Connecting through sound

From her home overlooking Long Strand near Clonakilty in West Cork, Claire Marie Barton gives sound healing sessions and offers private retreats. She shares some of the special qualities of sound healing and explains what drew her to this experiential healing therapy.

Singing has always been Claire’s passion and, although she veered off that path for a while, she inevitably came back to it later in life.Claire studied Applied Ecology in UCC and worked as an ecologist for close to 20 years: Her job regularly took her out to sea to count sea birds and whales and dolphins.After living in Aberdeen for a while, she moved back home with her Scottish partner, Colin, also an ecologist, and they set up Cork Ecology, their own environmental consultancy firm in Cork.

In 2005, Claire had her first baby, a little boy called Alan, who was born prematurely at 27 weeks and died very shortly after birth. That was a turning point in life for Claire.“Motherhood and the passing of Alan changed everything for me…it opened me up spiritually and creatively,” she explains. “When he was with me in the hospital, I felt I could connect to him spiritually. What was supposed to be the worst thing that happened to me turned out to be the greatest blessing. I have learnt so much from Alan – joy, pain, heart-breaking sorrow, grace, acceptance, love, compassion and empathy. Most importantly he showed me how short and precious this lifetime is and not to waste it wondering what could have been.”

In 2006 Claire’s son Cillian was born and three years later she had Jamie.“After becoming a mother, I didn’t really feel drawn back to my environmental work,” she explains. “With a young family, it wasn’t practical to be going out to sea all the time.”Claire did a lot of energy work with some wonderful healers and started singing again and writing songs and poetry. “Everything I wrote was informed by what had happened with Alan,” she explains. In December 2016, she self-published ‘Letting Go’, her first book and CD about her experience of Alan through diaries, poetry and songs.“I realised that when we sing, the essence of who we are, not who we portray ourselves to be, really comes out.”

After taking a Sound Healing workshop, Claire enrolled on a course, training with Chrys Blanchard in Wales.In 2017, she qualified as an accredited Sound Healing practitioner with the UK College of Sound Healing, specialising in vocal sound healing. She also completed ‘Gong Wisdom Training’ with Chrys. She is a current member of the College of Sound Healing, undertakes CPD every year and attends the annual college conference in Great Malvern, England.“If you are open to it and let the sounds in, they can really help with all sorts of issues, but especially emotional ones,” she says. “One of the special qualities of sound healing is that it goes beyond the conscious mind and doesn’t require someone to talk about whatever is going on for them if they don’t want to.  There is no belief required just an openness to trying something new.”

There is nothing airy-fairy about sound healing. How it works is based on a physics process called entrainment. Everything has a vibrational frequency. The sound waves or vibrations created by certain tools, like the gongs, tuning forks, and singing bowls that Claire uses and also her singing voice, can actually entrain your brainwave frequencies by providing a stable frequency, which the brainwaves can synchronise to.“For example,” explains Claire “If you put a group of grandfather clocks into a room and they’re all ticking to a slightly different time, after a certain period of time, they will all tick together. That’s entrainment. We naturally want to come into harmony and balance.”Research has shown that by using specific rhythms and frequencies, you can downshift your brain from the beta state (normal consciousness) to the theta state (relaxed consciousness) and even the delta state (where internal healing can occur).“Being in delta state is really good for our immune and nervous systems and lowers blood ressure,” says Claire.“I feel really alive after giving a session.

It makes me feel like the best version of myself and I love it.“It can be a very spiritual experience. Many people have told me they’ve gotten clarity after a session and reconnected with themselves. It’s an opportunity for retrospection.

“It’s time that’s just for you.”For more information go to

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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