Singing Bowls & Reiki
A Deep Feeling of Serenity
Music always has been an important part of Linda Mai’s life, so it is no surprise that she turns to the soothing tones and vibrations of Tibetan singing bowls along with relaxing Reiki during her treatment for metastatic breast cancer.
Now, the retired music educator and Reiki master combine the relaxing techniques as a volunteer to help other cancer patients out of gratitude for the care she receives at Concord Hospital Payson Center for Cancer Care.
Linda, 64, of Webster, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. As her treatment continues, she is impressed at the number of volunteers who give their time and talent to help patients like her with guided imagery, Reiki sessions and peer support, so when she retired from a busy career as a music educator in 2015, she wanted to give back.
“It feels good to do something to help make somebody else’s life a little bit better,” Linda said. “I know how profoundly it helps me, so I wanted to do something to help someone else.”
Linda said adding singing bowls to Reiki promotes an even deeper feeling of serenity.
“It brings me to a place of calm and peace and a sense that everything is going to be okay, no matter what,” she said. “I feel myself falling into a place where I feel held in comfort and love and that feeling is healing in and of itself.”
It’s a feeling she shares in face-to-face sessions, sometimes placing bowls on a patient’s stomach or chest so they can feel relaxing vibrations as she taps them. During the pandemic, she performed distance Reiki sessions by phone — placing her phone among her singing bowls and focusing on a photo of the patient while creating the bowls’ tones.
“The patients have headphones on so they will hear the pure sounds of the singing bowls,” she said.
Her first distance Reiki patient said he felt the bowls’ vibrations “all the way down to his toes,” Linda said.
“He said it was so profound and very relaxing and gave him something to focus on and listen to and drew him into the moment.”
Linda knows cancer patients can feel they have no control and can be anxious every day about their disease and treatment. Her goal is to promote healing and move patients to more pleasant thoughts.
“I say ‘Your job is to just lie there and relax and try to open your mind and heart to the possibilities of goodness — of whatever can happen that is good,’” she said.
She feels her own experience with cancer and her positive approach can help others.
“I refuse to let it bring me down,” she said. “Sometimes I have a pity party, but it’s a limited engagement pity party, then I get back to the business of living.”