More than just a sound

By Laura Gordon

In my last blog I wrote about the use of color and light. I appreciated your responses and hope you find this one on sound to be helpful to you.

Did you know that music is so powerful that the combination of a few particular notes can generate feelings of joy, sadness, anxiety, serenity as well as many, many other feelings? Sure you did, just a couple of notes of your favorite song gives youa feeling of pleasure!

In reading up on the subject of music I came upon a most interesting look into the dynamics of sound that I will quote from Jonathan Goldman’s book Healing Sounds; The Power of Harmonics: “The mosques, cathedrals and temples of olden times, designed and built with sacred geometry, function as resonant sound chambers. The same mathematical proportion that gave birth to the various sounds were also incorporated into the measurements of the religious structures. Sound and structure were simply different manifestations of the same universal mathematical constants. Therefore, when people made music within the sacred shrines, the vibratory field manifested by their sounds and the sacred geometry of the structure resonates. Out of this resonance comes an awakening and quickening of spiritual consciousness.”
Of course, we cannot expect the builder to have used sacred geometry in the construction of our massage rooms, but that information does give a keen insight into the importance of music on mind, body, and spirit.
When you go into any massage room the sound of soft, relaxing music can be heard. Along with the colors in the room and the use of lighting, music completes the message, even if it is a subliminal one, we want the client to receive that he or she is in a safe, comfortable and soothing environment. So let’s explore sound for just a moment.
So, what music should we select for our massage room that will enhance our work as well as add additional relaxation and healing for the client?
Because the market is flooded with lots of “new age” music, it can be a little over whelming to know what to pick. Let me give you some suggestions for a starting point.
To begin, let’s look at classical music for massage. Classical music has a particular kind of calming effect. The blend of the orchestral instruments has a tone and vibratory frequency that is deep and full with harmonic intricacies and balance. Composers such as Mozart, Brahms, Handel, Vivaldi, Chopin, Beethoven, Debussy, Pachelbel, Chopin have all written music that soothes, uplifts and nurtures.

If you are not familiar with these artists here are some listening suggestions:
Piano Concerto in C Major (Mozart)
Nocturne in E Flat (Chopin)
Suite Number 3 in D – Air (Bach)
Arioso (Bach)
Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)
Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
Reverie (Debussy)

Next we will look at music that is focused on particular cultures. The world is rich with sacred music from around the planet. Chanting with repetitive words and resonating cords have a transcendent quality in the long held tones which quiets the busy mind and brings an inner peace that transports us beyond our daily cares and into realms of connectedness with a power beyond ourselves. Gregorian Chants, Tibetan Chants, Native American music, Japanese music, East Indian music, Sufi music are to name but a few.
Sample listening suggestions are:
Buddhist Chant (Imee Oci)
The Beauty of Nature (Spiritual Flutes)
Sacred Sufi Music (M Nejad & S. Sharif)
Benedictos – Gregorian Chant
Meditation Music, Japanese Garden (O Shanti)
Shiva Manas (C Pruess)
Lastly, we’ll turn our gaze toward modalities and music that address’ the body systems. Reiki music and yoga music comes to mind first, but we need to also include music set to the tones of our bodies such as charka music. Each of these offers restorative music that balances brings harmony to the body systems.
Again more sample suggestions:
Reiki Gold (Llewellyns)
Chakra Suite (S. Halpern)
Eyes of your Heart (Frederc Delarue)
The Crossing (S Doucet)
Embrace the Moment (Music for Yoga)
The Chakras (K Stone)
Prayer (Crystal Bowls, Yatri)

The value of taking time to select complimentary music for your massage work that will calm, relax, inspire and uplift will be well worth your time and energy for it will not only benefit the client but you as well!
Now take some time and do a little more research and send me your “wish list” of CD’s with the name of the artist, album and label.  Send me 4 and let us know why you chose it.  We will all have a great play list!  Then begin to observe what you attract.

24 thoughts on “More than just a sound”

  1. Well with that in mind I will, through out the day ,be listening to the different ones that sound as though they may be the ones I want to have for my clients to experience along with the total experience of their massage package. And yes music does make a great difference in my life as well what you listen to puts you in certain moods of which a lot of the music choices now seem to put the younger crowd in mean ,mad and otherwise unpleasant moods, so here we go and I will update with my list.

