Are you constantly going all day every day? Do you struggle to turn your mind off or suffer from insomnia? Do you feel stressed out and overwhelmed. Believe me I get it. We all go from dusk till dawn all day every day. We just do do do do do. We don’t stop and just be. The problem is that that crazy constantly doing state will wreak havoc on your hormones, it will destroy your gut, leave you overwhelmed and exhausted.
The problem is that we need to take time to just be. We’re human beings, we need to be sometimes and stop doing so much ALL.THE.TIME. Our bodies and minds need to just relax. It’s not so easy to do that sometimes. If only there was a magic switch that you could flip to help you just be.
My guest today has an amazing tool that she uses. It’s called sound healing. She uses it to help bring her clients out of that stressed overwhelmed mental state and get them back into balance.
I have experienced sound healing and I just love it! It’s beautiful. It feels amazing and it’s so transformative. And I would encourage you to check it out. She is amazing.
In the interview that follows, we go over many things.
Her experience with the pandemic in her practice and what she has seen with her patients.
Symptoms of chronic stress
How our bodies and minds can hold onto trauma that shows up as disease
The steps to take to work through trauma
How breathing can do so much for our health
How energy can be harmonized in our bodies
The benefits of guided meditation
How sound healing can help heal
What people might experience during sound healing
The stages of sound healing
The tools Rabab uses in sound healing
The path to healing
Who is Rabab?
Rabab Al-Amin is a Chinese medicine physician and medicine woman. You’re just going to love her because she has a very beautiful energy. She is going to talk about how she aligns people’s energy. We come in with our energy all tied up in knots and dysfunctional and she gets things flowing in the right direction again, so it’s really cool.
Rabab is the founder and CEO of Hunt Valley Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine as well as the Founder and Chief Alchemist of Hummingbird potions. She has 48 years of combined experience in eastern and western medicine. She’s passionate about life and the miraculous design of the human body and its innate capacity to heal. I totally feel her on this one. While her practice is grounded in the principles of ancient Chinese medicine. She also brings a Sufi healing wisdom into her practice with patients.
Her approach is to help her patients have access to the best part of themselves and find freedom and balance within. Rabab provides guided meditation with sound healing programs and helps her clients by transforming anxiety into stability, burnout into balance, pain into ease, from feeling cut off and lonely to being connected.
How do you know Rabab?
I’m in a mindshare group with Rabab. I have had the pleasure of being able to do this sound healing in a group. It’s very connecting. Energy gets transmitted and transformed. It goes through other people. It’s incredible. I would really encourage you to check out her program.
Listen to my interview with her and get a feel for healing with sound. This just might be the tool that you need. We don’t always need medicine. We don’t always need supplements. We don’t always need to run more, do a HIIT class. Sometimes we need to do something like this. I’m really excited about this interview!
My Interview with Rabab Al-Amin
Tabatha: Welcome Rabab! I’m really excited because we get to talk about the amazing work that you’re doing, especially with women. We are just living these overstressed lives and we need someone like you to bring us back into balance and get us feeling better. Tell us about your experience during the past year. Have you seen the stress of the pandemic reflected in your patients?
Watch the full video podcast of this episode here.
Rabab: It’s really been difficult for a lot of people, you know, since the pandemic. If you’re a mama, then you have your work and kids at home. If you’re working, then your work schedule has changed. So many of us had to change how we were working. We had to do this at my clinic so we could continue to bring our gifts to the world.
Change is stressful. Even with all of the work that I’ve done, there were so many moments where I had to use all the tools that I had acquired over the last 30 years of being in practice to re-center myself. So many people don’t have these tools.
Tabatha: Thank you for saying that because I think everybody assumes that professionals have everything set in place. They handle everything smoothly. You’re saying that you’ve been doing this for 30 years, managing your stress and breathing and meditation, and you still get frazzled, right? I know I do.
Rabab: Absolutely. The beauty though is that when you have the right tools to work with yourself, and bring yourself back into balance, you can do it easier than you could before you had them. Then, when you have a life setback, you’re not going to sink as low as you might have before. I’ll show you a graph about this later, that demonstrates how you really can get better and better and better at this.
