Massage + Music

By Ian Chow, Certified Massage Therapist

Length: 2 mins read (427 words)

There is certainly no hard and fast rule on what music a therapist choose to accompany the massage session. It is very much a personal preference too. The common one is certainly nature soundtrack (with bird chirping and water flowing) or some Balinese gamelan music with its pentatonic scale or some traditional Thai music.

Some therapist will also choose to incorporate sleep inducer noise, soundtrack that consist of subtle brown noise, pink noise or the more common that we know, white noise.

For an idea, white noise has a steady humming sound and it includes whirring fan, radio or television static and humming of the aircond. Pink noise is lower sounding than white noise and some example include rustling leaves, steady rain, wind and heartbeat. While brown noise has higher energy in lower frequency, for example low roaring, strong waterfalls and thunder.

Some therapist also chooses playlist that has delta waves incorporated into the songs to help one to relax the mind (and in hope they can sleep easier). Delta waves are the slowest brain wave, often associated with our deep sleep stage.

However, I also come across some clients who choose to have their own music during the session and I have encountered jazz, classical, IDM (intelligent dance music), chanting and even current pop radio hits. I do find some are very distracting especially when it has high beat count per minute or those songs that have lyrics. Something about the sung words that are just constantly grabbing my attention every now and then. Certainly not my favourite whether I am the giver or the recipient of the massage.

For me, I have two main playlists (via Spotify). The first playlist mainly consist of ambiance, soundscape and post rock songs with no sung lyrics but all instrumental (and some with delta waves). There is something that I enjoy about the music riffs and hook in these genre that are continuously looped and layered with more instrument as the song goes.

Then, the second playlist has more collection of nature music that consist of a lot of pink and brown noise. Both playlist in terms of the song tempo, I try to have as much as possible the slow to mid tempo numbers (with not more than 80bpm; where it doesn’t go beyond the average heart beat of an adult human).

Do feel free to add and use it for your session.
Playlist 1: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2bzPMVSUlSAvsJ2rCptixd?si=rMt2qRSOQ5yFouvgtp9jgA&utm_source=copy-link&dl_branch=1&nd=1

Playlist 2: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1sifmSWf3DkyvFdpiuGAED?si=wFrDaSCRQVqiM9eL1Huz_Q&utm_source=copy-link&dl_branch=1

Reference:
https://www.healthline.com/health/pink-noise-sleep#compared-to-other-colors

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