THERAPIST Johanna Sheehan is singing the praises of an unusual form of treatment. The Northumberland mother wants to make sound therapy as widely accepted as massage.
Mrs Sheehan, 49, of Intake Lane, Hexham, has been a therapist for 20 years, but recently trained as a sound healer.
By singing and using tuning forks around a persons body, she says she can identify injuries and help make them better.
Mrs Sheehan says the vibrations of her voice enter the bones and their vibration in turn alters the tone of her voice.
She said: Everything is vibrating at a certain frequency.
We think you can shatter a glass if you make a sound of the same frequency as the glass.
With sound healing we use different types of sounds from very low sounds to very high sounds. They resonate with the body.
When someone comes in, Im not making a judgment that they need any particular sound. Im allowing my voice to meet their body, as it were.
The difference in the sounds my voice makes will pick up where theres dissonance in the body.
If you have a pain somewhere, my voice will change. The vibration of the sound travels right down into the centre of the bones. Where someone is feeling run down, the vibrations are slower and the sound healing can speed it up.
Mother-of-two Mrs Sheehan, who works from home, said in todays hectic work-obsessed world, therapy of this kind was becoming increasingly important.
Now that I have done my training, I would like to be in the position to spread the word to people who are working hefty hours and are very stressed.
I would like to be able to bring sound healing into offices.
I have always been interested in sound and singing.
I would like to make it as popular or as accessible as massage, because its a wonderful vehicle to work with.
I have been a therapist for 20 years. I was one of the first to do massage and reflexology in the Tyne Valley now its very well known and accepted.
Mrs Sheehan had her desire to promote sound therapy was reinforced when her husband Trevor fell ill with a bowel condition.
She said: It was when my husband was unwell last year that I looked again at life. I used sound therapy a lot on him.
The sceptics dont affect me now. When you take things personally it shows that you have some growing to do yourself.
Page 2: Hypnotic experience
FACE down on a massage table, I was unsure what to expect from my sound therapy session.
Naturally sceptical about just about everything, I was not, perhaps, Johannas perfect patient.
Very quickly though, the relaxing effects of the therapy were working their charms on me.
Johanna started at my feet, holding them as she made low noises. At one point she held a vibrating tuning fork against them, sending a bizarre shooting sensation through my body.
She made higher sounds near my head, a strangely hypnotic experience which left me feeling almost as if I was in a trance.
At the end, I was expecting Johanna to point out a minor problem in an otherwise youthful and healthy body. Instead she told me the whole right side of my body was in need of attention. Oh dear.
She also said my shoulder, lower back and ankle were giving off funny vibrations.
So, all in all, I found out I was a 24-year-old wreck.
But I left feeling completely relaxed and surprisingly happy, given Johannas verdict on my wellbeing.