About me - Paula Bolton


When I was very young my favourite subjects at school were Nature Study and Stories. I loved horses and all wild animals. As I grew older I started to become more interested in social issues and 'the Meaning of Life'. This led me to a degree in Anthropology at Durham University, where I was free to explore the cultures and customs of many peoples. I followed my degree with a PGCE in primary education. While waiting for a suitable vacancy, I took a job as a library assistant at Durham University Library, thinking it would tide me over for a while. I worked there for many years but recently took early retirement from the University to concentrate on Elemental Sounds.



I gradually felt more and more drawn towards 'helping people' and also to examine health and well-being from a non-Western perspective. So in 2001 I began my training in Zen Shiatsu with the Shiatsu College in Newcastle. My studies included courses in western medicine (Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology) as well as shiatsu theory and practice, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese philosophy, including Five Element theory. Three years later I qualified as a professional shiatsu practitioner and received a diploma from the Shiatsu College. This was followed by official recognition as a shiatsu practitioner by the Shiatsu Society with the award of MRSS. Shiatsu teaches me to find balance in my life and in that of my clients, to bring awareness to the mind and body, or to Head, Heart and Hara.


Then came sound therapy.

I share my home with my husband Tarquin, our border collie dog and hundreds of musical instruments. I have never counted myself as a musician but music and the sounds of all kinds of instruments form the happy background to my life. From the late 1990s our instrument collection began to include Himalayan singing bowls and, a few years later, gongs. Tarquin and I played these at first for our own enjoyment then gradually became aware of their place in the therapeutic sound movement. This is where I felt I belonged!

I trained as a sound healing practitioner with the College of Sound Healing, qualifying in January 2009. The course centred on the voice as an instrument of healing. It introduced me to the experience of group chant - which amazed and thrilled me! This was nothing like singing in the school choir, enjoyable as that may have been; I found voices coming together in chants and mantras to be very empowering and joyful. On completing the course I felt inspired to share my experience. So I started a monthly chanting group for women, soon followed by regular group sound journey sessions and workshops.

I'm still a huge enthusiast of the natural world and try to live without causing harm, so much as possible. A recent venture for me is making sustainable, eco-friendly rugs from natural sheep's wool, using a simple peg loom. My rugs are available from my online Etsy shop, under the name Elemental Rugs.

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Paula Bolton with 32"Paiste Symphonic 'Brilliant' gong
Tarquin Bolton with 32" Paiste Symphonic 'Brilliant' gong

About Tarquin

Tarquin has been playing instruments since before he can remember. He just loves to explore sound. To this end he has collected a pretty vast collection of instruments from many countries, traditions and time periods. And Tarquin is not only a player and collector but he is a maker as well. Professionally, he makes and also repairs violins but his making repertoire includes: viols, guitars, harps, lyres, citterns and Native American flutes.

A first degree in Earth Sciences and a PhD in Palaeontology hint at Tarquin's keen affinity with the distant past. He values a deep connection with the Earth and the natural world and he is drawn to the timeless, primal sounds of drone instruments, such as the didgeridoo, as well as gongs and singing bowls.

We invite you to share in the sounds of our Paiste Symphonic and Sound Creation gongs, Himalayan singing bowls and other remarkable instruments.
Gongs and singing bowls collection - Elemental Sounds, Paula Bolton, gong baths and sound therapy in Durham UK

Part of our collection of gongs and singing bowls