Some amazing things happened to me in Goa. It’s where I met the wonderful healing masseuse Judit, subject of my first ‘Interview with a Healer’ blog post; it’s where I really discovered my passion for yoga while on the Chaya retreat this January; it’s where I began my own healing journey after a period of personal challenge; and moreover, it’s where I decided to make a big step-change in my life…hence why I’m writing this while sitting on a beach in Thailand (sorry!)…
In Goa just a week or so this time around, the experiences I had and people I met will stay in my memory forever. In fact, I hope they stay in touch too, so we meet again! One such person is Mathias Palmsteiner, who I was introduced to by Judit (I had the pleasure of hanging out with her while I was in Goa, as well as experiencing another of her amazing massages). Knowing my interest in exploring different healing therapies while on my trip, Judit told me about Mathias and his healing sound board, and I was very intrigued. I’m open to pretty much any method of healing, as long as it comes with a reputable recommendation. And one which only requires lying down and closing my eyes was even more appealing, especially as I was recovering at the time from quite a serious bout of dehydration, not helped by my quite enthusiastically participating in the Goan nightlife scene (not for the faint-hearted).
I didn’t know much about sound healing or the ‘Soma-board’ when I first met Mathias – the introduction made at an outdoor pizza joint in Ashvem one evening with Judit. Still recovering from my dehydration episode, I confess I wasn’t on top form, so when Mathias started passionately extolling the benefits of sound therapy, talking about healing frequencies, the body’s electromagnetic field, reaching an Astral state of relaxation…etc…although I grasped the concepts, I was a little away with the fairies. That could also have had something to do with the fact, however, that the minute he arrived he placed his Soma-board behind my back, and as I struggled to take in what he was saying and engage in what was a very interesting conversation, its powers were evidently already at work on my exhausted body.
It was the following day, therefore, that I was to experience the Soma-Board’s effects in full, when Mathias invited me to try the board for real at his house in Goa. I will do my best in what follows to describe the experience, but I do fear that words won’t do it justice. To sum it up… just, wow! How a small, simple piece of carved wood with a speaker attached to it, can evoke such a powerful state of what I can only describe as pure bliss, is truly amazing. I want – no, I need – one of these things in my life!
To put it very simply, what the Soma-Board does is put your body into a state of deep relaxation, which in turn allows the body to perform its own healing. This kind of deep relaxation state is similar to what is achieved through Yoga Nidra or meditation (lucid dreaming), through which many describe experiencing an astral journey or ‘out-of-body’ experience. While meditation usually takes years (or at least months) of practice in order to achieve such a state (and for many it may never be realised), the Soma-Board works directly on the central nervous system, allowing it and the muscles and ligaments surrounding to relax. All you do is lie down with the board (which is very comfortable) placed under your back symmetrically along the spinal chord – and, with no effort whatsoever, you fall into a blissful, ‘conscious sleep’. Mathias then plays sound samples through headphones, which also vibrate directly along the board via a small stereo strapped underneath. (He tells me that the sounds however are not even necessary; the board’s placement can be enough to send you into la la land.)
At least that is what I experienced. Of course, as with all treatments, the effectiveness depends on the person’s openness to receive, among other factors (stress levels, physical health etc I imagine could contribute). What I felt though was an immediate sense of calm and peace. Lying flat on a mattress on the floor, with the board placed underneath my spine, a massage pillow under the top of my neck, and headphones over my ears, it only took me seconds to feel like I was drifting off – not into ‘real’ sleep, but into a dream-like state where I was conscious but deeply, deeply relaxed. I saw waves of colour in front of me and felt energy moving through my body. And, most incredibly, I got my first lucid taste of an out-of-body experience, where I really felt my physical and ‘astral’ bodies distinct from one another. For example, at one point I remember thinking that I wanted to readjust my right arm slightly to get more comfortable. Without moving an inch (physically), and with my eyes closed, I saw my arm move. It was as if I was levitating – seeing my body from above, while I lay flat and immobile. Incidentally, after ‘seeing’ my arm move itself I was relieved of the slight discomfort I’d felt prior. Kind of incredible…
Once the music stopped and my treatment was over (which lasted about half an hour), I felt like I was walking on air. I had to drink some water and take a few moments of quiet before I could tell Mathias what I’d experienced. Then we chatted, and he explained more about the board and his own story – which I’ll write up soon in another post.
You can probably tell from what you’ve read so far that I was pretty blown away by the Soma-Board. I have personally only experienced such a level of calm and bliss from a treatment before from the wonderful Judit – and from talking with them both about their work, the essence of their practice is very similar: relax the body to a point where it can do the healing itself. However, although I would LOVE to bring Judit’s healing hands around with me wherever I go (!), that is obviously not possible. As goes for most common folk, we don’t have the time or money to visit a good therapist on a regular basis. But almost anyone (in the western world anyway) could afford to buy a Soma-Board, and not only that, transport it with them wherever they go. That is revolutionary in my eyes. Safe as music to your ears (pun intended), simple, lightweight, with no expertise needed to employ…again – just, wow.
I honestly think that everyone working in an office job – or anyone who experiences stress for that matter – should have one of these. Knowing from my own experience the toll that the daily stress of a 9 to 5/6/7 job has on our bodies, and minds, I would have killed for the sanctuary of this beautiful piece of wood awaiting me at home after a long day at work. Hell, I’d have brought it to work with me! Thank god I no longer endure such a daily existence, but nevertheless, I want one.
I strongly believe in the benefits of deep relaxation, for everyone – whatever your age, health or life circumstances. And that is hard to achieve for those without an understanding of and training in techniques such as yoga and meditation… But with this board, I believe that anyone can achieve it. I really wish Mathias well in bringing this tool into peoples lives, because we need it.
Visit the Vibrasonix Soma Board website for more information.