Music and Massage
Most massage therapists use great care in selecting the music that accompanies their massage sessions. From the moment a client enters the office, music can help ease the transition from everyday life into a more relaxed state, and once the massage begins, music can help the therapist harmonize jangled nerves and out-of-tune muscles.
The concept of sound healing is one of the foundations of music for massage. Some composers and musicians believe that human bodies respond to specific musical notes at specific frequencies, and that music and sound, used scientifically and intuitively, can align the frequencies in people's bodies, minds and souls. These music healers make music that can help the masseur or masseuse restore harmony to a discordant or out-of-tune body.
Overall, music for massage must be calming and soothing. Many massage music CDs shy away from vocals in favor of solo instruments, such as harp, guitar, piano, violin or flute; such discs are simple and repetitious, without too many chord, volume or tempo changes. Some therapists prefer vocals, and there are quite a few "sounds of nature" discs that use the sounds of the ocean, waterfalls, birds and forests to relax massage therapy clients.
Artists and Genres
New Age and World Music catalogs offer plenty of options for massage music, and composers who straddle both genres--such as Steven Halpern, Japanese musician Kitaro, Native American flautist R. Carlos Nakai and Celtic fusion vocalist Loreena McKennit--are massage-room favorites. Other cross-genre compilation albums, such as the children’s world music album "Dreamland," on the Putumayo label, can work well, too.
In Reiki, practitioners sometimes use chimes or bells to remind them to switch hand positions every so often. Some Reiki practitioners prefer not to use music at all, but those who do sometimes use massage music CDs that incorporate chimes at intervals--or put the music in 5-minute segments--so that Reiki practitioners can know when to switch hand positions without looking at a clock or using a separate chime.
Massage therapists who use music must be careful to keep the music fresh in the massage room. Both the practitioner and the clients might otherwise burn out after hearing the music continuously, so many therapists use online music libraries, skillfully programmed MP3 players and multiple-disc changers to avoid this problem.