Music During a Massage Session
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Everyone has their own idea of what kind of music to play for relaxation, and preferences range from music designed for relaxation to favorite genre, because for many just listening to the music they like is relaxing no matter the beat. Starting out as a massage therapist, my go to albums were either Norah Jones, Come Away With Me or Lover's Rock by Sade. Not your typical massage music, but those two albums were played often at the massage school I attended, and I fell in love with them! When I started working at a local spa, the music there is what may be considered generic massage music. I happen to like it, but noticed many clients complain about the music.
While working in the spa and daydreaming of having my own massage business one day, I would often think of how I would have an mp3 filled with every genre and let each client choose their own music. As it happens, I had a few clients who were so turned off by the spa music, they insisted I turn off the volume in the room while they whipped out their own mp3 player and portable speaker! One of the clients played a Queen station on Pandora during every visit. It was pretty great at first, since Queen is one of my favorite bands. With my technique and his chosen music setting the tone, he felt the sessions were more effective. Month by month, I began to notice things a little off, and eventually he ended his membership with the spa, and I never saw him again. Did the music turn him off?
Not exactly! But my failure to set and maintain ambience certainly encouraged his decision that massage was not important anymore. My idea was with the client in charge of getting as comfortable as he can, it will make my job a lot easier, but I forgot about another important person- me! While Queen may be one of my favorite bands, their music does not help me maintain a therapeutic focus, one that can quickly recall anatomic and physiologic function, one that is alert to maintain personal boundaries between the client and myself, and one that honors the brand I represent and am contracted to. There was a serious breach of integrity! Before you decide I'm a bit too harsh and hard on myself, consider the effect sound has on us. Sound Effects
Have you ever wondered of the significance of mantras people within spiritual communities use, like, "Om?" Drumming circles, sound bowls, and the like have several purposes, and one of those purposes that seem uber spiritual and perhaps weird are actually backed by science. Resonant frequency is the natural state of vibration of a system. Researchers are building the bridge between science and religion. Purdue University, among many research centers, is well on their way in using resonant frequency in better equipping the health and wellness fields. Professors from the School of Mechanical Engineering, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Psychological Sciences, Department of Medical Sciences, and the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering have "created microelectromechanical resonators, or small vibrating sensors, that can detect these biomarkers using just a drop or two of blood. The plate-style resonant sensors allows sensitive, inexpensive detection of biomarkers that can signify disease, illness or trauma." Purdue University Research Foundation News (Follow Them on Twitter)
Believe it or not, every time we listen to music, our own resonant frequency is tweaked. Add human voice and any other background sounds in the environment, and what's left is a bit chaotic. The memory of a good song can prevent our sense of connection with the body's natural vibration. So if you go into any type of healing session, whether it is for massage, doctor appointment, church, or fishing, pay special attention to the vibrations you feel. Better yet notice your own vibes before and on your way to your session and note any changes. So Queen definitely has some great music to rock out to and soothing melodies to cry along with, but for retraining the body's stress response, I would save Queen for the weekend. And it's not just your own frequency that is affected, but everyone you come into contact with, including your health facilitator! Ever notice how you are having a great day and then begin talking to a negative or sick person, and your 'vibe' suddenly changes? Yep, we all scientifically do vibe.
Once I took the leap to start my business in 2018, my focus was mobile massage, or in home visits. I created two playlists- classical music, mostly Chopin, and classical guitar. I love both styles, but even with these genres, sounds tend to get heavy and jump around. It's definitely soothing to the mind, but the spirit needs something a little different. In the later half of 2018, I began incorporating meditation into my self-care routine, I still consider myself a newbie since it is not an everyday practice. I experimented with guided meditation, floating in sensory depravation tanks, and music tuned to specific frequencies and noticed immediate results of my inner vibe just from my first meditation session! I rarely listen to guided meditation now and actually prefer to meditate without any extra help musically, but my favorite meditation music is focused on expanding chakras. Chakras are wheels of energy within the subtle body, or the energy body, and you can feel them!
By the time I began renting a space at The Music Studio in downtown Beaumont in January 2019, I felt very strongly about music that helpes center me first before beginning a massage session and music that will maintain that while also helping my clients. Meditation music it is, for now anyway. Listen to the videos provided and let me know what you think. Do you have a preferred style of relaxation music or music that helps reset your vibe to better handle stress? While I tend to change up my office music from time to time, this last video is my main go to. Enjoy!