    1. Canyon Trilogy
      R Carlos Nakai
      Native American Flute Music

      Echoes of Nature
      Ocean Waves
      Pleasant Beach/Low Tide/Big Surf/Pebble Beach

      Musical Masterpieces

      Songs of the Rainbow World

  2. Richard Goldsworthy
    piano music very relaxing and calming

    Stephanie Bennett
    Traditional Welsh, Scots and Irish arrangements – very beautiful and uses different instruments that make you want to listen to it.

    Michael Benghiat
    Uses flute, piano and oboe and other instruments that are very relaxing and soothing

    Terry Oldfield I love this cd It is so pretty your dont want to fall asleep so you can keep listining some of it seems haunting very nice.

    Kamal- Quiet Earth Very slow, peaceful doesnt sound like typical mood music
    I think music is such a great healing tool. it stirs the emotions and can alter moods in jsut a few seconds I plan on using these cd’s and others for my massages

  3. What you say about the power of music is true, Laura? Music therapy actually works. It helps calm even some of the most negative emotions. Mozart, Bach, any and all types of music help calm & sooth the body and the spirit. 😀

  4. This is an amazing article, thank you! Two of my favorite subjects: music and massage. The suggestions are most appreciated!

  5. 1. Zen Notes by Nadama

    2. The Healer’s Way: soothing music for those in pain, Vol. I by Stella Benson

    3. Celtic Meditations: Into the Light by Maggie Sansone

    4. Music for Zen Meditation & Other Joys by Tony Scott

    I have had spa treatments and massages with the “wrong” music playing–couldn’t relax, felt anxious. Music truly makes a difference. The reason I have chosen these particular cd’s: they are completely relaxing, very different and pretty “unrecognizable”–no distraction.

  6. Gotta have Mozart,Deep Space and Heavenly Blue, by Origen. And Himalayan Chakra Healing. OMG, it plays to your soul….it just goes through your whole being.

  7. Last night, I gave my husband a massage to the music from the album Dark side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. I have always been a huge Floyd and Roger Waters fan. The song that I used was Comfortably numb, which is one of mt favorites. This song really gets mr into my massage because of the flow of the music, it is slow and very soothing to me, as well as my husband whom fell asleep during a level 4 massage. Pink Floyd has a number of songs that are very good for massage, it may seem out of the ordinary, but that is how I like it.

    1. great choice!–PF’s “wish you were here” is awesome–it has a lot of just instrumentals

  8. 1. Ludovico Einaudi- Nightbook (My Favorite)
    2. Piano Relaxation Artists- Massage Music
    3. Hildur Gundnadottir- Without Sinking
    4. The Relaxation Specialists

    When I have the right music to focus in on,I feel as if I’m acting out the music through the massage. It’s amazing how the music will affect your mood. Thanks for the insight on the importance of using music as one of our many tools as massage therapists!

  9. These are four of the cds i wish to have, there are a variety. i tend to like the nature and water.
    music for healing-steven halpern
    zen and art of relaxation- joe stevenson
    spa- denis roger
    a peaceful soak- george nascimento

    I do believe that a massage needs good music!

  10. By far my long time favorite is Enya, especially albums Watermark and Oriaco. Also to add to my list is Jim Brikman, Enigma, Adiago, Max Folmer, and in general Celtic music. I personally don’t care for the Indian tribal music , but that’s just me.

  11. Native american Flute Music
    Pure Ambiance Oceania
    Canon in D by Pachelbel
    I definitely agree that music totally sets the mood…if you have the wrong music your client might have a hard time relaxing.

  12. I like Oliver Shanti, Zen healing music, Sounds of nature CD’s, Ronald Roybal and all his Native American songs. My personal favorite is meditation music like Gulan, album: Antigravitation. It always takes my mind somewhere else for those moments and I love how it makes me feel whether I am giving or recieving massage with it on.

  13. I agree that music does play a strong role and I believe that music can be a wonderful tool to help relax the client. I enjoy Yiruma- The river flows in you,Debussy Claire de Lune, Chopin- The Noctune, and Liszt- Liebestraum. I like these because they to me are all calming and uplifting.

  14. I really like soft spiritual music. Spirit Flutes, Tribal Waters and Sophia chakra healing chants are all worth checking out. They are very spiritual and will wisk you away to another dimension.

  15. 2002, a husband and wife who plays awesome music
    The Secret Garden

    If you go to you can find ALOT of music. All Kinds.

  16. Well this is one part of the body that I don’t have issues with as of yet. It with out the crossfiber friction did feel very good after having tried it though. I am sure that I will come up with someone that does have this issue and can’t wait to help them help themselves, with this so simple peice of information.