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Bozeman woman heals elephants through singing bowl therapy

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: Jun 24 2013 08:10:20 PM MDT
Updated On: Jun 24 2013 08:28:00 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Linda Chambers recently took a trip to Thailand, and can't help but re-watch the videos from her travels.

"She's so great," Chambers said, while looking at footage of an elephant she got to work with.

She traveled to Petara Elephant Farm, which takes in abused elephants and nurtures them back to health.

Chambers visited before, but during this trip she became a part of their healing process.

"She had her eyes rolling back in the sockets, she was so enjoying it," Chambers said, describing one elephant's reaction.

She played special singing bowls for the elephants- bowls she says can help heal pain.

"You could see something was happening. There was some sort of a shift, there was something that they were getting from it- just like my clients on my table here," she said.

When we first caught up with Chambers before her trip, she showed us how she uses the therapy on humans in her Downtown Bozeman store Dari Rasa Trunk Show.

She explained the Tibetan and crystal singing bowls emit vibrations that people find soothing and healing.

She plays them with a special mallet, creating soft "dings," and running the mallet on the edge of the bowl to emit a deeper tone.

But she'd never played them for the elephants. Last year, when Chambers visited the farm, she came up with the idea to bring a set of bowls and see how the elephants reacted. Petara's owners were immediately on board.

She brought four different Tibetan singing bowls -- each made from five different metals. Chambers also brought three crystal singing bowls -- each are made from a different gemstone or mineral.

Those elephants, she said, have tough pasts and sharp memories.

"That was really heartbreaking to hear some of the stories," Chambers said.

One elephant she worked with, Ploy, was rescued from the circus. "She obviously had some situations that have come up in her life that've been abusive or painful for her," Chambers said.

But after hearing the singing bowls, she said she saw a shift -- a path of healing, to a new life.

"That's why we are doing this," She said. "If it makes a difference for one elephant, if it makes a difference for a herd of elephants- whatever we can do, it's been worth it."

Chambers said she gifted the set of bowls to Petara, and trained workers to use them so they can continue the therapy on the elephants.