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Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

This month it is an honour to welcome a therapist and healer I respect very much to November’s Guest Corner, Tristan Starling (formerly Stibbards).

I liked Tristan as soon as I met him!  He was coming to the end of his Reiki journey just as I was beginning mine, and this is how we met as we trained with the same Reiki Master.  What I’ve always liked and admired about Tristan is that he is a responsible and authentic practitioner.  Whilst he brings a wealth of  knowledge and skills to his practice, I know that he has done a lot of ‘groundwork’ and like me hasn’t cut corners, which is something that is so important to me as a practitioner as well as a client.  This is something I feel strongly about, really getting to know your onions so to speak, or in this case your gongs!  The foundations of all that we do as therapists is so important.  I believe that we have a responsibility to grow as channels and as people into the best versions of ourselves when we choose this path, and I don’t believe you can do that by reading alone or without doing a pilgrimage of sorts, which often requires taking the longer routes to qualify.

I’ve attended a few of Tristan’s sound healing workshops and sound-baths and used his 1-1 treatments a lot during my Reiki training to help me shed the old beliefs and barriers to becoming a practitioner myself.  In Tristan’s company I have cried a lot!  Sound for me is very powerful, and my biggest trigger.  It’s highly emotive and is always the therapy that makes me cry, feel super vulnerable and as a result often avoid through resistance or the fear of being too exposed in front of others.  When someone whips a bodrum out that’s particularly when I am likely to lose my s**t!

The introduction of sound in healing is becoming more popular today, and many therapists use it within their treatments.  But for me, finding a sound therapist with this as a specialism and who resonates on the same frequency as me has been harder than I thought.  Given what I do for a living I am now quite ‘choosy’ about who I let into my energy space and who I work with.  This is not because I don’t think there are many great practitioners out there, but because I am the expert in my own healing journey, as is everyone else in theirs, and so I know what I need and more importantly who I need to address blocks and barriers to my health and well-being.  We must always take the time to find who personally works for us, and for me the foundations of their business and their approach to their own personal healing journey is very important.

Having experienced several of his workshops, sound-baths and 1-1 treatments Tristan is someone I would personally use as well as feel confident to refer my clients to.  Tris is now using ceremonial cacao, something I was hoping he would venture into when we spoke last year after my first experience of it.   I am hopeful that Honeysuckle and Snailspace will be able to ceremonially collaborate in some way in the future, and I am looking forward to receiving guidance on how and when this will be the right time.

This months guest corner, albeit later than intended, is one that I believe is quite thought provoking.  This interview shows just how beneficial, yet specialist, the world of sound in healing can be.  Sound is used in so many ways, from setting a relaxing atmosphere with music in treatments to moving through the aura and chakric systems with instruments.  It’s a vast subject and this is a great introduction as always.  If you would like to read more about my personal journey with sound then click here

With many thanks and love to Tristan for bringing his time and expertise to Honeysuckle this month.

Enjoy!

Yours in love and light,

 

November Guest Corner

Q&A With Tristan Starling of  Snailspace Therapies

 

“A Sound Way To Heal”

 

What is sound healing?

It’s an absolutely vast topic with a million different perspectives. From my point of view, sound healing is basically the utilisation of sound frequencies and vibration to promote health. This can be done using the voice and / or a multitude of different musical instruments and tools. If we imagine the human body (and in fact all matter) consisting of energy which is condensed to various levels of vibration (solid matter like a rock being a slow vibration and gasses like oxygen being a faster vibration for example) These vibrating particles all have their own specific frequency, or musical note, which can be “tuned” in order to increase the efficiency of their particular function. This can work on a physical, mental, emotional or energetic level as all of these things are connected, so from a holistic perspective you can’t influence one without the others following suit to a degree. Sound vibration can also be used to dissipate clogged energy, almost like a micro massage. Certain frequencies and patterns can also have a powerful effect on the human brain, using resonance and entrainment processes we can essentially influence our state of mind and therefore our emotional state too.

What brought you to sound healing?

I’ve been a musician since I was 4 years old so music and sound has always been a huge part of my life. I remember being a small child and we had this giant rubber plant in our house that was dying.  My mum moved it to sit next to my piano telling me that the sound vibration can stimulate the plants. Within a couple of months it was healthy again and I think that ingrained something in me at that early age. I studied audio engineering my early twenties and was fascinated by the physics and psychoacoustic side of the course. Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of sound perception and audiology. More specifically, it is the branch of science studying the psychological and physiological responses associated with sound. When I began to work specifically with massage and energy healing work more recently in life, all of these elements naturally came together and now sound is a huge part of  my healing work.

How do you incorporate sound into your services at Snailspace Therapies?

