What Does a Tuning Fork Do?

This article was written by practitioner Tamara Edwards

Tuning Forks for self healing: 101 

I was introduced to Tuning Forks as a healing modality in 2010 by a practitioner who suggested it to help with a particular health issue I was experiencing. I purchased the tuning fork and after some time found a whole world of healing that I didn’t expect. They are now one of the most important tools in my kit, and help me with my own anxiety, pain, and sleep. I also use them in my facilitation practice. 

In this article I’ll give you the basics of what Tuning Forks are and how to get started with this tool at home.

What are Tuning Forks

Tuning Forks are a 2-pronged u-shaped metal fork originally invented in 1711 by John Shore in England. They were used as a pitch standard to tune musical instruments.  As advances in manufacturing continued, the forks became more precise and by the last decade of the 19th century they were considered among the most precise of all scientific instruments. So precise that in fact the speed of light was measured for the first time by using the light reflected from the vibrating tines of a tuning fork, by Albert Michelson. 

As people further experimented with these instruments, other professionals adopted them such as police officers to calibrate their radars, doctors for assessing hearing loss, musicians, and now healing practitioners.   

It was John Beaulieu while working at Bellevue psychiatric hospital in NYC, who discovered that tuning forks could be used to “tune” the human nervous system, much like a musical instrument. 

Tuning forks are each individually tuned to a certain frequency, and each frequency has a specific therapeutic effect on the body. Even without focusing on specific frequencies, as a baseline, every tuning fork will help engage your parasympathetic nervous system. When your body is in a parasympathetic state the body can repair itself and reset to its natural rhythm. Tuning forks have been shown to work on the body similar to acupuncture, without the use of needles. 

The following guideline will help you get started with purchasing and using tuning forks at home on yourself, a loved one, and even your pet. 

Tuning forks 101

Which tuning fork to buy

I prefer weighted tuning forks that are used on the body directly. Weighted tuning forks have a metal disk on the end of each tine, which causes them to vibrate more strongly and for a longer time. 

128hz is a good fork to start with if you had to choose just one. It is good for deep relaxation, circulation and pain relief.

How to use a tuning fork

Carefully grasp the fork from its stem and lightly tap the top of the fork on your knee or palm. Not so hard that the tines bang into each other, or you hurt yourself of course. You’ll quickly get the hang of it. 

You can place the fork near your ear and sink into the sound, to get yourself in a space to fully receive. Tuning forks are largely about receptivity, the more you can release and let the vibrations in, the more you will feel an effect. 

Next, place the stem on a point on your body. You can choose a place in the vicinity of soreness, or a place you just “feel” to. If you have no idea of where to begin, you can try starting with the center of your chest. Take breaths while you hold the tuning fork on your chest until the vibrations cease. You can gently squint or close your eyes to assist your focus and feeling deep into subtle places in your body. Reapply a second time. And then move to another point on the body. 

Where to apply the fork 

You can place a tuning fork anywhere. It is not dangerous, of course within reason (don’t put on your bare eyeballs.)Tune into your body and feel where you have physical sensations or follow the basic acupressure points, which you can find online or book guides to easily. Here are a few points I suggest starting with: 

  • Top of head, a.k.a the fontanelle where the skull bones meet.
  • Third Eye
  • Chest
  • Stomach
  • Womb area/ovaries (especially when experiencing cramps). On the front and back.
  • Ankles/Feet
  • Occiput (the area along the rear ridge of the skull)
  • Around the ear, for earaches.

Nostrils (when experiencing a stuffy nose this can increase a sense of silliness and may alleviate depressive symptoms.)

If you have any acute injuries you can apply the tuning fork on or around the area that is sore to help relieve pain and tension. You will know what feels good and what doesn’t. Trust that.

Use your breath, and let it go where you want it to go, while you unwind and play around with the forks. You can also use ujjayi breathing if you’ve learned that through yoga. Some people like to move the fork every second or every few seconds, others prefer to stay on the same spot for a long time. 

There is no wrong way to do it. As long as the fork is vibrating on or around your body you will receive benefit. Use them with friends, family, or lovers and see how they respond. 

It is normal to experience twitches in the body as tension releases. If you feel pain where you use the tuning fork, it’s nothing to fear, just re-apply where it feels more comfortable. If working on someone else, you can either follow your own sense of intuition, or request that they guide you. 

Benefits of Tuning Forks

  • Tuning forks may help with the following conditions: 
  • Cramps
  • Anxiety
  • Exhaustion
  • Digestive discomfort
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches 
  • Pain
  • Stress
  • Circulation
  • Ear infections
  • Recovering after surgery or sickness

Going deeper with Tuning forks: 

In my experience, healing ability as we are discussing here comes from experience mixed with intuition. We all have innate capacities and gifts that we can develop over the course of this lifetime. A tuning fork can be seen as a self-empowering tool that helps facilitate balance and healing, independently of anyone else. It can also facilitate connection between 2 people when you work on each other with this instrument. It is healing for the facilitator, as it is for the receiver. There is a feedback loop much like in pulse diagnosis and other healing modalities.

Whether you are new to the world of healing or a seasoned practitioner, adding a tuning fork to your home medicine kit empowers self healing and attunes you to more subtle layers of your experience, 

More about the author Tamara Edwards:

Tamara was introduced to meditation early in life by her father, a medical doctor and Ayurvedic practitioner who learned Transcendental Meditation from Maharishi in the 1970’s.  Life events led her to a deeper practice in 2010, which resulted in a two-month pilgrimage to India.

In 2013, along side her career as a indie film producer, she founded the “BE Society” in New York – a recurring meditation held in lofts, galleries and rooftops around the city.  It spread to other parts of the world, becoming a global network of meditators. 

In 2016 she opened the “BE Hive” in Los Angeles – a 7,000 square foot urban sanctuary with 13 bedrooms, a store, regular programming  and wellness treatments. 

For the past 2.5 years Tamara lived off grid in the jungle of Costa Rica serving as the wellness director and creating sustainable solutions for a luxury eco lodge and 3,000 acre regenerative farm. She also during this time, under the guidance of mentors, developed her healing modalities and worked with a versatile International client base.

Now Tamara focuses her energy on curating immersive experiences, producing, teaching regenerative practices such as breathwork and meditation, creating wholistic lifestyle training programs, and speaking and consulting with socially conscious companies and individuals.  When she is not sharing her practice, Tamara is traveling the world – surfing and helping efforts related to protecting and regenerating the environment.

Monthly tune-ups with tuning forks can be quite helpful at maintaining balance and well being. To book a session with Tamara click HERE

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