- Chapter One: The Hum Wave
This small book is entirely about humming.
How to hum more "inside" than "outside";
how to touch deep inside yourself with the pulse of the hum;
how to increase our intrinsic well-being by humming. Human beings
often express envy of cats' ability to purr. I am going to guess
that the sort of humming we talking about here is going to provide
many of the benefits that cats get out of purring (3).
Humming-as is obvious if we think about
it-is not only a sound we can hear but a pulsation we can feel.
In fact, whether we call the hum a sound or a pulse depends on
which of our senses we focus on it.
Most of the time, we are more aware of
the sound aspect of the hum and less aware of the wave of compression
and rarefaction-which is the nature of sound waves-passing through
all our bodily tissues, gently tugging and pressing at us. It
is the effect of that pulsing wave on the structures of the ear
that we perceive as sound.
We are accustomed to the ease of hearing
this pulse. It may strike us as odd, however, that the wave we
think of as sound actually passes through all the liquids and
solids of the body, both heard and felt, more easily and swiftly
than it does through air to reach the ear as sound.
You can play with this on your own by
swimming under water and listening to the new kinds
of sounds that become available there. Even more simply, you
can immerse yourself in the bath and let your house talk to you
through the water-pipes, faucets, creaking joists, water heater,
toilets. You will also find that you can hear your body talking
to you with its own sorts of gurgles and squirts.
It is the great support that water gives
sound that allows whales and dolphins to talk over long distances-and
also makes them vulnerable to the over-large undersea sounds
that we sometimes make.
For fifteen years, my colleagues and
I have been interested in noticing and developing the effects
of the hum wave as it passes through us. We have tried this ourselves;
we have shared it with others. We have noticed many beneficial
effects, physically, emotionally and psychologically. In Chapter
Thirteen you can find many anecdotes reporting some of these
effects. I hope these stories will inspire you to try this kind
of humming. Or you can plunge in from the beginning, read about
how to hum in the way we are recommending, and discover for yourself
its benefits. You can design your own experiments and notice
the effects on your feeling and function.
In Chapter Seven, you will find immediate
instructions about how to create the basic hum we recommend.
Please feel free to jump over all the introductory information.
Hum first, and come back later to the why's and wherefore's.
Read a bit and hum, rest, read a bit and hum, letting yourself
go more deeply each time. how to order | top
(3) Recently there has been
quite a bit of research directed to the effects of purring. You'll
find one such report in Appendix A.