The Spiritual Healing of the Native American Flute

The Native American flute is one of the most mystical instruments available to people. Its wonderful, spiritual voice carries the power of spiritual healing to everyone who is willing to benefit from it. And you don’t have to be a Native American to benefit from this instrument, to listen to it or to play it for your own pleasure. And for healing. Healing comes in all shapes and sizes – and the Native American flute is a powerful tool of healing.

A tool available to everyone due to its simple nature – you just blow the air in and cover and uncover the finger holes in correct, yet simple order, and the music flows…

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A Spiritual Instrument for Everyone

The Native American style flute is a popular instrument – it is, as the name suggest, a flute. I has two inner chambers and an air channel between them, placed under a “block” – a piece of wood tied with a leather strap. Because of its construction, this flute is very simple to play – almost everyone can learn to play this instrument, even by using on-line resources. The “Native American Flute” and “Native American Style Flute” is the same thing. The difference is that the word “Style” is used by non-native Americans due to US law.

Listen to one of my meditative songs below:

These days, you can purchase the Native American flutes on-line. There are many flutemakers out there, like High Spirits. Or you can make one yourself – I have launched a website that teaches how to make this type of flutes, check it out: FluteCraft. And with YouTube and other on-line resources, you can learn how to play the Native flute, too.

But now, let’s focus on the healing. For generations, shamans, healers and medicine man had used instruments for the purpose of healing. Drums are probably the most popular of these instruments, but rattles or flutes are are popular as well.

[Native American Medicine men] use songs, drums, flutes and rattles to create deep relaxation, altered states of consciousness, and healing.
– Rev. David Singing Bear, 2011

Instruments were meant to relax the physical body and the mind, so that the person could work with emotions – basically. The flute is a simple instrument that can provide you with such relaxation. And it doesn’t have to be the famous “432” tuning, you may use a concert-tuned flute, too! But, what is 432 Hz tuning, anyway?

432 hz tuning is said to be the tuning of the Universe – a universal healing frequency.

More and more people suggest that we tune all our instrument to the so called “Verdi tuning” that equals A=432 Hz, because it’s a healing frequency, to which our bodies and mind react in a positive manner. The modern A=440 Hz tuning is said to be more aggressive and unnatural for our mind and body.

Relaxation

I teach Reiki, and I play the Native American style flute – thus I understand that the first and basic aspect of healing comes with relaxation. When you can just sit down, relax and calm down your mind – with no intentions of spiritual healing or solving your problems. Just sit down and enjoy the moment. Playing the flute allows you to do this – just sit down and play. And you can play in your flat in a huge city, or in the middle of an ancient forest – it makes no difference basically, because playing the flute brings relaxation every time you play with your heart.

It’s a great gift for yourself. We all need to learn how to love ourselves. One of the way to do this is to make sure we spend some time with ourselves, and we devote some of our time to ourselves, and that we offer ourselves joy and happiness and pleasure. This can be achieved by playing for our own pleasure – just like that. And when this part of our life journey is complete, we can learn how to offer the great gift of the flute to others – our friends, family and people around us. This is a path of healing for them and us, as well.

I heard how playing the flute and creating music enhanced people’s lives.  I heard stories from caregivers, how playing their flute eased their patient’s discomforts.  Other therapeutic stories, involving people with asthma or C.O.P.D., war veterans who found comfort in playing their flute.  Teenagers suffering from self-esteem issues were suddenly finding confidence. I heard from those incarcerated, who found joy at having a new way to express their feelings.
– Odell Borg on High Spirits Blog

There is another aspect to the healing power of the flute – as some research suggest, playing the flute is becoming popular in medical facilities as a holistic tool for helping the patients. It helps in respiratory problems, decreases blood pressure and helps stabilize the heart rate, too. Physical benefits can be measured.

Releasing Emotional Tension

The greatest healing power of the flute comes with its ability to help us release tensions – both the physical and emotional tensions. And we do this by listening to the flute or by playing it – especially by playing.

For those who wonder – there is a HUGE difference between listening to a recording and listening to a live flute. And there’s also a great difference between listening to a live flute, and playing the flute.

You see, when you listen to music, it’s the player’s responsibility to help you relax and heal. The player must choose the tune that is meant for you. And often it works. But when you play the flute yourself, you can decide what kind of music you play. And this is when our natural, inborn artistic expression come into play – we all have the gift of musical skills. Some of us just never awakened it. But when you know how to play an instrument, you can express your emotions, feeling and thoughts through the instrument. For example, through the flute – this way you can help your mind bring order to chaos, put the thoughts and emotions onto right shelves. Or release the emotions through music, let them flow out of you and trouble you no more.

One of the healing aspects of playing a branch flute is the peace of mind that it can bring, helping to quiet the thoughts and connect us to our Heart, where Peace itself resides.
– Jon Sherman, Dryad Flutes

A lot of health or life problems originates in the fact that we cannot express our feelings and emotions. If you can express them through a happy music, or sad music that is your own, you create a way to release the tensions. This is a great healing process.

It is said that when your mind is focused on something – like breath in meditation, or on playing the flute – your subconscious works in the background to put you back together and bring harmony back to your life.

Meditation With a Flute

The Native American style flute is often compared to the Shakuhachi – a meditation flute used by monks of the Zen Buddhism. Indeed, the NAF can be used as a powerful meditative tool.

By listening to, and by playing the flute, we can increase our possibility of reaching the alpha state of mind – which is a basic meditative state. The more we play with calm breath and the more we focus on playing, the deeper meditative states we can achieve. This is a great way of calming down your mind and emotions. By doing so, you can also open yourself to intuition, or spiritual guidance, or help yourself release emotions that are hidden within your subconscious mind.

Summary

In this article, I’ve shown you the basic benefits that come with playing the Native American style flute. But the text can get you only so far. If you truly wish to experience the power of the flute, you have to play it yourself. And when you do – enjoy. Let the flute take you from there…

Have you ever played the Native American style flute? What are your thoughts and experiences with its healing power? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Additional Sources

  1. Cummings, D., Native American Flute Meditation: Musical Instrument Design, Construction and Playing as Contemplative Practice. University of Rhode Island, 2008. Dostęp on-line: <http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1107&context=srhonorsprog>
  2. Goss, C.F., Miller, E.B., An Exploration of Physiological Responses to the Native American Flute. 2014. Dostęp on-line: <http://arxiv.org/pdf/1401.6004.pdf>

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