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Mountain Home Magazine

Good Vibrations

May 01, 2023 09:00AM ● By Gayle Morrow

We are already intuitively familiar with sound therapy. It’s all around us. Our senses recognize it. It’s that little gurgling stream behind your house, a horse’s contented munching, the bass you can feel throbbing in your chest when you’ve got “Heartbreaker” cranked. Sound therapy comes in a variety of waves, so to speak, and both our bodies and our minds respond to those waves. That’s the idea behind singing bowls.

“We blend the medley of guided visualization and the physical reverberation of sound,” explains Laura Lee Robinson, who, with her husband, Jesse, own and operate Emerge Healing Arts & Spa in Wellsboro. A singing bowl session can be relaxing and soothing, transformative and clearing.

“It’s like taking an inside [your body] shower,” she says.

What’s not to love about that?

Sounds are created through friction and vibration. Sound therapy has been in use for ages—think chanting, drumming, bells, chimes, rattles, wind instruments like the didgeridoo or bagpipes—and the effects of sound on us have been observed and studied all that time as well. Sound waves may act on the body’s energy field—“fundamentally the universe is vibration,” notes Laura Lee—and, since our body composition is largely space and water, it does make sense that sound waves would have an effect on our physical selves. And, since our bodies and our minds are inextricable, it also makes sense that sounds have impacts on our brains, thoughts, and emotions.

“It really is about the experience,” Laura Lee says. “For me it’s about access to the innate wisdom—it’s an access point for anyone.”

So what is that experience all about? Laura Lee obtained some of the singing bowls she uses in Nepal. “I feel like they have an extra magic,” she says. For a singing bowl session, she uses those bowls as well as others, including some made of crystal. The session takes place either in the salt cave (more on that in a minute) or in one of the treatment rooms. In the salt cave, the light is a warm yellow, and it’s easy to relax on the heated chair. Laura Lee uses mallets to create a range of sounds on the singing bowls, and augments the tones with her voice. The session is about an hour from start to finish, and can leave the participant feeling energized, peaceful, renewed, or some combination of those.

It is, she says, “an invitation for what we’re ready for.”

The singing bowl session is one of the newest services offered at Emerge, but there are others. As Laura Lee points out, “We’re celebrating our eleventh year as Emerge. Emerge is emerging!” Her daughter and her future son-in-law have joined the practice, so “not only is our practice expanding, but our family is, too.”

She’s reworking the interior flow of the home to better accommodate the bed-and-breakfast guests and to provide a more accessible display area for Emerge Botanicals. “My [EB] maker has retired,” Laura Lee says, and so the extensive variety of almost-rich-enough-to-eat and beautifully-packaged, small-batch, wild-crafted skin care products—moisturizers, cleansers, toners, and more—are now made in-house, and as much as is possible from local and organic ingredients. These are the products used for all Emerge facial services. Guests and clients can try out Emerge’s new cupping therapy services—facial or full body. Cupping is another ancient therapy that is enjoying a resurgence. During a cupping session, a trained therapist uses special cups—they can be made of glass, silicone, or other materials—to create negative pressure on your skin via suction. Facial cupping improves skin texture, Laura Lee explains, and acts as “natural plumping.” Body cupping affects the whole layer of connective tissue, she says. It opens space within the body and “makes the tissue like butter.” Treatment varies with the individual’s need, and can be whole-body or spot-specific.

The ninety-minute Detox Package consists of the ionic footbath, the far infrared sauna and, as the main ingredient, dry salt therapy—halotherapy—delivered in the salt cave via a piece of equipment known as a halogenerator.

“The beautiful part of our detox services is we can do day-of booking,” says Laura Lee.

You’ll start with the warm ionic footbath—water, salt, electronic coils (no worries about mixing electricity and water, honest)—and, seriously, what’s not to love about giving your hard-working tootsies an opportunity to wiggle about in their own little ocean? The science behind it all is that the salt reacts with the coils and draws toxins out of your body as the water is split into negative and positive ions. It is non-invasive and completely pleasant.

Your next stop is the salt cave, where the halogenerator disperses microscopic particles of pure salt into the air. You breathe it in—you may feel relaxed enough to doze off; the sodium chloride acts as an anti-bacterial agent and as a “toothbrush” for your respiratory tract.

Finally, it’s sauna time. Unlike a steam sauna, the far infrared sauna is dry, using light to heat your body rather than the air around it. The term refers to the wavelength of the light. There are numerous potential health benefits associated with “taking a sauna,” including just plain sweating.

The bottom line?

“You can have a full day here, including tea on the porch, and enjoy a full sanctuary experience on many levels,” Laura Lee says. Whatever Emerge service you decide on—you’ll feel something soothing right away when you step through the doorway. It’s as though the house, one of the borough’s gracious Victorians, is suggesting that you take a deep breath and relax. Give yourself the gift of time and place by scheduling your singing bowl, cupping session, massage, facial, or detox package. Book an overnight stay, or stop in to shop for the Emerge Botanicals that are just right for your skin. Find Emerge at or call (570) 360-8180. The gardens will be blooming soon—don’t wait!

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