Sound Bath Sessions Interview: Edmund Chan

I interview all the sound bath practitioners that I feature so listeners can deeper connect and get to know more about their practice and their approach to sound baths.

This interview is with Edmund Chan (@ajnayogam) who gives group and personal sound baths in Hong Kong. He is interested in the use of bowls to heal mental and physical problems.

Sound Bath Sessions (SBS): How long have you been practicing sound baths?

Edmund Chan (EC): Around 2 years.

SBS: Why did you start getting to sound baths? What made you want to become a sound bath practitioner?

EC: I started to attend some sound bath healing classes a few years ago. I got my first singing bowl around 5 years ago. During the pandemic period everyone was just staying home and I just wanted to find some thing to focus on and become a professional.

SBS: Do you do this full-time or part-time?

EC: Part-time because I have another job.

SBS: What instruments do you use?

EC: I use metal bowls. Sometimes I will use crystal bowls. I also use the gong.

SBS: You have many metal bowls. Why do you have so many metal bowls?

EC: Every bowl will have a different sound or different music tones because of their size or their thickness. I use so many bowls to be more fruitful during the sound bath.

SBS: Do the different notes mean anything?

EC: For the sound healing theory, we are focusing to heal our 7 chakras in our body which are matched to the notes of the bowls: A, B, C, D, E, F, G. These metal bowls will focus on the different chakras on our body. If you have all the music notes during your sound bath you can heal all the chakras in your body.

SBS: Where did you learn how to play the signing bowls?

EC: I learned it in a sound healing studio in HK. My teacher followed a teacher in Germany that is well-known Hans de Back.

SBS: So your teacher was student of Hans?

EC: Yes.

SBS: What would you say the most important lesson you learned from your teacher was?

EC: I think the most important part was how to apply the bowl on the body to heal different diseases. Like mental diseases or physical disease.

SBS: You do those kinds of sessions as well?

EC: Yes. One-on-one sessions.

SBS: When you have a sound bath session with several people, how do you conduct it? Do you ask them what they like?

EC: Because different people have different needs, so it depends on the bowls. Some people need specific music tone more. So I will strike it more. Generally a singing bowl can vibrate 30 seconds. If you feel the vibration disappear quicky, it means that the person needs that note more because their body has absorbed that tone and needs more of it.

SBS: So, you have heard this happen?

EC: It’s not easy to feel it in a group session. It is better doing a one-on-one or one-on-two sessions.

SBS: Is there a certain technique? How do you know what the next note is?

EC: It is quite random. I just play what I want. Let’s say I have some combination of the bowls that when they mix together I find that it can generate a healing tone/ rhythm so I play that combination. You remember that large bowl? It can last longer, and the sound is low frequency and lasting right? So, I will usually use the big bowl as a background sound and play with a high-pitched bowl. When they mix, then the healing will happen.

SBS: So you play what you feel that combination is special to you?

EC: Yes. If I feel comfortable then my students will also feel comfortable.

SBS: Do you use the healing bowls on yourself? For example, when you feel that something is not aligned.

EC: Yes. Sometimes at home I always use singing bowls to tune my chakras.

SBS: How often do you use it?

EC: Maybe once per week. But I always play the gong at home. Because the gong can maximize my magnetic field. Or clean my magnetic field. So, I always play gong and once a week I will use the singing bowl to tune myself.

SBS: How long do you usually do it for?

EC: 30 minutes.

SBS: What do you like about singing bowls? What makes you do it?

EC: Because it helps my students. Last night I had a sound therapy session. Some students have some physical pain on their foot or their back, or headache, or even mental issues because they are depressed due to losing their pet recently. They tell me that the session really helped to release the pain inside their body or the back. The vibrations passed through their body, and they felt a bit relaxed on that part of muscle. One student lost her pet and she had been feeling depressed lately. After the sound therapy session, she felt more relaxed and less depressed. It helped to decrease the bad feelings she had.

SBS: Do you go to other sound bath sessions?

EC: Yes. Sometimes I will go back to visit my teacher and join her sound bath.

SBS: What is your teacher’s name?

EC: Betty Lau.

SBS: Do you have any advice for people looking for their first sound bath session?

EC: It is very easy to find sound therapy on YouTube channels. But to feel the vibrations generated by the metal bowl is totally different when compared to just listening to the sounds on YouTube.

SBS: Let’s say I don’t know anything about sound bath and want to try it. You find that there are so many kinds of sound baths: gong, metal bowl, crystal bowl? What’s the difference? When would I go to gong, metal, or crystal sound baths?

EC: Crystal bowls mostly focuses on mental relaxation. Metal bowls can help for mental and physical relaxation because of the vibrations it generates. The vibrations are stronger than the crystal bowls. Crystal bowls’ tones are more high-pitched and connect better with your mental mindset.

SBS: What about gongs?

EC: The gong is a powerful tool for the body. For our 3 Nadis in our body. Inside our body we have 3 Nadis and 7 chakras. If this system is running well and in good shape, you will be healthy or wealthy. It aligns with your fate. Metal bowls are mainly focused towards the 7 chakras and gong is for the 3 Nadis. Gongs generate a strong vibration. If you feel good with the vibrations generated by metal bowls, then you can try the gong.

SBS: So gongs are for beginners?

EC: I think metal bowls for beginners is better.

SBS: What do you think of Sound Bath Sessions project?

EC: I think it is quite meaningful because you record the sound healing sessions for the HK healing industry. I think it is quite meaningful for people who don’t know much about these sessions.

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This interview was edited for length and clarity.