My Therapy Room Music By Carole Chandler – reiki master and relaxation massage specialist at the Health Zone Clinic.
Does music matter? Yes it does.
Why does it matter? Music has the power to evoke a mood and change the emotions.
A few weeks ago a client thanked me for the music I was playing during her session. She reminded me that she had liked it the first time she heard it in my room, when she visited for a massage during the pregnancy of her second child. At that time, it appealed to her so much, she had asked me the name of it, bought it for herself, played it during her labour and it is now the music of choice at home to soothe her son.
I was delighted to hear this and happy that she had found an example of music that was of value to her. How nice for me to be instrumental (!) in introducing her to music that helps to change emotions and moods of members of her family.
So why do I play music during my sessions anyway?
Well, for a long time I have believed in the power of music to uplift emotions and enhance the mood so I use it to contribute towards creating the atmosphere I enjoy for my clients. This belief is one of the reasons I use specially selected music in my daily life and in my work.
Everyone knows that music can have a dramatic effect on our thoughts and feelings. I imagine that we have all had personal experiences when we can recall hearing a song which reminds us of that time when… or that place where… or that person who…
Depending on the circumstances we may have fond memories and find ourselves smiling.
Depending on the circumstances we may have sad memories and find ourselves crying.
Either way the emotion is evoked by the music we have just heard. I hold no attachment to one emotion over the other because I understand that the response is a personal thing. I fully appreciate that sometimes the listener may not feel like smiling and a good cry is just what they are looking for. It’s their call. I merely acknowledge the possibilities of the effect of music in the equation.
The impact of music on the human psyche is a huge subject and some people may want to read about frequencies, vibrations, oscillations, megahertz, resonance, modulation, audiology, cranial nerve function, statistics, research and more. However, I intend to leave that to the scientists. My interest is devoted to the way it feels, generally good or bad or somewhere in between.
As with most areas of life we have different triggers and music is a common one.
I know people who weep at the sound of a ballad by the Bee Gees but not everyone will have the same reaction.
I know people who are unable to hear George Michael’s ‘Careless Whisper’ without bringing distinct memories to the surface but of course not everyone will respond in the same way.
I know people who are huge fans of the music of Abba but not everyone will agree.
However, I’m guessing that it might be easy find people to agree that Barry White created a fabulous career producing romantic stay at home music.
What about classical music? Some of it is relaxing and some of it is peaceful but certainly not all of it. There is very good reason why Mozart is recommended for playing to the unborn baby but the music of Wagner is unlikely to be suggested for the same scenario. I am guessing that few parents would choose Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture to soothe an upset child or induce a baby to sleep.
So what do I look for in my choice of music for the sessions I offer? Well, it has to be peaceful but primarily something I like, not just a little but a lot. I have to like it because of how it makes me feel to the very core of my being when I hear it. I am looking for (in the words of The Beach Boys) ‘good, good, good, good vibrations’. Obviously I have to like it and a main element of choice for me is the feeling of peace that it induces.
Needless to say, I have discovered that once again, this is not the same for everyone. I am not going to try and define it, why would I when I understand that it is a matter of preference?
Some people advocate pan pipes as a great choice, while others find them irritating.
Some people suggest ocean music as a suitable choice, while others find it annoying.
Some people advise whale music as a fabulous choice, while others find it distracting.
For the therapy room environment as well as my meditation and spiritual practice, I am particularly keen on music which does not challenge the emotions. This may be something to do with why a lot of the music I have collected over the years is sacred music rooted in instrumentals and repeated mantras.
They do not challenge my emotions, they enhance them. They assist in keeping my mind and thoughts clear, undistracted and uncluttered. They help towards supporting my work in assisting individuals to reclaim their emotional, physical and spiritual harmony.
As with so many things in life different things work for different people and there is not going to be one thing that works for everyone. I am pretty pleased about that because after all that is the variety of life is it not?
So I have music which works for me and in my next blog contribution I plan to share with you some of my collection which I incorporate into my life and my work. I also intend to add a few thoughts about why they are special to me and some examples of how they came to be in my life.
For now, I wish you a life of happy listening, whatever music you choose.