Tabatha: I see patients every day in my office that are trying to just juggle life and I come in and tell them they need to revamp their diet and they need to start focusing on exercise and stress management. Sometimes it feels like I’m adding to their stress by giving them more to do. What you do actually helps to bring us out of that crazy state and helps us to get into a more Zen place. Where we can feel at peace and recharge. Then we will feel like we want to chop vegetables and cook healthy food, work out and love on our bodies and minds right? So I want you to talk about that today.
Rabab: I would love to! As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why I actually started doing this on a larger scale (and not just with my patients) is that with the pandemic I couldn’t see patients in person because my clinic was closed. Even now, people are afraid and still really don’t want to go out. I was able to provide something that helped them to feel better. The best thing is that I can provide tools that help when I’m not there in person. I used to call it homework. I actually stopped calling it homework because it is not homework. These are essentials for living, you know. They’re gifts. They’re not chores. They are not only gifts, but they can help you lower your blood pressure, get you out of disease, get you healthy.
Rabab in her sound studio
This is my sound studio with high quality instruments that are just a joy for me to play. They help me to reduce stress in my clients.
Symptoms of chronic stress like…
feeling separated from yourself
Is that what most people are coming to see you for initially?
My patients in general start coming with what I call the ticket. The ticket could be some kind of pain like back pain.
Here’s what I know.
I’ve never seen a headache walk in by itself, it’s always attached to a person. I don’t just treat the headache or back pain. I want to get to the root of it. It could be that it’s a trauma, or a perceived trauma. It could be something that they saw something as a child and they didn’t understand it or it could be an actual trauma that happened to them. Potentially, our bodies hold onto the trauma, the memory stays in the bones, it stays in the muscles, it stays in the tissue. As it does that, the energy pathways, (the meridians) become stagnant. They won’t flow properly. We end up haveing all sorts of illnesses as a result. Even if we forget the memory of the trauma our bodies don’t forget.
Let me tell you a story about this.
Back in maybe 1998 or 99, I noticed that every January my jaw hurts. I went to my dentist, and he said you need a root canal. I didn’t want a root canal. It didn’t make sense to me that this would come and go like that. You know?
I started seeing an acupuncturist. And after being with the same acupuncturist for several years, he said, I’m looking at your chart. Every January you come and tell me that something is going on with your jaw and your teeth, but the rest of the year, your teeth are fine. Is there something that happened in your past in January. I thought about it and I started to cry.
Well, what happened in January is, many years ago, I had moved to the US in April with my small family, my ex husband, my daughter, and we were trying to find our way. It wasn’t easy. Because I’m from Iraq. By August of that year, there was talk of war. In January, the Gulf War started.
That whole January, I was watching my place of birth where my parents are still living, my twin brother, my sisters, all my friends, cousins… My whole life that I knew, being bombed. I saw that every day on CNN. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I was glued to the TV. I bet you, I was clenching my jaw a lot. When he said that, it hit me, I’m like, Oh, my God, that’s muscle memory. My jaw remembers. Thirty-one years later, I still experience jaw pain EVERY January. I told my dentist if I ever forget and come to you in January, you do not have my permission to do any dental work. I probably had unnecessary dental work done because of that trauma that my body remembered. I had not forgotten about that January, but I didn’t realize the degree that it was held in my body.
Tabatha: What a profound story, thank you for sharing that. Wow! Yeah, I see that in my patients, they completely forget what they’ve experienced, or, they will push it out of their minds, because they don’t want to remember. When they actually, finally, connect those dots, they can start healing. That is so awesome!
When you are aware, you can take extra steps at the time that this pattern repeats. For instance: If I can travel then I go on a trip in January, because I love to travel, it’s my way to have fun. I also sit in my sauna, get acupuncture treatments, meditate daily. Because of that. I’m getting better and better, but I know, the memory is there.
So if someone is experiencing something like that, or has a realization like that, what are the first few things that they should start doing? Where do you even begin?
The first thing is to acknowledge the trauma.
Acknowledge that this is real and honor that feeling. How many times have we told ourselves Oh, my God, I I thought I was over this. I thought I had dealt with this. Some of my patients that I’ve been working with for 21 years. They’re like, I thought we’ve gone over this. I tell them, this is just just one more step. It is what it is.
The second thing is to breathe and to really remember how important breathing is.
