Vibrational Healing Through the Sounds of the HandPan

While here at HPM we often feel a little uncomfortable heading into the realms of things like “Auras”, “Chi”, “Chakras”, and so forth.  Particularly with regards to the Handpan instrument, which, during its earliest years developed a certain kind of mystique around it, that had more than a touch of the ultra-spiritual about it.  Despite preferring to see the Handpan as just a musical instrument, there is something kind of special about it - that even we might describe as being a kind of “healing quality”.

Listen to the lyrics in PANArt’s recent video of the Hang Bal, and the suggestion that this is an instrument that is in some way intended to heal, is hard to overlook.

“If you a smart phone slave, surfing non-stop on a digital wave, if your life has become indeed too virtual, if you are looking for a better ritual, you are maybe ready to deal, with the new PANArt Hang Bal Spiel.  If your hands are tense, your fingers blocked, burned out your spirit, your life somehow shocked - you would like to dance your own dance, you can get it, there is a chance…”

And while the above words may have been intended solely to describe the newer Hang Bal, there has been something about the sounds of the Hang, and the Handpan, that have drawn those in need of a little extra “something” to it from the very beginning.  With PANArt listing in their book Hang: Sound Sculpture: therapists, caretakers for the terminally ill, the sick, the stressed, and the mentally unwell, among the distinct demographics that would frequently write to them in a bid to get their hands on one of their sound-sculptures.  And hands in the air, and cards on the table, there was a little of that in our own initial journey to seek out and play the Hang/Handpan.  

The vibrations of the Hang recorded
 using holographic interferometry.
PANArt themselves refer to the Hang as being a “Mirror to the Soul”, and perhaps therein lies its healing abilities.  The intuitive playing style that requires little in the way of musical training, combined with the instruments emotive, fragile quality of sound, that has been described as being reminiscent of a "Choir of Angels", makes it easy to let whatever is inside, out.  Which can be therapeutic in its own right.  And even putting any metaphysical beliefs that one may, or may not harbour towards the instrument type, with regards to vibrational healing aside, here at HPM, we like to look towards the science of Cymatics for something a little more concrete.  For when we consider that the average human body is roughly made up of 60% water, Cymatics helps to demonstrate in a very visible way how the vibrations of the Handpan’s enveloping sound bath, could provide a kind of sonic massage, at the very least, in a way not clearly visible to the eye.

Ultimately, whether you consider the Handpan to be an instrument with healing attributes, or not,  we leave to you to decide.  But on a personal note, we’ve yet to find anything more soothing, when feeling blue, than to pick-up a Handpan, and give audible form to that which ails us.

“...On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”  - Hunter. S. Thompson.

© HandPans Magazine