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Adventures
of a
Temple Fairy

THE IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC IN MASSAGE


Alongside my experience as a trained counsellor and massage therapist, there has been a continuing, life-long passion for music. I have been fascinated by people and their inner and outer journeys, and at the same time, fascinated with all aspects of sound.

Being massaged and listening to music are two of the great pleasures in life, but all too often, a massage is conducted to a randomly-chosen New Age CD. Massage married to perfect music is a radically different experience. A truly music-loving therapist wants to the recipient to leave the session aurally-inspired to log on immediately to Amazon.

For each healing and therapeutic bodywork session, I create a custom-made, musical journey beforehand, designed around the individual. All the client needs to do is to send me a list of their favorite musical artists and I can put together the perfect compilation for their trip towards nirvana.

A chakra - an energy vortex that lies in and above certain areas of the body - is affected by any kind of stimulus and all forms of energy, even thought. Certainly, music has a profound and direct impact on the chakras, and one can heal many wounds and traumas through conscious balancing of these areas. For example, rhythmic drumming or the steady beat of a rich bass line can stimulate the base chakra in a particular way. This can cause the energy to rise up through the body and out of the crown of the head, resulting in an orgasmic sensation. Try a few minutes of Jaco Pastorious while in a euphoric state and you'll know exactly what I mean.

My musical taste has always been eclectic. It's easy to recall the first time John Martyn's "One World" or Joni Mitchell's "Hejira" took over my body and soul from the moment the stylus hit the groove, inducing an altered state of consciousness. In my ideal world people would be dancing in the street to John Scofield, and every Blue Nile release would be celebrated with a national holiday.

The creation of the perfect music/massage session hinges on choosing the right music for the individual. What will ‘move’ client A, may not be right for client B, and maybe client C needs something quite different. In the normal listening world, the lover of Jazz and the connoisseur of Progressive Rock are often one and the same, but once on a massage table Lyle Mays stroking the Steinway might just be more preferable to Robert Fripp abusing his Mellotron. A chilled jazz trio or almost anything from the ECM catalogue would probably be more conducive to muscle relaxation than say "The Light" by Spocks Beard. A good dj knows how to fit the music to the mood of the audience, and this is particularly important when combining music and therapy. The client is generally in a surrendered state with heightened receptivity and the slightest input can affect the body and mind in a magnified way.

When I receive a massage I personally enjoy taking a musical journey around the world – ambient and sometimes rhythmic tracks from different genres, multi-layered and complex.Because of my musical training the brain receptors seem to be able to cope with more auditory information. This might not suit everyone and indeed people generally find it easier to reach a state of 'no mind', if the ears don't have to wrap themselves around music that requires more conscious and dedicated listening.

When first treating a new client the secret is to tread carefully with maybe a touch of the exquisitely plaintive sounds of David Sylvian. If all goes well, the mystical meanderings of David Torn can be added to the warm oil of ecstasy. If they are not familiar with Dead Can Dance or perhaps Nils Peter Molvaer, then this could be the perfect time for an introduction.

Compiling music has always been an wonderful task and with over 700 albums to choose from you can imagine how many colourful and eclectic mixes lie around waiting to be enjoyed by visiting musos. So, be it Mark Isham or Steve Roach, Jan Garbarek or Rob Palmer, the massage table will always be the 'best seat in the house'.

For more information on music and massage contact Kavida through this site.