We can live without food and water. We can never live without breath. Breathing is the only thing that is both voluntary and involuntary in our body. We can hold our breaths, but at some point, we have to take a breath. As children, we are born knowing how to breathe, but we often forget and hold our breath or only take shallow breaths. So the next thing is the breath. Take a breath in deep, deep, deep, deep. Breath in, and exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. Hopefully you’re breathing from your nose, exhaling from your mouth. Just a simple breath. And I always tell people to breathe easy, you do not have to make the breath laboring. If your breath is shallow, that’s fine. Just start with the shallow breath. And then and then deepen, it as you sit and breathe. For instance, you could breathe in for a count of five. Then exhale for a count of five. Take 10 breaths, that’s it. 10 breaths and see what happens.
I use that to help me fall asleep. You know, I’m like, a lot of women in our 40s and 50s, we can’t sleep, we can’t shut our brains off. So I have learned, that if I do certain breathing exercises, it shifts my brain and gets me out of that monkey mind. And it’s been really, really helpful. But it takes a little bit of practice, right? It’s not something you’re going to master necessarily the first time.
Isn’t that interesting though, because it is something that we’re practicing 24 seven, but mindful breathing helps us to remember.. I used to breathe shallowly. I had to learn to bring the breath further down. As a Chinese medicine practitioner, I can tell you that the breath comes in, through the lungs, but the kidneys are what grasp the energy and bring it down. It’s literally the function of the kidneys. They allow for the lungs to fill all the way and for energy to get all the way down to your center, where, what we call your gate of life is. It’s like the pilot in your body.
That’s the relationship between the lung and the kidney. The lung is about inspiration, it’s about letting go of grief and being inspired. The main emotion associated with the lungs is grief. When we breathe deeply with our lungs, we make space and then the gift of that is inspiration.
When we have a loss, sometimes we get lost between what is and what used to be. This creates a gap. In the gap is where the loss is. The grief. So as we bridge the gap, we become inspired. We see that the loss created this space for something else potentially more beautiful to manifest. Then we become inspired.
The kidneys hold our potential. Think about a bean. When you hold a bean seed in your hand. It’s so magical because it has everything inside of it for the plant to become a bean plant, to grow and give us more beans right? In our kidneys, we have the potential to become who we really are born to be and grow into. The thing is, we’ve got to give ourselves the right amount of sun, water, nutrients, rest and play to be our best selves.
And everything, you know, like, and relate partnerships and community and, and families and you know, whether your own family or your, your decided family you know, so and so the relationship is is between the lung and the kidney is that where, you know, it brings the breath, that’s heavenly breath into the potential so that we can be constantly inspired. This is why I was born, this is why I was born. This is why this is what I need to be manifesting. So it’s really it’s interesting. It’s like so I studied breathwork with fabulous woman healer here in Maryland for about four years. And it was just a magnificent time of discovery of like, what happens when you when you breathe intentionally in the different it’s, we call it Kriya Yoga at the time, where like the different types of breath, like Breath of Fire, you know, you count and anyway, it’s just very complex, but like you get to places within your body that is like cosmetic.
That is amazing! I’ve never heard that about the kidneys. I think that’s gonna change how I’m breathing. Imagining that the breath breathes life and inspiration into me. That’s really cool! The thought of just breathing to grow into what you’re supposed to grow into like that. That’s really inspiring. I love it. The whole thing is beautiful! So thank you!
There’s so much to learn about breathing. I studied with my mentor, Dr. Fritz Smith, who is a zero balancer. I’ve been studying with him for the past 21 years. I’ve learned so much from him. This is actually how he described the breath. While the guided meditation that I use is my own, everything I learned, I attribute to Dr. Fred Smith.
Could you explain what you do?
Rabab: Sure! There is an energy structure in our bodies. In my work as an acupuncturist, I help to re-organize the energy and remove energy blocks so energy flows freely throughout the body.
Imagine a 13-year-old, they have many things going on in their lives. Their hormones are running on overtime, they don’t have any life trauma, just hormones. They gotta go to school. Maybe they have some negative ideas about themselves that are probably not true. They experience peer pressure and the pressure to get good grades… all of this would mess up their energy. That person might be grumpy, rejecting everything.
