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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Crystal clear: Singing bowls heal and harmonize

Dec 06, 2018 02:08AM ● By Pat Martin

Kate Fotopoulos and her partner, Don Carpenter, use the soothing sounds of singing bowls to help and heal.

Have you ever run your finger around the rim of a crystal wine glass to make a musical tone?

Crystal singing bowls are like a larger version of that wine glass. They’re made by taking pure quartz crystals (like the clusters you can dig up from the ground or buy at gem and mineral shops) and melting them down at 3,000- 4,000 degrees, then molding the molten slurry into bowl shapes.

The singing bowls played by Grand Junction couple Kate Fotopoulos and Don Carpenter also have gemstones and minerals—topaz, tourmaline, morganite, platinum—added into the mix.

Running a rawhide-covered wand around the rim of a singing bowl results in tones that you not only hear with your ears, but you can feel in your body. Depending on the frequency of the musical note produced and the gemstones/minerals in the bowls, the vibrations stimulate different energy centers in your body, called chakras, for healing, emotional balancing and ease of meditation.

This healing modality, although ancient in its conception, is producing amazing results in the chaotic lifestyle of the 21st century. Attendees report having a mystical and spiritual experience that’s hard to explain.

Healing power of sound

Fotopoulos is the daughter of a doctor and a nurse, and everyone in her family played an instrument and/or sang.

She began researching the mind/ body connection in the mid ’70s as part of her work in the human potential, humanistic psychology and alternative medicine movements, and went on to train in a number of holistic modalities, including ayurveda, reiki, hakomi, integrative massage and meditation.

She discovered the Crystal Tones Company, with their beautiful alchemy series of singing bowls, which she now uses not only for healing, but also to bring clarity and focus into her work as a business coach and spiritual mentor.

After teaching in a classroom for 36 years, Carpenter, a former Colorado Mesa University business professor, made the switch last year to teaching online courses so he and Fotopoulos can have the freedom to take their bowls on the road. They’ve presented their bowls at events in Santa Fe, Tucson, Seattle and Salt Lake, and will embark on a Midwest tour in 2019.

The couple has intentions to manifest a spiritual retreat center in

the near future, where the singing bowls will find a new home in the center’s meditation hall and will be used in a healing arts clinic.

Cosmic Roto-Rooter

Attending a singing bowls session is an unforgettable experience. Participants report benefits of all kinds, including stress relief, relaxation and a sense of peace. If one comes with a challenge, either physical or emotional, the tones that resonate within produce a healing effect.

“I came with a heavy heart after someone very dear to me walked out of my life. I was sad, depressed and lonely,” said one participant. “I left the session feeling the heaviness of my heart lighten and my breathing became easier. I feel at peace now.”

Fotopoulos considers the bowls a gift from another dimension.

“They each have different personalities and respond to the energy in the room, as well as to the intentions each individual sets,” she said. “The vibrations help loosen stuck emotions or physical blocks.”

She jokingly refers to the process as a cosmic Roto-Rooter.

“The energy of the bowls supports mental clarity and emotional release,” she said. “And the beautiful part is that the vibrations bypass the rational, linear, analytic mind. You don’t have to understand music theory. You don’t need to know anything about energy medicine. You just have to have a willingness to receive.”

Don Carpenter, a business professor, made the switch to teaching online courses so he and Fotopoulos can take their singing bowls on the road.

Fotopoulos and Carpenter are certified vibrational sound therapy practitioners. Alongside their work with crystal bowls, they do individual therapeutic sessions, placing metal alloy bowls directly on a person’s body to send vibrations deep into the tissues.

Throughout history, every spiritual or religious tradition has placed great emphasis on the power of sound. This concept is as old as creation. In fact, many creation myths refer to sound as being the catalyst for the manifestation of the world.

Crystal singing bowls, and sound therapy in general, are powerful tools. Fotopoulos and Carpenter hope more people will come to realize their potential for healing.

The couple offers a free crystal singing bowls session at 6:30 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month at the Center for Spiritual Living, 2478 Patterson Road in Grand Junction. There will be no class in December, but classes resume in January. For more information, call 303-803-4615 or visit

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