Lily Whitehawk tunes in to the sound of the soul

When you're in need of a reset, sound therapist Lily Whitehawk has a simple suggestion: hum. Within a short time, she says, your mental and physical state can get a boost from simply using your own voice in a soothing way. Photo courtesy of Whitehawk

Black Mountain resident Lily Whitehawk is a sound therapist and co-founder of the HUSO technology, an in-home sound therapy system.

How do you define self-care?

Being able to listen to yourself and being able to honor what you feel and hear and then having the courage to act on that. People are trying to find a way to give ourselves permission to unplug, to take time out, to totally let go of everything and be in the moment.

And how does sound therapy relate to self-care?

In sound therapy, we use sound to elicit a response or a change in someone’s physiology, their mental health or their emotional health. People can use different tools: gongs, singing bowls, tuning forks, percussive instruments such as drums or rattles. I use my voice. These are things that have been used for millennia, as long as there have been humans who have lived in communities. It’s an ancient practice, and it runs through most forms of religion as well.

What’s a simple practice someone could try?

Hum. You can feel that vibration in your body. That’s how cats self-soothe. It’s a natural thing that will relax your body and start to recalibrate your system. You can also create your own chant and your own melody, something that’s short, rhythmic and repeats itself in a loop. When you are stressed or overwhelmed or tired, you can push the pause button and chant for five minutes. It makes you feel so much better. 

How about music?

Ask yourself, “What kind of music allows me to access my emotional body?” Not just what you like on an intellectual level. Because when that emotional response happens in your body, the energy that comes from your heart, the energy field, is much more powerful and larger than the one that comes from your brain. When you are in church and you hear a choir — they could be singing in Latin and you don’t even understand what they’re saying — but your body responds, and tears come to your eyes. There’s this uplifting feeling. When you can access that, it is going to recalibrate you.

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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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