As the keys of an ancient aboriginal instrument changed, so did Jessica Labbe’s thoughts and feelings. She lay in a Wolfeboro yoga studio and was amazed at how the music made her feel peaceful, energized, tired or even agitated. By the end of the workshop, she knew she had to share the sound therapy abilities of the didgeridoo.
She opened her Manchester yoga studio, Jeca Yoga, earlier this year and, just as she planned, will be bringing in Joseph Carringer, the sound therapist she saw in Wolfeboro, to lead a workshop.
“I was able to experience the sound healing benefit, and I thought it was pretty amazing,” Labbe said. “He took some time to educate us about the instrument and how and why it works. When I opened my studio, I knew I had to introduce him to the yoga community in Manchester.”
Before he developed his sound therapy techniques, Carringer played didgeridoo for strictly musical purposes. He had gained some recognition as one of the only didgeridoo players performing with electronic instruments, accompanying blues and jazz bands. When he first found out about the sound therapy potential of the instrument, he was skeptical.
An acquaintance had mentioned he had seen a feature on Vh1 about Leonardo DiCaprio and how he uses didgeridoo sound therapy. Carringer said he didn’t think much of it at first.
“I started researching if there was anything to what this kid was talking about,” Carringer said. “I found one doctor out of Australia who had done a paper listing all the physiological side effects.”
He developed a sound therapy practice, Ancient Voices Harmonic Therapy, in Portsmouth and uses his collection of didgeridoos to assist clients in their healing journeys.
Carringer said that the sound the didgeridoo creates is not actually causing any healing. Instead, he said, playing in a certain key can help clear an emotional blockage connected to a physical ailment.
He referred to ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic connections between emotions and physical conditions. For example, Carringer said colon cancer often correlates with concerns for the safety of oneself and family members. When he plays his didgeridoo tuned to the key of C, Carringer said, the vibrations from the instrument can overwrite the body’s own waves to correct the blockage.
“You’re dealing with finding where the disconnect happened with safety and security and where that went awry,” he said. “You work to clear the energetic stagnation by supporting the energy center with the key of C and training it back to its normal vibration.”
No matter the treatment techniques, Carringer said people serve as their own healing agents. Both Western and Eastern medicine can assist in healing, and the didgeridoo can help that, but the body is the only thing that can heal itself. He said no one visiting the workshop will be cured by his didgeridoo playing, but it can help accelerate the process.
“These are tools to help create the potential to unlock their healing and end up in a better place than when they started,” he said.
Labbe said the workshop will include elements of meditation.
“One of the main reasons that people will seek out yoga and/or meditation is so that they can learn tools to help quiet their mind,” she said. “Meditation is a great way to do that, and sound is a great way to help.”