As a healer, I create a stronger field of energy around the person using guided meditation, and whatever tool I’m using. It could be sound, guided meditation, zero balancing, or acupuncture. As I create this strong field, they follow my guidance. It’s like a guided meditation. The imagery that I provide helps them to reorganize their energy (which you see represented in the second image. When they are done, they feel so much better.
I once had a 14-year-old boy come to me for his first balancing session. His father brought him for acupuncture. He was just not in a good place. I spent over an hour, talking to understand what’s going on. He’s upset and depressed. He’s really depressed, actually. I said, Okay, let’s get on the table. Are you ready for the acupuncture needles? And he said,
I looked at his dad, and said, “does he know that I’m an acupuncturist?” His dad didn’t tell him because he was worried that he wouldn’t have come.
I said, “okay, I’m not gonna do acupuncture.” (because I never do that with children. It’s such an amazing modality that I don’t want them to get turned off.) “I said, I’ll just do the rebalancing. I’m just going to do energy work with you right now.” I put him on the table and promised him no needles. I did what is called zero balancing. I created this field that I was telling you about and helped to bring his energy back into alignment.
When I was done, he got off the table. Actually, he jumped off the table! He’s asked, “why do I feel so good?” I wish I had that on video. It was so beautiful. Children don’t lie.
I can’t tell you how many kids got off the table like that. With sound healing (pre-COVID) when pediatric patients would come to my Sound Studio, I would have them play with the instruments. I’d just see their whole demeanor change. It’s because the instruments have this effect on you. It’s like entering a church (or the woods or the ocean) as soon as you enter, you feel a sort of the immediate change in your energy.
As I work with my patients, I can tune into them and feel where the energy is stuck. I can direct it. When I’m working with a group, I literally tune into the collective and work with the collective. They’re both really fantastic. What I’ve discovered is that sound takes people to places that not many things can. People tell me incredibly surprising discoveries afterward.
This is the beauty of sound healing. We don’t have to go and hash out the trauma. The healing happens spontaneously. I’m not saying that the person doesn’t play a role. This is partnership medicine. It’s not magic. You have to do your work, you have to follow my instructions. You also have to be consistent.
The Benefits of Guided Meditation
I also want to talk about the benefits of guided meditation, there’s so much that’s research that’s been done about it. They’ve shown that it can help to…
reduce cortisol levels
lower high blood pressure
reduce risk of heart disease
lower anxiety and stress
improve the quality of sleep
Tabatha: For me, guided meditation just made it so much easier for me to get through my day. I started doing it during lunch, actually, when I was still working in an OBGyn practice. I was not sleeping, I was seeing patients every 15-20 minutes, you know, life was crazy. Just giving my brain a break for 20 minutes during lunch, changed how I was able to function for the second half of the day and show up for my kids at the end of the day. Before that, I would come home and I was spent. I couldn’t cook dinner or focus or help with homework. I was done. Guided meditations really helped me to reel in my mind and save my energy.
I love it! The beauty is that it doesn’t really take much, right? You’re just listening. Just listen and follow the directions in the guided meditation and then do it consistently. You don’t really need a lot of time either.
Once your body gets to a state of balance, then it’s easy. When my patients come in, I imagine them in their best health. I don’t imagine them as sick. As I imagine them in their best health, I imagine that they can in a heartbeat, find their stability, find their groundedness, and be connected. Then I bring exactly the energy that they need and everything will flow. I’m not saying we’re immortal. We’re not. illnesses happen. Accidents happen. Life events happen. Trauma happens, but our relationship to all of that is what matters.
You mentioned you had to shift your practice during COVID. Now you’re doing more group work. You’ve really embraced what sound healing can do in a group setting. I would love for you to talk about that because I just think it’s beautiful. It’s so transformative if you really get into it and let it guide you. Could you talk about what you’re doing now?
For sound healing, I have several different ways to work with me. One of them is to work one on one. The other is to work in groups. Pre-COVID, I would have a group here in my sound studio. We would do both guided meditation and sound healing. It was really sweet and lovely.
Now, we do them online via Zoom. I have discovered how much is really transmitted through Zoom. I know you’ve experienced that already.
My group programs are either four or seven weeks. If you want to go deeper, then we work more.
