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A weekly look at creativity, arts, and culture in southwest Michigan, hosted by Zinta Aistars.Fridays in Morning Edition at 7:50am and at 4:20pm during All Things Considered.

Art Beat: Sound And Stress

Julie Chase

Julie Chase uses acoustic instruments like Tibetan bowls, gongs, and chimes, to get her clients to relax – the kind of relaxation that can create a sense of good health and well-being.

Chase owns and operates Wind Willow Sound Health, LLC, a private sound therapy business in Portage.

“Our bodies are comprised of a great percentage of water,” Chase says. “People will throw out different percentages, but I believe it’s around 80 percent. When you realize that our cells are composed of a great percentage of water — sound vibrates, sound travels through water. There’s research that proves that. When we hear sound, regardless of what the sound is…that sound vibrates against our body. It actually penetrates and goes into the cells.”

A conversation with Julie Chase

Chase says that when sound does that, it can produce nitric oxide, a free radical that improves sleep, gives people more energy, and lowers blood pressure.

“Nitric oxide is fundamental to all life, to humans and animals and insects,” Chase says. “When that ‘puffing’ in our cells happens, we are in a state of good health and well-being.”

Credit Courtesy Julie Chase
Courtesy Julie Chase
Julie Chase

Chase is a Reiki master and has studied a variety of healing modalities, including holistic tuning fork therapy, Tibetan healing instruments, spectro-chrome therapy, life force energy healing, and life coaching. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, she offered classes and workshops along with therapy sessions.

“In a regular, non-COVID world, where we would have sessions and a client would come to me, we would sit and chat about, "How are you sleeping?' - very general questions,” she says. “We don’t get into particulars because that’s not my job. I’m not a therapist in that regard. I’m not a healer. We facilitate the environment so that the body can heal.”

Chase often plays as many as 21 Tibetan bowls on and around the body of a client. Tuning forks and other acoustic instruments can also be used for part of the session.

With the changes caused by the pandemic, Chase has developed a way of providing sessions over the phone. While she often found before that her clients became so relaxed that they fell asleep on the table, she now often hears the sounds of soft snoring on the other end of the phone.

“I have people wake up and accuse me of not playing — ‘I thought you were going to play the bowls today!’” she laughs. “And I’ll tell them to look at the clock. They’ve been under for an hour.”

Listen to WMUK's Art Beat every Friday at 7:50 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.

Zinta Aistars is our resident book expert. She started interviewing authors and artists for our Arts & More program in 2011.
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