therapeutic and physical effects of the sounds on the organs. The 6 Healing sounds corresponds to the organs:

1. Sss to the Lungs (like the hissing of a snake)

2. Choo to the Kidney

3. Ssh to Liver (like telling someone to be quiet)

4. Ha to Heart

5. Ho to the Spleen

6. Hee to the Triple Burner (synergy of the organs)

The bases of the curative effect of the healing sounds are in its three major functions

▪ By using the throat and the esophagus, the Taoist releases excessive heat from the organs.
▪ By the shaping of the mouth and tongue, the resonance of the sounds stimulates the internal movement of the organs.
▪ By coordination of physical movement with the sounds, the Healing Sounds enable one to regain one’s natural freedom in breathing.

Releasing excessive heat cools the organs, while the vibrations of the sounds stimulate their functions. Regaining the spontaneous free breath release us from the conditional restricted habit of breathing, therefore, this allows us to increase the oxygen in our blood.

The Chinese system of organs are more than just the physical organs. For example, the heart is no mere pump but the seat of the consciousness. The organ, heart, has a more general function of the nervous system. While the Spleen not only responsible for the digestive system but also control and effect the overall muscular system of the body.

The 6 Healing Sounds serves as the triggering point for twigging the organs into balance and indirectly deal with the other body systems.

Additional Resources:
• Download The 6 Healing Sounds practice document
• Illustrations of the positive and negative emotions – organ relationships from Healing Tao Workshop