Why Using Sound for Healing is So Helpful
Let’s talk about sound healing and why using sound for healing is so helpful. One study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine found that an hour-long sound meditation helped reduce tension, anger, fatigue, anxiety, and depression while increasing a sense of spiritual well-being. Sound has an effect on the human body at a cellular level. In another recent study, scientists discovered that they can actually make cardiac tissue cells rearrange into different configurations using sound. That’s amazing! It’s really magical.
I’ve studied sound with different people and I’ve also received inspiration from my work in Chinese medicine and with zero balancing. It all informs my sound healing work and how I look at the energy, how it moves, the different ways it moves and reacts.
Sound can help balance your energy instead of being stuck in a stressed-out state.
What do people experience during sound healing?
Everyone’s experience of sound healing is different. One person told me that she went to the desert. Some people see colors. Some people connect with their grandmothers, and sisters while others connect with their spirit animals while I’m playing.
I’ve discovered that sound healing has stages.
First, it clears and gets rid of “debris.”
Then it harmonizes.
Once there is harmony, that opens a path to self-discovery.
Once we get to that, then we begin to heal, relax, be inspired, comfort, comforted, and rejuvenated.
The tools that I use in sound healing
I have a monochord table that I love using. It’s a sound bed. Patients lay on it. I play the strings underneath them and they feel the vibration all along their entire body. While I’m playing. I’m listening to the dissonance.
Video of a sound bed in use from Savita Music
I have other tools too. I may use my tuning fork on an acupuncture point or I might use a needle to allow the sound to penetrate into places.
I also use gongs, chimes, drums and tuning forks. What I love about them is that they are planetary. They are tuned to the frequencies of the planets like sun, moon, earth, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Full Moon, New Moon, Mercury. I study astrology too. So knowing the archetypes of these planets, and the sound I can use, for example, I can use Jupiter for expansion, you know, or I can use moon to nourish or sun to bring youth in. All of that plays into my sound healing.
That’s incredible! I have experienced it, and I know how amazing it feels. You leave more energized. I felt like my energy just flowed better afterwards. Like you said, it’s not all chaotic and crazy, but it’s actually harmonized and going in the right direction. I like the idea that it can take you on the path to healing. That’s really amazing. I love that!
Tabatha: So talk a little bit more about this path to healing. It’s not a linear path, right? You don’t just come in, get fixed, go on your way, and you’re good for the rest of your life. It’s the same as any type of medicine and healing journey. Right? It’s going to have ups and downs.
Yeah, completely. That’s why I created this graph. There are three lines. The first is where the person wants to be, the second is where they are and the black one is the people that are watching. When a patient comes in, they’re really distressed. They often tell me. “I want to feel like myself, again.” So we work within a healing modality. Let’s say guided meditation and sound healing because that’s what we’re talking about here. We do weekly sessions and throughout the time in between appointments, you’re doing your work. Maybe that’s journaling. I always give people one thing, and see how they react. If it’s too much, I start small. Even if it’s just two minutes. Everybody can do two minutes. Then we build on it. Next time I see them, they’re up, let’s say they are at a 15. The next appointment, they come up, and they’re at a 20. They’re feeling better. They keep seeing me and doing the work. Then they plateau. They keep doing the work and stay consistent. They do their breath, work, eat well, go to bed early, turn off the lights, and the electronics. Suddenly, life gets better. They have a new normal. Now. If you are watching, you can see, we haven’t gone back to the state of disease anymore. My goal at each visit is to see some improvement. As they continue on their journey their good days are at a 35 which is way better than when they first came in. Even when life events happen that bring them down, they still aren’t going back to where they started.
The anatomy of a healing journey
This is the healing journey. It’s not a straight line. It is not a one time quick fix. I can count on one hand, the people who came in one session, and were 100% better. There are people who have had spontaneous healing and it’s miraculous. I think that type of healing is divine. I facilitate healing, and with all the tools and the knowledge that I have acquired over the span of my lifetime so far.
This is what I’ve learned so far. As you continue to breathe better, meditate, eat better and make lifestyle changes, you are improving. Then, after life events, you don’t give up. You keep implementing everything that you’ve learned. Suddenly, you reach a new high. You keep at it and your new normal is even better. It didn’t miraculously happen, it was all the work that you did in between that made the difference.
