Moscow shamans lead sonic meditation

Hypnotherapist says she uses musical instruments, breaths, visualizations to relax body, spirit, mind



Matthew Hardens, maintenance worker and creator of a boutique for shirts from Indonesia, uses a bowl’s sound to help guide a meditation session Jan. 12 in the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse.

SAM SCHMITKE, Evergreen reporter

Jessica Jackson Drollette, a hypnotherapist, runs a hypnotherapy and shamanic sound journey business in Moscow. Hypnotherapy uses different sound waves and breathing techniques to help with relaxation, she said.

Drollette has always been intrigued by hypnotherapy and wanted to participate in it when she was a young girl.

“I would steal books to read when I was younger and began this practice when I was 22,” Drollette said.

She has been in Moscow for 11 years and decided to open her practice in town because she loved the atmosphere. She said she thinks Moscow residents accept her practice here because of the culture at University of Idaho, where there is a focus on the arts.

Drollette originally went to school to become a teacher and said she learned many aspects of the mind.

“The mind grows three neurons a day,” Drollette said. “I was always amazed by the sensory aspect of the brain and how each hemisphere uses different parts of the body.”

Drollette said her favorite part of her practice is when she helps her patients find their center and the calm point in their body.

She also focuses on addiction problems, whether the struggle is with drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.

She said the process involves using different tunes to help people relax their mind and learn self-love.

Jessica Jackson Drollette uses a resonating sound bowl to guide a practice Jan. 12 in the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse.

“You can’t love other people until you love yourself,” Drollette said. “The main idea is to learn to love yourself and to accept love because you deserve it.”

Drollette said a lot of people are skeptical or find this scary.

“I try to make this as gentle of a process as I can,” Drollette said. “I have taken speech performance classes, so I fluctuate my voice as well as tell different scientific facts about the brain and body.”

The shamans set up a mandala of objects in the center of the meditation room. People bring items into the group sessions to place in the mandala to soak up energy, she said. These items are known as “touch points” and remind participants to remain calm and take time for themselves, she said.

“The weirdest item someone has brought in would probably be elk’s teeth,” Drollette said. “But it really is whatever you want to bring in to remind you to be happy and love yourself from the session that you were a part of.”

Drollette had me experience this as well. I was under blankets on a table in the middle of the room.

“I want to make sure that you are comfortable during this session,” Drollette said. “It is really important that you are comfortable during all of this.”

She told me to close my eyes, focus on my breathing and then let go of all the tension in my body. She used different tones of voice and continuously said “good” to ensure I was doing the process right. She also had me create a safe place in my head.

“Imagine a meadow, then add a pond and some birds or an animal,” Drollette said. “Focus on how the grass feels, or the water moves, or the noises the animals make.”

Drollette then moved around the room and used different instruments to make a rhythm.

“You can make your own rhythm in your head as well,” she said.

She then used a gong, different Tibetan bowls, a large drum and a thimble. She also moved some of the instruments over my head from left ear to right ear and back again.

After the musical session, she had me imagine a symbol to remind me of the session and find a place to put it in my body, like a Build-a-Bear charm.

I envisioned a piece of driftwood and placed it in my gut. I felt lifted outside of my body during this experience. When the meditation ended, I didn’t have to rush to get up.

“People tend to look like a deer in headlights when they wake up, so make sure you take your time,” Drollette said.

Drollette said because I enjoyed hearing the high pitched noises more, like the thimble, I tend to have a fast-paced mind. She said by hearing those higher frequencies I am reminded to calm down more and enjoy the moment I am in.

“I like to think of myself as the mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland,” Drollette said. “You can join me down the rabbit hole that is my practice and if it isn’t your cup of tea that is okay.”

Their next sessions are at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, March 2 and April 6 at 420 E. 2nd St in Moscow.