During energy healing sessions I often use the voice to tune into certain energetic blockages and help to dissipate them. I also incorporate various instruments depending on what’s required. It’s all very intuitive really. I work a lot with the chakras – the seven main energetic centres of the body, which I see as a scale of seven harmonic frequencies ( just like a musical scale.) I also run workshops involving sound healing, showing people how they can use their own voice to clear the energies of the body moving up through the chakras with certain vowel sounds. This is called “Chakra Toning”. I generally end the sessions by taking people on an extended sound journey with the gongs, crystal singing bowls, guitar and voice and many other things.

Do you have a favourite instrument that you like to use in your treatments?

My gongs are by far my favourite. They are just so unbelievably powerful and beautiful. When I play them It feels like it opens portals to different dimensions of reality.

What reaction do people usually have to sound healing?

A lot of the time people are surprised as to how much of an effect it can have and also how quickly. People are generally very receptive to it and find it very relaxing and calming, although sometimes it can bring up deep emotional release too.

How could someone use sound healing at home in their everyday lives to heal?

Singing and using the voice is the best way to work with sound in your everyday life. Opening the throat chakra leads to a universe of self expression that in itself can be the most important part of any healing process. There are many online videos regarding chakra toning exercises that will help clear and revitalise the body and mind. We’re all musical beings and the more we explore that aspect of ourselves the more we open ourselves to the universal energy flow. Also using music as a meditative aid is always great.

What brought the snail to your business?

(laughs) I’ve just always had a thing for snails really. I think they’re kinda magical. Also, I think “coming out of the shell” is a great metaphor for healing work.

There are lots of therapists now using sound in their work, how important do you think it is to be qualified in this field?

So I’m actually mostly self taught with sound healing specifically, although I have done quite a few workshops and training sessions with various people along the way including the UK Gong Master Sheila Whittaker. My training with music, audio engineering and my extensive energy healing training in Reiki and Shamanic healing both in the UK and Peru (which also involved sound and music) have all blended together to give me the skills I need to do the work even though a lot of the training I’ve done wasn’t exactly the kind that gives you a certificate at the end! Due to all these elements, and the fact that I’m already a qualified massage / reiki therapist, I was able to get insurance as a sound healer based entirely on my past experience. It’s definitely important to know what your doing in this work as it can have powerful effects on people, and if you’re going to be working with the public then you definitely need to get insurance – which generally involves doing a course of some kind. However if you just want to experiment at home in a non professional sense then go for it! There are loads of books on the subject that can get you going. I’d recommend anything by Jonathan Goldman. You could also come along to one of my workshops sometime.

There is an increase of ‘sound baths’ around the UK now, what are these for anyone who doesn’t know?

A sound bath is a sound healing journey. “Bathing” you in sound.

What easy tips can you give my readers who wish to begin their journey with sound, whether personally or professionally?

There are loads of books on the subject that can get you going. I’d recommend anything by Jonathan Goldman. You could also come along to one of my workshops sometime!

 

Snailspace Therapies is run by Tristan Starling.  It’s a healing practice based in Fishponds, Bristol offering a variety of therapies / combinations of modalities. Tristan is a fully qualified and MTI approved massage therapist offering professional bodywork, Thai massage and holistic oil massage.  Offering energy healing that blends different techniques including Japanese Usui Reiki, Chinese Medicine, The teachings of Barbara Brennan and also certain South American shamanic practices. Sound healing therapies both one to one and in groups are available – mostly utilising the gongs. For more info / bookings please text or call Tristan on 07873 535880 or check out the website here

Tristan also runs regular events mainly involving cacao ceremonies, sound healing, music and yoga with his wife Fleur Starling from their beautiful studio. You can check out upcoming events here

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

 

Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision.  Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you

 

I have loved and listened to music for as long as I can remember, and today has been a day when I have rekindled my audio love affair.

I grew up in a house mainly listening to anything from Motown to The Carpenters and Aztec Camera to Alison Moyet, all with fond memories of LP’s purchased from Woolworth’s or Rival records at the height of my appreciation.  But the turning point for me was 1999 in Cardiff.  After only attending gigs with my parents or chaperones up to this point, I attended my first ‘proper’ gig on my own.  I was 16, they were Stereophonics, and it was just before ‘Performance and Cocktails’ was released.  Pushing my way with Lisa to the front, only to be almost squashed in a moshing crowd and my friend having her hand cut on some glass, we quickly retreated, slightly petrified but still singing!  It wasn’t the best experience, but the euphoric feeling of live music still resonates every time I listen to that album.