All of a sudden, you’re sleeping better, you’re enjoying your relationships more, you’re not so quick to get angry at your kids or your pets. Your relationships in general are better. You’re functioning better at work. Yes, life events happen and you dip, but guess what, you don’t go as low as you would have before. You don’t go to a point of disease because now you know the signs and symptoms.
For instance now I know, before my back goes out, I feel this twitch. I know this because I’ve done the work and been so in touch with my body. I know if I have that one glass of wine, I’m going to have inflammation. If I have cashews, that will get my joints inflamed. If I re engage with that unhealthy relationship I’m in trouble again. So you catch it before you get into disease. Then as you continue on your healing journey you are encouraged to keep improving because you want to get better and better. Once you taste what it’s like to have freedom in your mind body and spirit, then you want to know, where else you can go with it.
I love this graph because I feel like that’s exactly what I’ve lived. Every time I have a setback, I bounce back to a higher new standard. Like you said, it’s just better than it ever was before. I feel better at 46 than I did when I was 20 or 30. That’s really exciting to me. I’m just gonna keep feeling better and better because I’m consistently doing the work and using the tools. So thank you for that explanation. I think that’s awesome.
Yeah, you’re welcome. I usually draw this for my patients because people forget where they were and where they are. So I show them. This is where we were, this is where we are and this is where we can be.
Yeah, exactly. I could just talk about this all day, but we need to wrap this up. Where can my readers connect with you and possibly do some one on one or group work with you?
Rabab: You can go to my website www.rababalamin.com I have group sound healing sessions and one on one sound healing sessions as well as other services. You can schedule any services right on my website. But right now it’s there. On Instagram, I am RababMedicineWoman because my name was taken.
People should definitely follow you because I think it’s worth experiencing sound healing. It’s so amazing.
It’s really beautiful. I enjoy doing it. It’s really love. It’s a lot of love.
Yeah, I can feel it just when you’re talking about it. I think that’s why you’re so successful and have so many amazing patient transformations because you really are putting your energy into aligning their energy and that’s pretty awesome. It’s your life’s work. It’s wonderful. Thank you so much for letting me interview you. This was great!
To Wrap it All Up
Wasn’t that beautiful? I just love Rabab’s energy and all the amazing work that she’s doing to help other people get their energy in alignment, so that they can get on path to healing. I think that’s just amazing.
I’ve experienced her sound healing. It’s beautiful and transformative. I love the idea of doing it every week in a group. You can do it over Zoom, so you don’t even have to leave your house to receive the benefits of it. That is really cool. I just love all of the amazing things that have come out of COVID. You know, you watch the news in the media, and everybody’s focused on all the negative stuff, but if you sit and look at all the beautiful, amazing things that have been created out of COVID that’s what I love to focus on.
Rabab shifted her practice, she started creating these online group programs. I did the same thing. Now, I’m seeing patients virtually. You got to take those lemons and make lemonade, right? That’s what life is about. We’re gonna be tripped up, we’re gonna have obstacles or pandemics, whatever, but what you create out of it, makes the difference. You have to look for opportunities to rise like the phoenix. Don’t stay down.
I encourage you to try her sound healing group out. I think that will take your healing journey to the next level. We can get your hormones balanced, we can get your thyroid functioning, we can get your blood sugar under control, we can do all the bio hacks and make sure your genes are being activated correctly, but if you have energy blocks and spiritual blocks, that needs to be addressed because it will prevent you from getting to that next level. It will prevent you from springing to a new norm of a higher, healthier you. I want the best for you guys.
I am doing all of this work. It has made such an incredible difference in my life! Just keep at it. Be consistent like Rabab said.
If you want to work with me, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here for you. I have several options to work with me. We can work together one on one or you can do my group program. It’s called the 7 Week ReNew You Challenge. It’s an amazing reset, where you can get freedom from food, get control of your blood sugar and start losing that stubborn weight. We do a lot of this deep self love work as well, but the group aspect is amazing because you feel embraced and supported. You have sisters that are helping you, guiding you and keeping you motivated so you’re not doing this on your own like I just think the group program is invaluable. If you’re interested in that, definitely check that out on my website.
I love you ladies! Go have a kick ass week.