Music in its own right is a very effective form of therapy. When music is combined with massage it can create a relaxing atmosphere, block out conversation or other office noises from the next room, keep your clients from feeling obligated to talk to you, and even signal that an hour has come and gone.
For many clients, music is a way to personalize a massage session and increase satisfaction. I have fielded a lot of requests for different types of massage music over the years. I have been asked to play classical, ocean notices, Enya, anything but Enya, new age, Steve Halpern, rain forests, white noise, brown noise, Kenny G, Coldplay, Adele, Jewel, jazz, and even hard rock.
How important is music for some people? I remember one massage I received and the massage therapist told me they were going to play the radio because they could “only listen to so much classical music”. I felt a little annoyed by that choice; I would have preferred silence. Needless to say, I have not gone back there for another massage. Although a practitioner’s preference is important when choosing music, the client should be asked about their music preferences.
I have been a massage therapist for a long time (20 years!) and have found great albums in a lot of different places over the years. I have gone to Barnes and Noble, found some in the $1 spot at Target, dug some treasures up at Goodwill, and magically downloaded mp3’s from iTunes and Amazon. I have used CD players, my desktop, my laptop, my mp3 player, and my smartphone. If you have been a massage therapist for years and looking for something new, or just starting out and looking for a group of CD’s please your new clients- Here are a few of my (and my clients!) top choices for massage music in my tenure.
Michael Strening Jr.
Michael is a Chicago-based pianist who credits massage therapy with his return to music after suffering from severe wrist pain. Cool, huh? The best part is that his music is absolutely amazing! I wrote a full review of just his music here if you want to learn more about his story and music (Michael Strening Jr.). I highly suggest you check him out. He has three albums: “Falling Water”, “Mist and Sand” and “Winter”. You will have to buy them to figure out which one is best. Here is a hint; They are all great.
In 2021, he released a new Holiday album, “Winter” and it is terrific to play during the holidays in the massage room or at home. In his own words he “collected Holiday music from different parts of the world and different religious traditions, and then composed soothing interpretations of the holiday music for piano to meet the needs of massage therapists, yoga instructors, and anyone in need of relaxation and rejuvenation”. You can listen to a sample and find out how to get this album here, “Winter” by Michael Strening Jr.
A great find at Goodwill. It’s a Lifescapes CD. If you remember these were found on end caps in Target. Regardless, it is a client favorite.
Mozart for Relaxation”
My favorite of the classical series, I think. There is also Brahms, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, and Vivaldi for Relaxation. Each one has one operatic song that I have to de-select on my playlist though. Brahms and Beethoven are definitely other solid choices for those clients who like classical music.
Check out “Mozart for Massage” for another relaxing, classical Mozart experience.
“And Winter Came” – Enya
For cold days and nights in the Iowa winter, this is another one that also seems to warm up my massage room. Whether you love Enya or hate her due to your massage school’s failure to rotate CDs, she definitely has a presence in the massage music industry. She has some other great albums that you may want to check out also.
“Music for Healing” – Steve Halpern
Halpern is known as a sound healing expert in the New Age massage community. The first few times I listened to him, I thought this is a little weird, but I was enchanted. By the end of the CD, I felt very relaxed by the variety of sounds that came together perfectly. If you like New Age music, give Steve a try. This album has great reviews on Amazon.
Healing Garden Series
These CDs are always a favorite in my office. I do not know how many times I have heard “I like this music”. Clients seem to be particularly fond of the Relaxation, Sleep Well, and Well-Being albums. The reviews are not that great on Amazon, but I still suggest you try them out if you can find them.
If you have any clients that struggle with insomnia, or cannot seem to relax, the album, Weightless, on ambient music may just do the trick.
“Echos of Nature”
Unless your massage table is on the beach, you will inevitably get a request for “ocean noises”. People, especially those who like white noise, enjoy the natural music of the ocean. This recording is not too loud or fake like others I have encountered.
Brown Noise, White Noise, Fans, or Even Dishwasher Sounds
My favorite app for background noise is this White Noise app. It has everything (40+ other perfectly looped sounds). I promise you will use it at home, the office or anywhere in between. Everyone in my family uses the brown noise in their room to go to sleep. My sister likes this dishwasher one.
What is your favorite massage album to listen to in your massage room?
Advanced Massage Techniques – Massage Continuing Education Provider.
What do you listen to when the massage music goes off?
I will go first. Right now I love Band of Horses, Guster, The Beatles, Wilco, and The Shins.
Questions about commercial use in your massage room? See this post about music in your massage room.