Everything is ultimately vibration, so anything that’s physical is basically made up of these fundamental wave forms. What we perceive as physical is just a mask — a mask of matter on top of this field of energy and information.
Ultimately, and this is what some of the most modern theories of physics are telling us, the whole manifest universe is just different frequencies of vibration. Some of those frequencies manifest as electrons, and some manifest as protons.
In Vedic culture, it’s the same principle: In the beginning, there was the un-manifest field of pure potentiality, the ocean of pure potential, and then it began to vibrate. That vibration, those waves on the ocean, was silence becoming manifest. The sound “om” is in fact the expression of this ultimate field of pure potential.
From a Vedic perspective, everything is sound. There’s an expression, nama rupa. “Nama” is the origin of the word name, or sound, and “rupa” means form. Nama rupa means that underlining every form is a vibration.
If there’s something creating distress in that form, on some level we can see it as dissonance in the vibration. So all healing is really the restoration of harmony, and there are various ways to re-establish harmony.
Even visual experiences are really vibratory experiences. For example, food has different vibrations, manifested through different colors. A carrot is orange, and a strawberry is red, because the underlining chemistry and physics reflect different vibratory states — either absorbing or radiating different frequencies of electro-magnetic radiation.
Ayurvedic theory teaches that if we can introduce a healing vibration, it will set up a certain resonance or harmonic effect on whatever is disharmonious or dissonant. That resonance provides the memory of harmony — helping the imbalanced or disharmonious state to recall its previously harmonious state. With that comes the restoration of wholeness and health.
Primordial Sound Meditation, which we teach at the Chopra Center, is basically a mantra meditation: People are given a specific sound to repeat. The sounds chosen are fundamental to the physiology and psychology of human beings. When we allow the sounds to resonate in our awareness, they have a harmonizing, healing, and transformational effect.
Almost every culture has different types of chanting, be it Gregorian, Vedic, or Talmudic chanting. Their resonant sounds help create harmony in the people who are hearing those sounds.
Certainly dance is a powerful form of healing vibrations, because it’s not just sound; it’s actually rhythmic movement. So it has an effect not only on the gross level of the muscles, nerves, skeletal system, and neuromuscular system, but also at a cellular level. Dancing creates a kind of heartbeat. If it’s a resonant heartbeat, it harmonizes every cell in the body.
Some of the great Vedic icons are symbols of gods dancing out the universe. There’s this classical Vedic archetype of Nataraj, where the god Sheva is dancing on the back of time. As he’s dancing, the vibrations that he’s sending out are literally the origins of the universe.
What’s more, in almost every ancient, traditional culture, shamanic dancing was a fundamental part of healing. The healer (the medicine man or woman) would start the dancing, then the community would join in.
You can just imagine the vibrations between the drums and the sounds and the dancing. The resonating, harmonizing effects of the music and dance were shaking loose, literally, the imbalances and the impurities in the person who was ill or suffering.
David Simon, M.D., is a board-certified neurologist and ayurvedic practioner; co-founder, CEO, and Medical Director of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing; and assistant clinical professor in the Department of Neurosciences at The University of California. Dr. Simon has authored popular wellness books including The Ten Commitments: Translating Good Intentions into Great Choices and Grow Younger, Live Longer: 10 Steps to Reverse Aging (co-authored with Deepak Chopra, M.D.). Dr. Simon is a keynote speaker for the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, California Medical Association, Harvard Medical School, and other prestigious institutions.