Alternative Spa Series: Good Vibrations:
An Interview with Sharifa Armorer, Sound Therapist and Psychotherapist
By Michelyn Camen
I am a person who “suspends disbelief”, especially when it comes to “alternative” wellness. I have seen many loved ones suffer needlessly from incorrect medical diagnoses; feeling helpless while friends and colleagues try to find “health in a pill- the result of a growing pharmaculture. Based on the growing disenchantment with HMOs “get them in and out” healthcare, more and more Americans are searching for alternatives to traditional western medicine. Reiki, acupuncture,hypnosis and even yoga, are increasing in popularity and seem to benefit and improve many illnesses.
Sound Therapy was new to me and perhaps to you. This month, I had my first (but not the last) sound and vibration therapy session with Ms. Sharifa Armorer, the founder of Angels and Butterflies (http://www.chiron-institute.com) who has worked for more than a decade with children and adults to treat mental and physical conditions.
Let’s not forget that Thanksgiving and the Holidays are not always happy times; holidays can trigger depression, anxiety and stress for many men and women, so read on…
Sound Treatment and Body Work Therapy Center
BN: Ms. Armorer, please explain to our readers about your credentials and your practice.
SA: I am a NYS Board Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist, Sound Healer, Child and Adolescence Play Therapist, Reiki practitioner and instructor. I founded Angels and Butterflies Therapy for the Soul as an alternate way to encourage people to allow their bodies to heal organically and to help them relate to past and present mental health & wellbeing.
BN: When did you start working with sound therapy and why?
SA: I began working with sound therapy as a young woman. I would literally find songs and sounds that made me feel good in different instances. Many years ago I attended a women’s spirit and health retreat where I was exposed to sound using tuning forks. I was instantly drawn to share this experience with others and so I became certified to formally practice using sound techniques. I began using forks during my conventional psychotherapy sessions treating a host of mental and physical illnesses including Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post Partum Depression, to name a few. I experienced great success with the tuning forks. It seems to also have benefited patients with serious conditions such as cancer and HIV.
Tuning Forks, Hand Chimes and Crystals
BN: How does it Work?
SA: Precision calibrated tuning forks are applied to specific acupuncture and acupressure points to access the body’s eight Meridian and Chakra energy systems. These tuning forks represent a natural harmonic sense based on orbital properties of the Earth, Moon, Sun and Planets.
Tambourine, Hand Drum, Rain Stick and Jimbay Drums
BN: Please explain the theory behind sound therapy.
SA: The body is designed to heal itself. Think of a battery that has not been charged but continues to be used. At some point it will stop working so it would naturally require a boost from a power source. The power source in this case would be Angels and Butterflies Sound Therapy. Another example would be comparing the body to a car. It runs well when it is well maintained. A car requires tune-ups and periodic service, as does the body. In this case, a body tune up is scheduled after your fifth session.
Bowls from Tibet made of 7 Metals, Bells, Healing Stones and Hand Chime
BN: What makes Sound Therapy, (compared to other alternative therapies such as Reiki, acupuncture, and hypnosis) more effective for some people?
SA: Speed of efficacy. I believe in many alternate methods of therapy, including those you mentioned, however, sound treatments appear to work faster. There is scientific logic behind this answer. The body is composed of 80% water, and Sound travels through water at rapid speed. As the sound travels it hits upon blockages in the body, which are cleared with a series of treatments. During Sound Baths (which are given with Tibetan Bowls of all sizes, bells of all sizes, as well as a host of other Sound instruments) the body is bathed in Sound to bring calm and to replenish the natural healing energies of the body.
BN: Why do people seek sound therapy? Is it used for general wellness or can it be used for mental and physical conditions? Do you ask a patient’s medical history?
SA: Many clients seek sound therapy to relax. They also use sound therapy for Psycho Spiritual reasons such as energy balancing, to address mental health issues such as depression, sexual abuse and trauma. In conjunction with your medical professional, it can be used to treat gynecological concerns such as irregular and painful menstruation, fibroids and menopause, Blood disorders such as HIV/AIDS and cancer, respiratory concerns such as asthma, and neurological conditions such as migraine headaches and sciatica.
Before the session, a thorough medical history questionnaire is given to each client. Questions are asked with regards to the physical and emotional state of wellbeing. If areas are identified that require specific treatments, we will tailor the treatment to those needs.
BN: After one treatment, I feel less stressed, less anxious and more alert. How many sessions are necessary before people experience change?
SA: The number of sessions varies based on the needs of the client. The minimum number recommended is five sessions. This is needed to complete the opening of all Meridians and Vessels in the body. Clients can determine if they need more than the recommended amount. There is no limit to the amount of sound treatments one can experience.