Haola & Healing

monks chantingChant Haola with movement, visualizing the energy flow, and declare your belief in the goodness and wholeness of your mind, body, and spirit. Before studying WHQ (Wisdom Healing Qigong) I had memorized chants from Buddhist tradition. I would chant them to myself when I felt stressed or anxious. For example, on morning yard duty at Home Street, those chants would be my mantra as I made sure kids were behaving well and as I anticipated the day ahead. Elementary school cafeteria duty–hundreds of little children released from classroom quiet to repast with friends. My mantras would be going in the background of my on-duty brain: tying shoe laces, getting hugs, resolving disputes.The more I repeated the mantras, the more they automatically appeared in my brain during any times of stress–and still do to this day. The chanting helps stop the story line, controls the brain, controls the release of adrenalin thus diminishing the stress response which we all know is detrimental, except in cases where we do need to run from a lion! Or respond to an issue on the playground!

Chanting Haola is the first of the Six Golden Keys of Chi medicine. Hao means “all is well”, la means “so be it”. We chant Haola to invoke the divine blueprint of our bodies, minds, hearts, souls and universal goodness. It is a verbal acknowledgment that the universe is good and working as it should be. With Haola, we open ourselves to the source energy that can heal us as individuals and can heal our world. It’s an extension and a deepening of the power of positive thinking. There IS power in being positive, being happy–different chemicals run through our bodies when we feel contentment and joy. We can’t feel that positive all the time, but we can re-program and minimize the deleterious effects of stress and anxiety if we chant Haola whenever we can, whatever we feel, starting with when we practice qigong.

Chanting as a practice “helps to facilitate shifts in our brainwave state by using entrainment. Entrainment synchronizes our fluctuating brainwaves by providing a stable frequency which the brainwave can attune to. By using rhythm and frequency, we can entrain our brainwaves and it then becomes possible to downshift our normal beta state (normal waking consciousness) to alpha (relaxed consciousness), and even reach theta (meditative state) and delta (sleep; where internal healing can occur).” http://www.mindbodygreen.com

There are numerous scientific studies about chanting and sound (including music!) that support  using sound as a means of relaxation and healing. For example:

  • Neuroscientist Marian Diamond from the University of California found that chanting helps block the release of stress hormones and increases immune function. It also keeps our muscles and joints flexible for a long time. (She was my anatomy teacher at Cal in 1975, she was fantastic!)
  • A study by Dr Alan Watkins [senior lecturer in neuroscience at Imperial College London] revealed that while chanting, our heart rate and blood pressure dip to its lowest in the day. Doctors say that even listening to chants normalizes adrenalin levels, brain wave pattern and lowers cholesterol levels.

chant sunSo we chant Haola as we practice and as we live. We relax our brain and allow it in this altered state to unify with our body to create wholeness and healing. All is well.
Everything’s okay. Don’t worry. It is what it is. No matter what is going on around me, I choose wholeness. I choose healing. I choose to be positive, to be loving, to be kind, to be of service to myself and to others. Haola! 

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