When it comes to relieving muscle and joint pain, massage may be music to a client’s ears. But why stop there. If you want to create a truly relaxing environment for your massage clients, make sure that music is a key part of the experience. As the author Leo Tolstoy said, “Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own….” Considering the power of massage to do the same, music and massage seem to be a perfect match.
With that in mind, you want to be sure that the music you select complements your work. Music should be in the background and not so loud or intrusive that your client thinks more about the music than the massage. Also avoid music with a distinct tune or sing-a-long type lyrics since they can interfere with a client’s ability to relax.
Select music with the goal of building a library of selections to meet the tastes and needs of your various clients and their moods. In “5 Steps to Selecting Relaxing Massage Music,” on the At Peace Media blog, Sherry Donovan points out, “Everyone is different and what some people might find relaxing (nature sounds, drumming, vocals), others might find distracting. Donovan suggests you take a survey of clients to find out what works best for each one. (For example, when it comes to classical music, not everyone finds it appropriate for massage. Among some clients classical music can be relaxing; others find the depth and sophistication of classical pieces takes their mind off the massage.)
Donovan also suggests you select music with a slow rhythm (slower than the natural heart beat, which is about 72 beats per minute) and that has a repeating or cyclical pattern. These types of rhythms tend to be most effective in aiding relaxation.
She advises that your spend time listening to samples of any music you consider, which includes trying out several tracks. If you are buying online, be sure to listen to as many sample tracks as possible. Also ask associates for their recommendations and what works best for different clients.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind about music.
Match the music to the session length
Make sure you match the selection to the length of the session so that you don’t need to change the album, skip through tracks or have the recording begin again.
Know about licensing rights to the music
Find out if you have rights to play the music at your spa or massage practice. Just because you paid for the rights to listen to the music does not automatically give you license to transmit the music – cost free - as part of your business operation.