Self Care ….try a Gong Bath

Posted by Rosie Plunkett – Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Martyn Cawthorne – Gong Spa

I’m a gong practitioner, and as such I provide a variety of forms of sound bath for those who are interested in the sounds, the vibrations, and the effects on our well-being of these fantastic instruments.

I’ve been a musician and a meditator for 25 years or so, and a teacher for almost 10 years.  My passions for sound, silence and sharing all blend into one when playing gongs for people and I’m overjoyed to share the world of the gongs with everyone who comes to any of my sessions ☺

A little about gongs and their effects

Gongs and other instruments are well recognized these days for their ability to affect us on a variety of levels, frequently in a way that is beneficial for our health.  We all know the power of music to affect our emotions, which in itself can be a joyous experience or cathartic release.  Alongside this, the vibrations of sound can have a profound effect on our bodies and our minds.

We are made mostly of water, which makes our bodies the perfect chambers for the vibration of the gongs.  The vibrations are not only heard in the ears but by the whole body, by the skin, by the heart, by every last cell.  Our organs resonate with the sounds and vibrations, meaning that they vibrate in sympathy with the gongs, and not only that….. our bodies can actually choose (by the process of entrainment) which vibrations to resonate with.

This means that, in the presence of a gong such as my Paiste 38” Syphonic gong (which is not tuned to any particular note and is thus able to easily generate hundreds of different notes through the building up of harmonics atop one another), the body can choose to resonate with all sorts of vibrational frequencies, simultaneously massaging each organ at its optimum frequency for health.

In the meantime, the gongs are also working on our brainwaves.   They have the effect of taking us from beta brainwaves (normal thinking mind), through alpha, theta and potentially to delta waves (taking us through conditions akin to day-dreaming, meditation and deep sleep).  As such we are opened to our deeper selves with our intuitive channels open.  Here we can find personal insight, perspective, inner silence and pure consciousness.

As if all of this weren’t enough, the stunningly beautiful and mysterious sounds of the gongs seem to be a call to the here and now, transporting us from the world of the mind (past, future, memory, projection) into the only space in which awareness can exist… the present moment.  It is here and only here that we can know the truth of our own selves, from moment to moment, in keeping with the ever-changing universe.

What I do with my gongs

I play gongs for people in the following contexts:

  • Group gong baths all around Greater Manchester and Cheshire
  • Group gong baths on the festival circuit
  • One to one gong baths from my gong room at home in Chorlton, South Manchester.
  • Gong baths for yoga groups
  • Gong yoga (I play alongside a yoga teacher as they go through postures and breathing)
  • Gong meditation groups entitled “Breathing, Striking, Being” gong meditation groups, from my gong room at home.
  • Gongs for school children (they love the sounds and enjoy dancing to them before laying down and experiencing them with their eyes closed)
  • I make recordings of gongs and put them on CDs for yoga teachers, massage therapists, or for meditation at home or to help with creative processes, relaxation and sleep
  • I’m also available for work in health centres, hospices, therapy centres and retreats
  • I run courses for those who wish to learn how to play gongs.

 

My Gong Spa website, www.gongspa.co.uk, is growing all the time as I find some new way of bringing the gongs to people, and I’m always open to suggestions ☺

 

My website for gong-related courses, workshops and retreats can be found here www.northernschoolofsoundsmiths.co.uk

What’s coming up next?

I’m looking forward to playing the gongs this Summer at Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival in Scotland, and also at All Roots Yoga and Yoga Connects.

In the shorter term I have lots of regular dates for group gong baths…. You can always find an updated list at www.gongspa.co.uk, but here’s how April 2016 looks for me at the moment:

  • 7th April (Thursday) 7-8pm, The Yard Studio, Alderley Edge, £12, see map
  • 8th April (Friday) 7:30-8:30, Hale Yoga, Hale £12, see map
  • 10th April (Sunday) 7-8pm, One Yoga Studios, Chorlton, £7, see map
  • 11th April (Monday) 1:30-2:30, iYoga, Heaton Mersey, £9, see map
  • 14th April (Thursday) 7-8pm, The Yard Studio, Alderley Edge, £12, see map
  • 19th April (Tues) 1:30-2:30, St. Werburgh’s Church Hall, Chorlton, £9, see map
  • 21st April (Thursday) 7-8pm, The Yard Studio, Alderley Edge, £12, see map
  • 24th April (Sunday) 3-4pm, iYoga, Heaton Mersey, £9, see map
  • 26th April (Tuesday), 12-1, Hale Yoga, Hale, £12, see map
  • 28th April (Thursday) 7-8pm, The Yard Studio, Alderley Edge, £12, see map

Every Wednesday and Friday morning from 10:30-12:00 “Breathing, Striking Being” group meditation classes.  After a cup of green tea and a chat about meditation, each member of the group (up to 5) sit before a gong of their choice and (after receiving a little instruction), strike the gong with a mallet in a rhythmic pattern to fit in with their breathing.  With each new reverberation sounding out the room, the meditators find more and more depth to their capacity for self-awareness in the present moment.  We finish with another green tea and a little time for sharing.

My Gong Recordings

My gong CDs have been vey well received and I’m really excited to have just released my second CD, entitled ‘Edge’ (so called because it was recorded deep in the mines at Alderley Edge!).  As you listen to the gongs speak and sing you can almost hear the magic of the locality, the high energies buzzing, the mysterious spirits calling from the depths, the ancient minerals singing along with instruments made in part from their very own composition…..

Worlds are created every time a gong is played… worlds around us and worlds within us.  Every time we listen to the gongs our experience will be new, so we do our best to listen deeply, with full awareness, and this is how the CDs should be listened to.  If you’re really listening closely you may even notice tiny drops of water falling from the rocks to the floor in the quieter moments on the Edge EP!

By contrast, the first album, ‘Experiences’ was recorded in a studio and every care was taken to create a perfectly silent environment such that the tones of the gongs could be enjoyed to their fullest by the listener (I would strongly recommend using good quality headphones when meditating with the CD in order to enjoy the depths of the gongs to their fullest).

If you’re interested in my CDs, making a booking for a one to one or group gong spa, recording me for a film sound track or any other creative idea you might have, please feel free to contact me on 07850 955810 or supergongspa@gmail.com.

Thanks very much.

Martyn ☺

Comment:

I meet Martyn to enjoy a Gong Bath either once or twice a week and feel wonderful. It is so relaxing, I can feel the stress of the day leaving me and the effects consciously last a few days, however I do know the benefits have a longer time frame for my whole system….plus I always get an extra good night’s sleep. RP


Comments are closed.