As I drove through the morning rain to meet Christine Grimm in her cozy cottage in Montecito, I was picturing a standard sit-down interview: me asking the questions, her answering them. Instead, in the two hours I spent with her, I found myself drumming, dancing, speaking into a voice analysis microphone, “toning” my voice to RA frequencies, and experiencing the healing harmonies of tuning forks. At the end of the session, I had the opportunity to ask this sound healing pioneer some questions about her practice.
How are you involved in the art of healing?
Sound is my approach to healing. I diagnose the frequencies (notes) in people’s voices, then help bring them back into balance with breath, tones, and rhythm.
How would you explain sound healing to a beginner?
Music has a powerful effect on our emotions and health. Sound healing uses individual components of music to bring us back into balance. This includes releasing excessive or blocked areas and strengthening the weak ones. The frequencies of sound correlate with the brain waves, so balancing them has a positive effect on the body, mind, and soul — and the voice.
What beliefs led you to this path?
I believe in personal responsibility for our health combined with natural healing. Together with a conscious lifestyle, sound is a tool that anyone can use to prevent imbalances from manifesting as disease. I show people how to use this tool so they can become their own healers.
Who were your teachers?
After studying with sound pioneer Sharry Edwards, Elaine Thompson gave a series of workshops in Germany during the 1990s. She taught me computerized voice analysis, which is a very Western approach. When I moved back to California, I learned how to do voice analysis with a chromatic tuner. Then I studied Fabien Maman’s Eastern approach to sound and integrated the chakra system into my work. I learned overtoning from Christa Ray. I also took courses with John Beaulieu, the doctor who makes the Biosonics tuning forks that I use.
But my clients and students have been my greatest teachers. I’m always happy when people call after a workshop or private session to tell me their stories of healing: The back pain that suddenly disappeared, the speaking voice that now comes from the heart, the failing relationship that was saved, the new financial opportunities, the increased self-confidence, the weight loss, or the non-singer experiencing the joy of having a beautiful voice. That’s why I do this work.
You mentioned that you have two other professions.
I’ve translated more than 60 German books, many pertaining to spirituality and natural remedies. I’m currently harmonizing my own singing and songwriting with the sound work by offering concerts that blend original music and chakra songs with instruments like crystal bowls and the didgeridoo. My March 20th workshop at Camp Ocean Pines with sound healer Steffan Heydon of San Luis Obispo will be the premiere of our joint sound healing concert, which we plan to also offer in Santa Barbara.
What would you recommend to anyone on a similar path of healing?
I encourage people to have a private session with voice analysis to determine which frequencies are weak or excessive. Then I design a customized program with breath, release, and toning exercises to bring them into balance. Instruments such as tuning forks also support this process. The first step is to use sound for your own healing and growth, as well as learning as much as you can about it. Then you can begin to work with other people.
Some hospitals are now using sound healing techniques, so I predict that this approach will become increasingly popular in the future. Because sound is a very powerful tool, it’s important to learn how to use it responsibly. Analyzing the voice allows each of us to work with the correct frequencies for maintaining balance and health.
Christine M. Grimm will give a free sound healing lecture with a toning circle on Wednesday, March 10, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Karpeles Museum. To learn more, visit TuneYourVoice.com.