#legendchats: Maria Wong, sound therapy specialist, on building inner strength

Maria Wong_crystal singing bowl at The Oriental Spa
Photo: The Landmark Mandarin Oriental

With the ongoing pandemic and ever-changing restrictions, it’s more important than ever to take care of your mental health. Thankfully, Hong Kong has plenty of options to help you do so, including the new “Inner Strength Outer Strength” programmes at The Oriental Spa in The Landmark Mandarin Oriental.

Available from now until 31 May 2021, the programmes promise to take care of you both physically and mentally in challenging times like these. We spoke with Maria Wong – wellness practitioner and sound therapy specialist – about the art of mindfulness and how singing bowl therapy works.

 How did you start your journey as a wellness practitioner and sound therapy specialist? Is this something you’ve always wanted to pursue?

I have always been interested in health and wellness, both physically and mentally. I used to work out six times a week, and after my first yoga class, I instantly felt a strong pull to it thanks to the physical, mental and spiritual connection. In 2013, I discovered sound healing and was in awe of its therapeutic effects. That’s why I decided to study to become a sound healing therapist myself.

Tell us more about Crystal Singing Bowl Sound Healing and 7 Chakras Tibetan Bowls.

For the ‘7 Chakra Tibetan Singing Bowls’, the bowls are made with seven precious metals to work on the chakras (energy centres) of the human body. They provide a deep nourishing tone and vibrations that promote relaxation, stress, and pain relief, while improving sleep quality and overall well-being. During the session, the bowls will be placed around the body and depending on the state of the client, the bowls might also be placed on the body itself. 

For the ‘Alchemy Crystal Singing Bowls’, the bowls are made with 99.992% of pure crystal quartz mixed with other precious metals like 24-carat gold, silver and platinum, which makes them highly resonant. Their humming sounds are heard by the ear and felt through the body, and are often described as a heavenly experience. Each musical note corresponds to the energy centres of our body and the bowls are placed around the client during the session.

What is the process like and what should guests expect to experience?

For all sound healing sessions, I begin with a consultation with the client to address their needs and concerns, followed by some simple breathing exercises and 100% pure essential oils. During the session, the client may fall into a deep relaxation state, go in and out of a sleeping/awake state or stay fully awake the whole time. Moving, twitching and yawning are all normal behaviours that one might experience.

The brain waves and the energetic field of the person will be changed by the vibrations from the bowls to a deeply relaxed state. The healing effects is caused by the vibrations rather than the sound.

Photo: The Landmark Mandarin Oriental

How do sound frequencies contribute to building inner strength?

The singing bowls’ frequencies can alter the brain waves from Beta (alert and awake) state to Alpha (de-stressing) and Theta state (deep meditation and light sleep). Since our bodies are composed of more than 70% water, the vibrations have a huge effect on our circulatory, metabolic and endocrine systems and initiate profound shifts in wellbeing, relaxation, awareness and consciousness. We are then able to deal with the challenges of daily life with more clarity and focus.

We are always told being mindful will improve our mental health. What exactly is “mindfulness” and why is it important?

Mindfulness enables us to experience and appreciate our lives instead of rushing through it. It helps us stay grounded in the present moment with a full awareness of what is happening and available in the now.

In this fast-paced world that we’re living in, we are often multitasking, overthinking and overplanning. Doing so means we miss out on what is really going on within and around us, so having a mindfulness practice is key. The best part is, you can practice it anywhere, anytime – the simplest way is to observe your own breathing by staying fully present. 

What would you say is the key to inner strength?

Being mindful and aware of our own thoughts and actions, and practicing self love. Set time aside to nourish your wellbeing with meditation, yoga or any form of exercise that will help you move and release energy. Also, try to find some quiet time to reflect on a daily basis to connect with oneself in a non-judgemental way.

The pandemic has forced us all to live in uncertainty. What are some things you do to take care of your wellbeing on a daily basis?

The things I do to stay well during these challenging times include:

  • Yoga and breathwork
  • Singing bowls and chanting
  • Tending to my plants, flowers and my cat 
  • Feeding my body and soul with healthy, nourishing meals
  • Connecting with nature via hiking and walking
  • Connecting with people I care about 
  • Sharing my passion for health and wellness with others

But most importantly, I practice gratitude. Every day, I start by naming three things or people I’m grateful for, and I always find that there are countless more blessings in my life.

Maria Wong will be offering Crystal Singing Bowl Sound Healing and 7 Chakras Tibetan Bowls Therapy to guests at The Oriental Spa from now until 31 May 2021. Each 60-minute session is priced at HK$2,250 (plus 10 percent service charge) per guest.

Learn more and book your session at mandarinoriental.com

In this Story: #wellness