Sound Healing Secrets: Picking the Gong That Best Suits Your Therapeutic Goals

Sound Healing Secrets: Picking the Gong That Best Suits Your Therapeutic Goals

Gongs are complex instruments that offer as much audible diversity as they do aesthetically and culturally.  

And the instrument’s complexity is nothing to take lightly. 

In the case that you are scouting out a sound healing sidekick, it is important you take the time to understand the specific therapeutic qualities you are looking for. 

Are you seeking a sensory experience that is grounding and deep rooted? 

Or is your focus to find peace and whimsical tranquility? 

Once you understand your therapeutic objectives, you can be confident that the gong you go with is best suited to your healing practice. 

5 Therapeutic Goals & Their Complimentary Gongs 

Chau Gongs for Mindfulness & Beginner Meditation Practices

Chinese Chau Gongs, also called Tam Tams, Bullseye, Chao, or Chow Gongs, are often what come to mind when you think of the traditional Chinese Gong.

They boast a black outer edge and black center, and are lathed in the mid section to expose the shiny bronze. This is what gives the Chau Gong its reputable “bullseye” design. 

What Do Chau Gongs Sound Like?

Chau Gongs emit a very distinct and grounding sound, with rich, yet mellow overtones. They carry an impressive range of volume and a powerful vibration. And just like any gong, the sonorous sounds that release from a Chau Gong are dependent on how it is struck. The striking method and mallet type influence the wave-like succession of sound, creating either high and sharp or bellowing and deep notes. 

Therapeutic Benefits of Chau Gongs 

Traditionally, the Chau Gong has been used for rituals and tribal meetings by many cultures. Today, the down-to-earth tone of Chau Gongs makes them ideal for mindfulness practices, such as meditation and yoga. 

The sounds of a Chau Gong are approachable and diverse, making them well suited for sound therapists and meditation practitioners alike. Specifically, they are a fabulous first gong for anyone just starting out on a mindfulness journey of their own. 


Wind Gongs for Relaxation & Mental Cleanse 

As you can imagine, Wind Gongs exude a lighter, more airy feel. These chimes are made from a blend of 80% copper and 20% tin, and feature a slight taper around the edge. In order to create their melodious, unique sound, these gongs are made flat through unique lathing, heating and cooling methods.

What Do Wind Gongs Sound Like? 

Wind Gongs release shimmery, musical tones and, depending on the size and the striking method used, can have a higher or lower pitch. For a more shrill sound, choose a smaller Wind Gong. If you’re looking for a more profound, deep sound, you will want to choose a larger Wind Gong. When tapped with a padded mallet, these gongs send a rich sound that quickly fades. A drumstick, however, prompts a sound that resembles the bells in a large clock.

Therapeutic Benefits of Wind Gongs 

The tuneful sounds of a Wind Gong are well suited for therapeutic practices that are intended to promote relaxation and mental cleansing. Their chimes are lighter and far more whimsical than the notes produced by Chau Gongs. This makes ideal instruments for healing practices that are tailored to children or sensory-sensitive adults. 


Descending Opera Gongs for Stability & Grounded Thinking

Chinese Opera Gongs, also referred to as Bender or Bending Gongs, are used for Peking Operas. The center of the chime is prominently more forward than the outer piece. This design element is what creates this instrument’s audible glissando effect. 

What Do Descending Opera Gongs Sound Like? 

Traditional Opera Gongs descend in pitch, meaning the sound bends down when struck. 

Therapeutic Benefits of Descending Opera Gongs

While Opera Gongs are well suited for performance, vocals, music and dance, they maintain a unique contribution to the world of sound healing. Their descending glissando effect offers a deep rooted, grounding sensory experience. This makes descending Opera Gongs an ideal instrument for anyone seeking stability and balance in their life. 


Ascending Opera Gongs for Breathwork & Energy Flow 

Hand Gongs and Jin Ban Gongs are Opera Gongs that, unlike more traditional Opera Gongs, ascend in pitch.  

What Do Ascending Opera Gongs Sound Like? 

Showcasing an ascending glissando effect, Hand Gongs and Jin Ban Gongs are beautiful instruments that are praised for their one-of-a-kind sound. While each of these gongs ascend in pitch, Jin Ban Gongs offer the highest pitch of all Opera Gongs. 

Therapeutic Benefits of Ascending Opera Gongs

Hand Gongs and Jin Ban Gongs are spectacular additions to breathwork and energy flow practices. Their ascending pitch allows one to tailor their inhalations to the reverberations of the gong. Furthermore, the glissando effect of these gongs is nothing short of uplifting, making them well suited to anyone craving a positive reset to their energy. 


Hmong Shaman Gongs for Spiritual Healing & Enlightenment 

Hmong Shaman Gongs, or Gou Gongs, are thick with a turned lip. Historically, these gongs have been essential healing instruments across numerous cultures. They are fully lathed and carry a focused tone with a hint of wash.

What Do Hmong Shaman Gongs Sound Like? 

The sound of a Hmong Shaman Gong can be intense and powerful. Their unique shape results in a fundamentally focused sound that ends in a controlled crash. This particular chime can be tapped repeatedly to produce a nice hum sound.

Therapeutic Benefits of Hmong Shaman Gongs

Hmong Shaman Gongs are predominantly used in Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian spiritual healing practices. However, the power of these instruments is not bound by culture. The therapeutic benefits may come to life for anyone pursuing spiritual healing and enlightenment. So, if you are on a sacred personal journey and deepening your connection to the greater world, a Hmong Shaman Gong may very well be the instrument best suited for you. 


So… Which Gong Is Best For You? 

Whether you are leveling up your meditation practices, pursuing spiritual healing or simply looking for an energy reset, there is a chime to do the trick.

And while learning about the historical significance, shapes and sounds of gongs is essential when it comes to picking the gong that is perfect for you, we know this process may be intimidating.  

So, if you have any questions about which ring is right for you, The Gong Shop’s team of gong connoisseurs are ready to help. You can contact us at 1-415-626-4606 or drop us a line at

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