Since conception, we have always been aware of rhythm. The beat of the human heart is part of our subliminal awareness every day. We hear it in the quiet morning; when we exercise; in the silence of the night. Tribal dance lay at the heart of early cultures; the pounding of rhythm marked important rituals of everyday life.
Today, our lives are rather different. Music has transformed into a more informal, individual experience – but it still forms one of the central elements to modern life. Everyone has a musical taste – things they listen to when they want to dance, or when they are driving, or when they want to relax.
I have always been unimpressed by the music collections for massage; I find them bland at best, annoying at worst. Whale song sets my teeth on edge and I have often been told how annoying pan-pipe reworkings of famous pop songs can be. I think what we listen to during the massage is profoundly important. I have tried to find something that is slow enough to relax my visitors, and still be interesting and textured enough to add something to the massage. If our minds are gently stimulated, the massage is enhanced.
The music I use is usually a compilation of psychedelic chill-out music: rich, relaxing soundscapes with deep rhythms at a pace that neither puts you to sleep nor makes you want to jump off the table. The tempo is perfectly suited to a massage, and my strokes and stretches work harmoniously with the rhythm. I’ve been told that the experience is relaxing and immersive. The music rises and falls, so does the massage. The atmosphere in the room is deepened by the music; you feel as though you are transported to another world. The worries and tensions of the outside seem further and further away as the massage and the music take you on a journey.
Some people prefer to bring their own music, or prefer a silent massage. Don’t be afraid to tell your therapist your preference; the experience is supposed to be relaxing for you.