The history, types and production of singing bowls

For centuries, people have been searching for ways of relaxing and being calm. Many relaxation techniques for mind and body have been developed to protect us from over-exhaustion. Sound massage with Tibetan singing bowls is one of them. The Western world first learned about singing bowls when they were discovered in the Himalayas in the 1960’s by European musicians. They were described as types of bells, rich in harmonic tones produced by striking the rim from the outside. They are called Tibetan, although most of them do not originate in Tibet and many are currently produced in India, however their alloying components and shape differ from the Tibetan bowls and their sound is thought not to be as effective. The unique values of ‘Tibetan singing bowls’ make them ideal for sound therapy.

tybetańskie misy dźwiękowe – terapia dzwiękiem

During a sound massage session with ‘Tibetan bowls’ the energies within the body begin to circulate faster through vibration. Sound healing is based on an ancient knowledge about the influence of sound on the human body used for the first time over five thousand years ago in Hindu medicine. According to Eastern beliefs, man was made of sound and therefore is sound . Only a harmonious existence with oneself and one’s surroundings makes it possible for a human being to live a free and creative life.

Sound massage was developed as a technique in the 1980’s by a physical technology engineer, Peter Hess. For 20 years prior to his discovery, he was an electrotechnology and political science teacher in vocational schools. For many years, Peter Hess has been studying radiesthesia and did a series of investigations on places of force in Wales and in Nepal. The sound massage therapy was formed on the basis of his research and experiences gathered while travelling around Nepal, Tibet and India. Cooperation with ethnomusicologist Prof Dr Gert Wegner, helped Peter Hess to develop the sound massage – their collaborative investigations and experiments on the effect of traditional music on the human mind and body lformed the foundations of the method. Currently, Peter Hess leads the Institute of Sound Massage and Therapy in Germany, where his method is continuously being developed.


Singing bowls (for joint, abdominal, heart and sinuses problems), certified by the Peter Hess Institute in Uenzen (Germany), are used for sound massage therapy. They are made of 12 alloying components and hand-forged in Nepal. They differ in size as well as vibration type and frequency. Only pure metals are used in the production of the singing bowls and their proportions are carefully controlled by metallurgy specialists to ensure the highest quality of sound and guarantee their therapeutic efficacy. The alloying components of the metal sheets are pre-established, so there is no possibility to manipulate their proportions. This is particularly important, because in India, singing bowls are sometimes manufactured with scrap metals. Unfortunately the bowls look the same, so it is impossible to detect from which material they have been made of at first sight, however, the quality of metals used is reflected in the quality of sound.

This section is based on:
Singing bowls- everyday application by Peter Hess