Below is a profile I did on Joseph Carringer who works out of Portsmouth. I think it is important for us to remember that medicine can be defined extremely broadly and there are so many different ways one can go about healing themselves and others. Didgeridoo Sound Therapy is one of these options! -L
“Fourteen years ago Joseph Carringer sat straight up in bed in the middle of the night with his eyes wide open. His girlfriend at the time curiously looked up at him from underneath the covers. “I’m going to play the didgeridoo,” said Joseph to no one in particular. He had no idea what he had been dreaming about or what a didgeridoo was; yet something had compelled him to make the statement. The rest is history.
Growing up in a military family, Joseph moved from place to place before spending most of his childhood in Nashua, New Hampshire. In his adult life, he has kept that nomadic pattern and explored much of the eastern side of the United States. His experiences vary from working with hemp textiles in D.C. and in the garment district of New York City, to helping run bars, doing landscaping, and playing music with DJ’s in Jersey City and Portland Maine, to name a few. But nothing could prepare him for the change in direction that would take place after that profound dream and ultimately lead him to a career in Didgeridoo Sound Therapy.
During an outing in Portsmouth about 6 months after his dream, Joseph found himself in Macroscopic, a boutique in the downtown area. There in front of him lay a basket of Didgeridoos and intuitively he picked one up and blew into the hollowed out piece of wood.
“The women who was working looked from around the corner and said, ‘Do you play the Didge?’ and I said, ‘no’ and she looked straight at me and said, ‘yes, you do’.” said Joseph.
The Didgeridoo is an ancient Aboriginal Australian instrument said to be at least 15,000 years old (40K-80K years old). By vibrating the lips, the instrument creates a drone like sound and can be played continuously by a technique called circular breathing. This is done by breathing in the nose at the same time as breathing out the mouth. The technique usually takes people many months of practice but for Joseph it was only a week and a half. At the time he was bar manager of a blues club in Merrimack called Stormy Mondays and one night was pulled up on stage with his Didge to play with the band.
“It was great, I learned to play rhythmically just from hanging with the players,” said Joseph.
When Joseph first started playing it was all about the music, but he soon realized there was an inner peace that the Didgeridoo brought to him.
“I lived near a river, and I would go sit with my dog and meditate, not realizing I was meditating, but just listening to the wind and birds and play and play and play,” said Joseph.
After doing some research Joseph came across an article that a doctor had written about the side effects of someone playing a didgeridoo over someone else. The list seemed endless; relief of muscle spasms, relief of muscle tension, stress reduction, relief of insomnia etc. From there he asked friends, parents, and community members to let him test out his own stress reduction system on them.
“I found out it was helping [them] with muscle tension and stress reduction and I got to thinking, there must be something to this,” said Joseph.
After doing extensive research and speaking with numerous alternative medicine practitioners in the area, Joseph started doing combinational work with traditional Chinese medicine, Shamanism, Acupuncture, Reiki, and Massage Therapy.
Joseph opened DidgeTherapy.com out of Portsmouth in 2004 and learned just how important his work could be for people. This therapy can be broken into three integrative parts which, combined, benefit people in many different ways.
First, “It’s a sound massage,” said Joseph. “That’s the easiest way to explain it to people.”
The vibrations of the Didgeridoo work in a similar way to an ultra sound. The sound waves can go down to zero hertz and “at that low of a frequency range you can snuff out a candle.” These vibrations warm the muscles from the inside creating relaxation throughout whatever is tender or strained.
Second, is energetically. It’s very similar to Reiki or Chi-gong, but “like a power washer”. Reiki and Chi-gong are similar in practice. Both philosophies involve the transferring of a universal life force or spiritual energy through the master into the person who is receiving the energy, which induces a healing effect. Unlike Reiki, which needs both the master and the receiver to work together to remove energy blockages, the sound waves of the didgeridoo literally forces blockages of energy out of the body.
Joseph integrates the Chakra theory into his therapy. Chakras initially were discovered in several eastern traditions and describe whorls of energy permeating out of the physical body. There are seven major Chakras in the body and each is attached to different organs and emotional states.
The seven different keys a didgeridoo can be played in match up to the energy waves of the seven Chakras. Joseph plays the entire energetic system of a person and tries to align or balance each persons specific Chakras with the different keys. Energetic stagnation and emotional stagnation that resides in the body are typically in specific organs. The Didgeridoo helps remove these stagnations by realigning the Chakras.
“Avedic medicine for 3500 years has known the underlying tones of energetic system line up just like a scale. When you hear something in tune why does it sound in tune? It’s because there is a universal hum,” said Joseph.
The third and final way the Didgeridoo works is meditatively.
“The first two things are really nice but meaningless if a person cannot connect with their own delta brain waves and actually heal themselves,” said Joseph. “[One] needs a mind-body connection”.
He explained that as a culture we are constantly on the go. When we wake up in the morning the first thing we think about is all the things we have to do that day and when were done the first thing we do is turn on the T.V. This constant “plugged” feeling makes our brain constantly run on overtime and does not give our mind or consciousness a time to relax and connect itself with our physical bodies. This makes for a build up of tension, anxiety, and stress, with no time to just release it.
“My job is to teach people that it’s ok to say no to the media, no to feeling like they have to work 24/7, no to going to the mall, and yes to doing something for themselves—that something being nothing,” said Joseph. “When you look at all the wonderful things western advancements have brought to people, the question still arises of what does the average person do for themselves?”
Still through out all his work, Joseph insists he is not a healer.”
Joseph Carringer works out of his home office in Portsmouth and more information on his work can be obtained at DidgeTherapy.com