There are a number of different “sciences” behind mantric chanting. Some of these are the “hard” science—physics, psycho-acoustics, etc. Some of these are spiritual sciences such as the different yogic practices that work with sound. I write about many of them in Healing Sounds.
On one level, one can see that mantric chanting, as observed years ago by Dr. Herbert Benson, helps induce the “relaxation” response, causing reduction of heart beat, brain waves and respiration. On another level, as Dr. David Shananoff-Khalsa believes, mantric recitation enables the tongue to stimulate the acupuncture meridians inside the mouth (particularly on the roof), thus enhancing help. Dr. Ranjie Singe found that the chanting of specific mantras caused the release of the hormone melatonin and is investigating the importance of this in the healing process. He has found that there are many benefits including shrinkage of tumors and enhanced sleep because of this. He writes about this in his book Powerful Self Healing Techniques.
It’s also been found that self created sounds such as chanting will cause the left and right hemispheres of the brain to synchronize. Such chanting will also help oxygenate the brain, reduce our heart rate, blood pressure and assist in creating calm brainwave activity. In addition, listening to certain chants has great beneficial effects.
Dr. Alfred Tomatis has utilized the sounds of Gregorian Monks to stimulate the ears, brain and nervous systems of clients. His work is very important with regard to the scientific and medical uses of sound and chant. He found that certain sounds that are particularly high in vocal harmonics will stimulate and charge the cortex of the brain and the nervous system. Some years ago, there was a very popular recording of Gregorian chanting that occurred just when this research was being made public. I know that many other types of chanting from different traditions have very similar effects. These are just a few of the hard physical phenomenon of mantric chanting that have been observed. There certainly are others, as well.
Some believe that the recitation of sacred mantras actually causes the physical and etheric bodies to change their vibrational frequency level-becoming more attuned if you like, with divine energy. Thus, when one chants a mantra for an extended period of time, to invoke, for example some deity, the higher energies of that deity will encode itself upon the chanter. This is one purpose for much mantric chanting—to become one and unite with the energy of the deity that one is chanting for. If the person has some sickness or imbalance, this imbalance can frequently be released by having the energy of the deity encode itself upon the person. This actually comes from the concept of vibrational (as opposed to allopathic) medicine, which is the basis of many healing modality, including homeopathy and acupuncture—that all the universe including our bodies, is simply made of vibration—a concept, incidentally, that the new Superstring theory of physics supports. Everything is in a state of vibration and when we are in a natural, resonant vibration, we are in a state of health. But if some part of the body begins to vibrate at a counter frequency, the energy becomes stuck and disease sets in. Therefore, by mantric chanting, one can cause stuck energy to become released, and we can return to our natural state of resonance, effecting a cure.
I have, incidentally, observed this phenomenon many times during workshops. We will be reciting a mantra to invoke a specific entity—perhaps Tara, Tibetan Goddess of Compassion for example, in order to better embody the energy of compassion. However, during and after the process, I’ve seen people with chronic health problems emerge from the chanting quite healthy. It’s amazing.
There are of course, actual healing mantras as well as specific mantras to balance and align the chakras. The Bija Mantras are an example of this. We work with these in workshop and healings will also occur due to the balancing and alignment of the chakras. Chakras are the energetic wheels of light that transduce subtle energy into the body. They come from the Hindu tradition, but as my book Healing Sounds notes, they are found in almost all of the esoteric traditions on the planet. Psychic and mystics from all different spiritual paths can sense—see, feel or hear these energy centers. We may not yet have scientific equipment that can adequately detect the chakras, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. And incidentally, the equipment to measure chakras is actually being perfected, so it is just a matter of time before the scientific and medical communities will acknowledge the chakras, as they are beginning to acknowledge acupuncture meridians.
There are 7 main chakras. For over 20 years, I have studied the use of sound to effect the chakras. It’s quite powerful—mantras are particularly effective at creating this of the chakras. Thus, one can use Bija mantric chanting as a preventative tool, or to help assist an imbalance.
(courtesy of http://www.shiftyourlife.com)