Ooltewah resident Mario Aranda, who owns Spiral Garden Wellness Center along with his wife, Judy, led people on a path to healing through sound with a group sound journey/healing session at the center Saturday, Feb. 2. The session was held from 1-3 p.m., and transported participants from the worries and stressors of daily life to enjoying the present with the use of Tibetan bowls, gongs, drums and more, said Mario.
For each session, he selects a theme, such as the Amazon rainforest, and then walks participants through a journey using sounds and rhythms similar to those one would hear in that environment throughout the day, from morning to night. He said he encourages everyone to participate, giving each person a part and letting them experience how the sound grows as everyone's part contributes to the whole.
The act of focusing on the sounds puts people in the present moment, Mario said, as to the benefits people see from participating in a sound journey. Certain vibrations, such as those created by a planetary sun gong — an ancient instrument which is tuned to represent the cycle of the sun — actually affect the body on a cellular level, said Judy. The same can be said of the sounds produced by Tibetan bowls, which create different pitches that people can feel in various parts of their bodies, she added.
Similar to acupuncture, Mario said sound journeys can also be effective in clearing the chakras, or centers of energy in the body that can become blocked. People often report feeling very relaxed following a sound journey, even after participating for a very short period time, he said. Uplifted, connected, happy and joyous are other words Judy said she's heard people describe the way a sound journey makes them feel.
"You lose yourself in the rhythm and find another part of you," said Mario.
He also offers individual sound healing sessions at Spiral Garden, and leads group sound journeys at other area holistic heath-related businesses such as Root Centre for Optimal Living in Ooltewah and The Laughing Buddah in Hixson.
In addition to sound healing, Spiral Garden hosts other classes on topics related to holistic health, such as feng shui, essential oils, kombucha and reiki. Every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m., Judy offers free community sessions of reiki, a hands-on, Japanese technique in which the practitioner transfers energy to the patient through touch to help promote healing.
"We try to include everything on a holistic level," said Judy, a physical therapist of 39 years who operates her other business, Foundation Physical Therapy, out of the same space. "Our mission is to bring people together and make sure everyone feels loved."
Foundation Physical Therapy also employs an occupational therapist, and massage therapist Eva Gordon operates Life Balance Massage out of the same space, located at 5604 Old Hunter Road in Ooltewah.
The cost for the sound journey is $10. For more information, call 978-335-4331 or visit spiralgardenwellnesscenter.com. To find out about upcoming classes and events, connect with the center's Facebook page.
Email Emily Crisman at firstname.lastname@example.org.