Dr Feelgood: Can singing save your soul?
Sunday 28 September 2008
Under the microscope: Vocal-therapy chanting workshops (Private £150/hr, group £15/hr)
In theory: Chanting and mantra repetition is a millennia-old form of meditation first practised by sages to gain higher levels of consciousness, using combinations of sounds derived from the Sanskrit alphabet. The resulting mantras vibrate nerve centres in the body, supposedly effecting positive physical or mental changes. Nikki Slade (www.freetheinnervoice.com) runs non-religious voice-work classes for groups from bankers to addicts at The Priory, and says it helps people transcend limiting beliefs that prevent free self-expression.
In practice: Nikki asked Dr Feelgood to identify a personal goal to bear in mind during the session. We began with simple sounds, which she would sing for me to repeat, and then moved on to some simple Sanskrit mantras. Dr F then had to do a bit of "freestyle", which was probably the most intimidating part of the process.
Observations: Dr F has a low threshold for embarrassment, so this was a big test. Yes, it was cringey at first, but Nikki is adept at making the most uptight souls relax and it soon became overwhelmingly enjoyable. The call-and-response chanting structure provides a focus that enables you to relax without thinking about it.
Analysis: This was previously Dr F's idea of hell, so managing to let go of any inhibitions is empowering in itself. I left feeling calm and ridiculously positive, vowing to do more, although thus far this has been limited to singing its praises to anyone I meet. Have I found my inner voice? To feel a real benefit, this is something you need to incorporate into your life, but it's a brilliant shake-up for anyone who needs to let go a little.
Prescription: It's easy to dismiss alternative therapies as frivolous new-age nonsense, but using your voice is a basic human pleasure. Try a group session – cheaper and a chance to enjoy the impressive collective sound.
Further experiments : Try it at home with Nikki's CDs (£12, from the website).
Life & Style blogs
Office plants computer chips under workers’ skin instead of ID cards
Snapchat removed the Best Friends list feature and 'stalkers' are upset
Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Eight-year-old girl Camilla Lisant suggests possible cancer treatment to her scientist father over the dinner table
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...