Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Singing Praises of Singing Bowls

I've held a secret for nearly two years.  The main reason for the secrecy is that it is so amazing—and weird—I thought my credibility would suffer if I spoke of it.  But reputation aside, I think this information could possibly help somebody who is suffering.  

Although I love living in Vienna I've had a problem with recurring, intense headaches.  Before moving here I had about one headache per year; after moving here it was one about every two or three weeks and they were excruciating.  I thought it was from not drinking enough water or drinking too much water or eating Chinese food that may contain MSG or sleeping too long or not long enough or the short days in winter or the long days in summer.  Then I learned that Vienna is somewhat known for headaches, possibly due to its location in a geographical basin and the barometric pressure here.  I still don't know the cause of the headaches but I was taking more pain relievers in a month than I previously took in a year and was beginning to have concerns about the consequences of taking so many pills.

Markets are held every Easter and Christmas throughout Vienna but there's a hut at Am Hof in which the owner, Rashid, displays and sells all kinds of lovely Asian items.  I started talking with Rashid, who demonstrated his singing bowls—hand-pounded metal bowls that produce wonderful, harmonious tones when struck.  He mentioned that they were being used in Europe for therapeutic practices and were useful in strengthening fingernails, reducing joint pain and in the treatment of headaches.  Headaches?  Did you say headaches? OK!  SOLD!  That was the magic word.  Still, I was skeptical that it would really work but desperate enough to try almost anything.  At worst, I'd be the owner of an unusual bowl that made nice sounds.

He explained that to use it you remove your rings, place the bowl on the palm of your hand, strike the side with a felt mallet and slowly move the bowl in the air around the headache.   He said there could be relief within 15 minutes.  For me, it works much faster than that—perhaps three minutes, maximum.  A friend say she finds the pain leaving immediately.  Weird, huh?  Amazing—yes!  Placebo effect?  Possibly, but who cares?  Thank you, Rashid for making my life better by introducing me to the possibilities of singing bowls!  If you are in Vienna and interested in a demonstration of his beautiful singing bowls, talk to Rashid at the Asiatische Kunst hut at the Am Hof Christmas Market or Easter Market.


  1. Martha, that is excellent news that you have found something to deal with headaches. I've known about the singing bowls for years, but didn't know about their powers. The Unitarian Universalist Church in San Antonio uses a singing bowl to call the congregation to attention. It is a beautiful sound.

  2. It sort of makes you wonder, doesn't it, why it works and what else it might have an effect on....