From that moment on I became obsessed with music.  Listening to music before work, during my commute to work via headphones, in my lunch hour and after work when I got home, and if that wasn’t enough I was going to 5 gigs a week and many festivals in my hay day!  I would later go to gigs alone and meet amazing people as a result.  Often I would be buzzing so much after seeing a live band that I would drive my gig buddy home (50 miles round trip) in my old-school mini and even park up outside of his house whilst we talked for a further hour to unwind.  We would talk until the early hours about where Joy Division went wrong (in our opinion) or dissect the latest Elbow album track by track in great detail, and I would still get up for work the next day!  It all seems another lifetime now.

Over the years I guess I lost my connection with music as I knew it.  I got the treble clef tattoo on my wrist covered up and recently sold off the vast majority of my impressive vinyl and CD collection (which wasn’t emotionally easy to do).  The very collection that took presidency to house in every relocation and new relationship I entered; travelling with me as the most precious of cargo.  Some of those ex’s probably wouldn’t even believe that I finally parted with it after all these years, as it was my prize possession.

But things change.  I’ve changed.   Although today I am reminded that music remains ingrained in me.  It’s not about being first to discover the latest underground bands, or recite the order in which the Beatles released their albums anymore, as I realise that those things no longer define or validate how much I love music.  In fact despite the quieter confidence in my musical relationship , my folks still swear that I am the girl you want on your pub quiz team, just in case a music question comes up.  Or they call me into the room when the Eggheads get to the music round.  And I am pretty sure I am the first friend they would call if they were sat opposite Chris Tarrant and there was a question about the Stone Roses!  And that’s because the way in which music moves and excites me did not leave when I gave away my last LP.  Because once you catch the music bug, it never leaves you.  It may go from a hard rock to a soft ballad, but it’s their, like an old flame waiting for you to just say the words to hook up again!

Music is something that we often take for granted just how much it can lift our mood or even communicate with us when those around us just don’t seem to be able to find the words.

Multiple festivals and outside entertainment is now geared around music, as it’s something that we just can’t live without, whether you’re into anything from Mozart to Morrissey or Beethoven to Bowie.  We use it to set ambience during therapies and meditation, to motivate during exercise, to support us through heartache and breakups, to enhance social gatherings and to dance to, amongst many other things.  It’s something that the majority of us turn to when we need to manage any emotion or find connection, as it’s that thing we turn up loud and belt out the words to when we just need a release of feel good hormones.

Music has always been emotive for me, perhaps more than any other tool being an empath.  I have lost myself at many a gig, even crying whilst everyone else is bopping.  I always cry when a drum or bodrum is whipped out in a 1-1 healing session and I have even been deeply triggered by the ‘singing’, or rather whaling, of releasing women in a cave in Avebury.  Music or sound of any sorts is a huge trigger for me, and something that prompts uncensored vulnerability.

Today I let my intuition and my higher guidance show me what I needed to listen to and where this suppressed musical love wanted to take me.  It’s been a day of melodic audio and I have wanted to listen to an array of genres.  As I lay on my bed, candles on and enjoying a moments quiet, I double clicked the ITUNES logo.  I was taken to songs that were as necessary a part of my healing journey as any.  Some of these were songs gifted to me by ex-partners, some were songs that remind me of better times, freer times and evoked deeply nostalgic feelings.  Some songs transported me to where I feel I would like to be.  And some reminded me of where I am pleased I no longer am.  All and all, in the space of an hour I had created my own little sound bath and I released a lot of tears that could only fall as a result of these songs.  Tears that needed to fall for what was, and tears that needed to fall in anticipation for what could be.  Some songs I hadn’t been able to listen to since relationships broke down, until now.  Not because I have any regrets for these relationships ending, or any particular warm thoughts towards these people, but tears for the pain I felt at the time and the promises of love and commitment that never quite transpired.  And that’s what music does.  Those averaged 3 minutes can take you to another time as clearly as if you built a time machine and travelled back to reunite with your younger self.

Music is deeply soothing and the benefits on the chakric system, body and aura are often something we fail to appreciate.  We tend to think that only a huge gong can release pain and trauma within the body or that we need to be held in a room of sound.  But a simple hour out, when you’re ready to witness what needs to be released, can be the perfect and bespoke sound bath you crave.

When we look at the signs in song form, ABBA announced they were thankful for the music, Mama Cass told us that we had to make our own kind of music and Julie Andrews was a little bit in love with the sheer sound of music. And I personally have to agree with John Miles when he said that music was his first love.  So take time out today, and if you haven’t already, put on the first album you lay your hands on, or better still do an ‘intuitive search’ online.  See where it takes you, and don’t just have it as background music, light some candles, spark up the incense and listen to what the words are telling you.  Notice where in the body the notes spark and fall.

On that note (excuse the pun), I’ve an overdue date with Ryan Adams ‘Gold’.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you