The Dangers of Singing Bowls: What Are the Side Effects?

different sizes of singing bowls in the forest

Most of us know the benefits of singing bowls - they help us relax, deepen our meditation and mindfulness practices, and may even reduce physical pain. But are there any dangers associated with singing bowls? Can playing a singing bowl have negative side effects?

Let’s take a closer look. Here are some singing bowl dangers and side effects everyone should be aware of.


Singing Bowls Instead of Doctors

By far, the biggest danger we see around singing bowls isn’t the singing bowl itself, but the user’s preference for it. Singing bowls are never a replacement for medical advice or care, nor is it guaranteed to cure, treat, or prevent any health condition.

If you are suffering from chronic pain, depression, substance abuse issues, or severe anxiety, always speak to a doctor. Singing bowls and singing bowl therapy are often great complementary treatments to your doctor’s regimen. 

Singing bowls are a way to support your healing on your own time, not a primary mode of treatment.


Singing Bowl Sound Therapy Dangers

If you’ve ever participated in a sound healing session with a qualified practitioner, you know that singing bowls are placed directly on the body. The purpose of this is to target that area; for example, if you want to work on your heart chakra, a sound healer may place the bowl on your chest.

There are a few instances in which this can become a problem. First, those with metal allergies may develop a reaction to coming in contact with a metal alloy singing bowl. In most cases, it will be a minor rash or irritation, but it should still be avoided. 

The second case is up for debate. Some report that sound healing with singing bowls is good for pregnant women, but others warn of the risk. The bowl does vibrate when placed on the body, and we want to be mindful of the potential for adverse effects. Therefore, the safest bet is to avoid placing singing bowls directly on the body when pregnant.

Finally, there’s an important warning for those with epilepsy. While it’s rather uncommon, singing bowl sounds may be able to trigger seizures. If you have any history of epilepsy, speak to a neurologist before using singing bowls or engaging in sound therapy.


Singing Bowls and Migraines

Among the many great benefits people have reported, some say that singing bowls can help soothe a headache. But what if you start to get a headache or migraine while listening to a singing bowl?

Singing bowls are healing instruments. If you experience any new pain or discomfort while using a singing bowl, you are getting the opposite of the intended reaction. This is a sure sign you should stop and speak to your doctor the next chance you get.

Have you ever experienced any negative side effects from using singing bowls? Do you think we missed any of the most important dangers of using a singing bowl? Share with us in the comments. 


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1 comment
  • I would love to incorporate this modality with my massage practice. I think I would love education in the use of this modality as well.

    June WEHNER on

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