Norma Gentile admits to hearing things that most people can't hear and seeing things they can't see.
Like angelic and spirit guides or the distinctive tones that she says surround most everyone and everything she comes in contact with. Just walking into a place of worship will bring to her ears, '"this beautiful thick (musical) chord that settles into a really strong, single note." Once it settles into that note, she feels at one with the multitude of prayers being offered around her, what she describes as being "in communion with the energy in that room."
She compares it to a kind of high an Indy car driver might have hitting 200 mph or a skydiver might feel each time she jumps out of the plane.
Finding that right tone, that pleasant pitch, the captivating rhythm is what Gentile (pronounced Jen- TEE-Lay) does for a living. She is a healer who uses music and sound to help people feel better both mentally and physically. She will teach others how to do the same at her "Sacred Sound/Sacred Healing" workshop. The healing seminar will be followed by a "Candlelight Evening of Chant"
Gentile says that when people listen to certain types of music, "the two halves of the brain start to come in sync with one another. You start to move into a meditative state as you listen, and very powerful things start to happen."
She doesn't claim that a person can throw away his wheelchair or stop chemotherapy treatments after completing her workshop, but she says they will probably leave feeling calmer, more energized, and just maybe, if they are ill or injured, feeling less pain.
What the body does do during her workshop is become more relaxed. Her vocalization leads many into a meditative state where tensions are released, and the person begins to experience, "a-ha's." In this relaxed state, she describes an "a-ha" as a thought that jus pops into a person's head that adds clarity to a situation in his life, like, "A-ha, so that's why I'm having trouble at work."
Gentile says, "It goes beyond what can be explained. That's the fun thing about this. It's Grace. It just happens, and you know when it happens. It's an incredible feeling."
This feeling can be created by any type of music, but as a trained operatic soprano, her personal favorites are the 12th century works of Hildegard von Bingen. Von Bingen was a Catholic nun who experienced spiritual visions from a young age. The images would appear from within a brilliant white light and what she described as symphonies of sound. She documented her experiences in books, letters, and music which she was said to have produced throughout her 80-plus years in her attempt to bridge the gap between her world and the one beyond.
"Sound is energy. Sound is vibration. It influences us from the outside inward," Gentile says. "Tones affect people's emotions, both positively and negatively," she adds. And its not limited to music. People's tone of voice can have a healing effect, too. It's the difference between a voice that you enjoy listening to and find relaxing vs. one that brings visions of nails on a chalkboard.