The Healing Sound – Part 1

Jeffrey has a warm and invigorating conversation with Leigh Ann Phillips, singer, songwriter and sound healer from southern Colorado near Crestone. Leigh Ann’s background is in piano and voice, and she is a trained massage therapist and certified Sound Healer who uses her voice and quartz crystal bowls in her bodywork and healing sessions working with individual clients and groups.

Leigh Ann sees music not just as “entertainment”, poetry, or inspiration, but also as a path and tool to greater awareness and self-healing.

Leigh Ann’s sound healing sessions are always recorded for later listening as a personally attuned meditation. The person lies down on the massage table where crystal bowls are placed on their abdomen and back so they can physically feel the vibration as the bowl is played. Leigh Ann has hand-held practitioner bowls that she moves around and over the body, as well as crystal bowls that are alchemically made with gemstones such as emerald, citrine and iron. The bowls “sound” differently based on what is going on with the body, and the pitch of the bowls will change, as well as the overtones as different frequencies overlap with each other. Leigh Ann also plays the piano, harp, mountain dulcimer, chimes, the gamelan (a xylophone-like instrument), tinchas (small Tibetan cymbals), and brass and copper Tibetan bowls in addition to using her voice in 60 to 90 minute sessions.

Leigh Ann feels that body wisdom is much more profound than what we “think”. The body does not know how to lie. If there is an issue that has not been addressed, whether stress or an emotional blockage, the body is the last stop. Sessions are opportunities to allow the mind to step out of the way and change brain states and consciousness and give the person space and time to self-heal and rejuvenate. The sounds of the crystal bowls are etheric, powerful, clear, sometimes dissonant depending on what is going on with the person, but still beautiful and mind-altering. It is an opportunity to go deep within, release, and expand.

Sound healing is a direct path to establishing new neurological networks that create the conditions for increased happiness and health. Because we literally hear with our skin – not just our eardrums – we literally “feel” music, and it can be transformative on many levels.

We tend to perceive what we expect to perceive, but sound helps breaks open our perceptual boxes and allows us to expand our consciousness. If we are open to new experiences and allow ourselves to trust our intuition and not automatically reject paradox, we can experience life with more joy, less stress and more synchronicity.

Culturally, we put such a high esteem on knowledge, yet we have forgotten that “knowledge” comes from ideas, which are birthed from creativity, which sprouts from the imagination. Einstein was quoted as saying that imagination is more important than knowledge. I think he was spot on, and sound can help open the pathways of the mind to enhance imagination.

One of the most powerful tools of healing and transformation is the human voice. It is the only sound instrument we have access to that resonates from the inside out. Now take all the research that is showing what is truly possible, that our bodies operate on both a mechanical and quantum level, and allow yourself to imagine what is possible.

In the recording world, Leigh Ann broke out with the release of her 2004 debut CD, Just Over Those Mountains. The title track which we will play at the end of this podcast won the Silverton Jubilee Songwriting Competition that year as well as a songwriting award in England. Her compositions are a dynamic blend of piano-based thought-provoking pop, folk, and “orchestral Americana” flavored with a bit of jazz. Expanding her musical palette even further, in 2007 she released Journey Into the Mind, a beautiful guided meditation CD featuring piano, vocal toning, and the hypnotic sound of the crystal bowls.

Leigh Ann’s lyrics are often inspired by the dramatic surroundings of her home in the foothills of the spectacular Sangre de Cristo range. The rural beauty and vast expanse of the San Luis Valley at her doorstep provides a buffer from the frantic media clutter of modern-day life. When not working at home in this secluded retreat, Leigh Ann speaks and performs often throughout southern Colorado, northern New Mexico, and elsewhere .

From my experience sound is one of the cardinal aspects of how the voice of the divine expresses itself through and in the created universe. The crystal bowls are a truly remarkable way to feel and hear this sound as it passes through your physical body. I think you will find what Leigh Ann has to say most remarkable, and her lovely music will touch your heart.

The Omni Art Salon theme music, When Angels Smile, is provided courtesy of Back To Earth

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