birds eye view of a woman playing a singing sound bowl with a mallet

The Dangers & Effects Of Singing Bowls

A quick search on Google will show you that there’s quite a bit of discussion about the potential “dangers” of singing bowls doing the rounds online. 

In fact, when the team here at Mindful Store was putting this article together, we ran across a few particularly outlandish claims. So in this article we’ll take a look at some of the myths out there about singing bowl side effects and hopefully lay to rest any concerns you might have around using them. 

Although there have definitely been cases of singing bowls hurting ears…well, this is usually due to the person using it not being a very skilled player! 

Taking a closer look at singing bowl side effects

First things first – we’ve spoken previously about how some people like to make outsize claims about the health benefits of singing bowls. It’s no different when it comes to the “dangers”. 

Given the exoticism that can surround singing bowls, cynical people sometimes use fear as a marketing pitch and claim that there are “powerful energies” and “dangers” associated with their use – while not believing a word of it themselves. 

Crystals are another example where this happens, though you could find other examples pretty easily. Yes, crystals do have dangerous powers – if you drop them on your toe. 

However, it’s important to note that we are not medical experts, and if you do have concerns about any of these usages, you should definitely speak to your doctor about them. We never want you to do something you feel uncomfortable with or that you feel is dangerous. We just want you to be aware that not everything you read on the internet is true, and health claims need to be carefully evaluated. 

Singing bowls and sound healing

We’ve talked elsewhere about sound healing benefits in more detail. But suffice to say in this context that there are some very…esoteric…claims we ran across about the “safe use” of singing bowls in sound therapy. A number of sites suggest that they shouldn’t be used in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, while you have an open wound if you have a fever or have recently suffered whiplash. 

The basis for any of these is pretty thin, though it’s possible some originated from Buddhist ideas about ritual purity. It’s tough to say for certain, though.  

The main sensible one seemed to be not placing a sound bowl on an area where you’ve just had surgery. That’s nothing to do with occult powers – it’s because singing bowls can be dirty and you don’t want an infection!  

(Incidentally, make sure that you check out our blog on cleaning and maintaining singing bowls

Singing bowls and epilepsy

One of the most common claims doing the rounds about singing bowls and sound healing side effects is that they can trigger epilepsy. This is a tricky one – although musicogenic seizures are known to be caused by sound, they’re exceedingly rare. Our research also didn’t turn up any cases of singing bowls being involved in causing one of these seizures. 

With that said, speak to your doctor if you do have concerns before purchasing a singing bowl for yourself. 

Singing bowls and artificial joints

One of the most common “singing bowl side effects” that we ran across while researching this piece was the idea that singing bowls could damage artificial joints or pacemakers. Although it’s true that sound can and has been used as a weapon of destruction…well, the average singing bowl just isn’t operating at the right frequency or volume to be able to blow up your artificial knee. 

Speak to your doctor if you have concerns of course, but this one seems pretty dubious. 

Singing bowls and excess volume 

Of all the concerns doing the rounds, this one arguably has the most basis to it. It’s a similar concern to some sound bath negative effects. The links between high volume and hearing loss are well-known. So if you do find that your singing bowls are hurting your ears, you might need to consider a few things: 

  • Play for shorter sessions 
  • Play more softly to reduce the volume
  • Wear earplugs while playing. 

Learn more about singing bowls at Mindful Store  

To learn more about singing bowls – or to buy your very own singing bowl – make sure that you visit the Mindful Store online shop. We stock a great range of Tibetan singing bowls and other meditation accessories. And if you have other questions about singing bowls, make sure that you check out some of the other articles on our blog – or get in contact with us to find out more.
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