Cyril, made his debut on Riviera FM today here he is with Sallys Gong

Gonging It! - HOLISTIC FIBRO FIGHTER blog by Jane Taylor

About four years ago, having been given my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, I spotted a Gong meditation advertised locally, not knowing what to expect, I went along, it was the most amazing experience ever. Afterwards I felt transformed, alive and knew I wanted more.

Some months went by and I found an advert for a Gong bath, I just knew I had to go. I was still having extreme pain in all my joints, I had received acupuncture that had assisted in the mobility coming back into my hands. I just wanted to be able to walk again, taking a cocktail of drugs to take the edge off the pain, but it was the deep, aching pain in my knees, hips, ankles and feet the really bothered me. More than anything I wanted my life back.

I went to Lupton House near Brixham feeling slightly apprehensive, there I met this amazing lady called Sally. She is a Sound Therapist and was going to play singing bowls, other instruments and the most amazing gongs. I lay down on the floor with my cushion to rest my head and a blanket to keep me warm. The only way I can describe what happens during a gong bath, is to say you need to experience it……….. Afterwards I hardly had any pain, I was able to walk. 

A couple of times a year Sally organises an all-night gong bath, where you bed down for the night and the gongs play continually, it is a wonderful experience and I feel so alive in the morning, every cell in my body feels massaged and regenerated.

Over the years Sally has acquired new gongs and each one produces an incredibly rare and almost etheric, out of space sound, my brain is unable to make sense, as no tune is played and my body can relax, letting it go into a very restful phase, often a deep sleep.  

No, you do not take all your clothes off for this kind of bath, you snuggle up fully dressed in your nest of blankets, pillows, foam mattress or whatever makes you feel comfortable. You don’t have to lie on the floor, you can sit in a chair, and you could stand up and walk around if you really wanted to; though I have not seen anyone do this yet. When I tell people I am having a Gong bath, they reply, ‘Oh yes’ and then a say ‘A what?’ You need to give it a go, feel it for yourself.

I find a Gong Bath to be a very effective form of pain relief. The great thing is, it takes no effort at all to receive this holistic treatment, and you just let the sound waves wash over you. I try to have one at least once a month as part of my Fibromyalgia pain management programme. Thanks to Sally and the Gongs; I have got my life back.

Sally, Jane and Virginia enjoying the radio show


Riviera FM radio show - Thursday May 11th 2017 with Amy Ek Mau

Reset your mind, body and soul - HOLISTIC FIBRO FIGHTER blog by Jane Taylor

Wouldn’t it be good if we could press the reset button and our body went back to factory mode setting; well only if you were manufactured with the perfect body to start with. Now that is wishful thinking!
I am thinking of more a life, before chronic pain took hold. I started the reset process in my body this month with a Gong Bath, it was amazing, I fell asleep, when I woke up I was startled at how bright it was, despite the cloudy day. This can sometimes happen after a therapy, you suddenly become aware of nature and things seem so much more emphasised, larger, louder, clearer, softer…… it was like I had gone into default mode, experiencing a rebirth moment. It has been a while since I had a full dedicated gong bath that was not on a retreat or at a festival. My body went yes, this is OK, I remember this, wow, sleep, rest………RESET!

I decided this month to experience a totally new type of sound therapy to me. It is using the very old and ancient sound of the Tibetan bowls, where the bowls are played and placed on and around the body.
I am always up for trialling any type of holistic treatment that may assist in the management of my pain caused by fibromyalgia, I decided not to have any other therapies whilst I gave the bowls ago, so that I could really judge the impact of them on my body.

My first session was interesting, having previously experienced the crystal bowls I was not sure what to expect for this treatment. I was made to feel comfortable on the therapy bed, then gently held by my ankles which were pulled to open my chakras, (please just stay with this, if it all sounds a bit weird). I then had my chakras dowsed to see which were unbalanced and to determine which bowls would be used.
I then turned over onto my stomach with my head up near most of the bowls positioned on the floor. Bowls were gently placed along my spine and each encouraged to sing. I must be honest at this point; to begin with I did not enjoy it. It made me feel sick. Then gently the bowls were moved up and down my body. When a bowl was removed to be replaced by another one, I could feel my body tensing and I was in half a mind to ask her to stop. As with most therapies I have discovered that you need to give it a go and sometimes more than once; as it is the bodies way of adjusting to a new stimulus, or as I like to think pressing the factory reset button.

When I turned over to lay on my back and have the bowls placed on my front I felt this fear of dread and sick to my very core, not what I was expecting from a relaxing Tibetan bowl therapy session!
However, I continued to persevere with the treatment. At the end as with most sound therapy there is a small amount of silence allowing the body to integrate and the body’s cells to absorb what has happened. It was then suggested that I would need a further two sessions to really feel if there was a benefit.

Following the first session, over the next few days I did feel less pain and tension in my hips, knees and ankles. I then became quite unwell I think possibly a virus, which knocked me sideways, I found that I was unable to do much over the weekend with little energy, a nasty cough, sore throat and a nose that would not stop running. I almost cancelled my appointment for the 2nd treatment, but I woke up feeling better. I was uncertain if the treatment had caused this or if I had picked up a virus, I will never know.

Having the second Tibetan bowl treatment could not have been so different from the first, although the session was structured the same. My body seemed to be more accepting of the sound vibration and when the bowls were being moved on my back It felt comforting and cocoon like, I could feel the very bronchioles deep within my lungs being massaged. Now that is a bit weird! The whole time the bowls were being played I did not cough once, my nose did not run, I was left feeling more energised. I was told that having dowsed my chakras, they indicated that my immune system was compromised.

My third session again was very different, my body was accepting of the treatment and no feelings of dread or sickness. Only two bowls were used on me this time and one was so deep and reverberating I had a feeling that it was ‘searching for my soul’, there was a concentration on my hips, knees and ankles and each time a joint was reached, the bowl was gently chimed. The vibrational feeling went right into the centre of each one, so very powerful. During the silence at the end I had a sensation of going back very quickly through a star-studded black void and then just as quickly shooting forward into a bright sparkling light as if going through granite, I then felt grounded. It was like past, present and future rolled into one; my mind, body and soul reset; very surreal.

After the session had ended I asked about the big deep sounding bowl, that seemed to be searching for my soul, it was explained that it was the largest bowl and usually is not moved around the body as the magnetic handle placed within it, will not normally hold. It decided to hold for me, maybe what my body needed.

How am I feeling now? Different, I can’t quite explain what has happened; it is as though something has shifted deep in my core, my soul feels lighter, balanced, grounded at one with by body. I have not noticed any pain. If that’s what happens after three session I daren’t even begin to imagine if I continue to have more. Sound therapy for me is an incredibly important part of my pain management plan, giving me the opportunity to press the reset button…….