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Music, Mood, and Massage Therapy


I take great care in choosing what I surround myself and my clients with while in my studio. It is essential to set the right mood and create a relaxing environment. I feel that music is a fantastic mood booster and can help calm stressful activity in the brain.

According to Kim Innes, a professor of epidemiology at West Virginia University’s School of Public Health, “Music seems to “selectively activate” neurochemical systems and brain structures associated with positive mood, emotion regulation, attention, and memory in ways that promote beneficial changes.”

Calming Effects of Music

Music can have extremely positive effects on mental health. More and more studies are surfacing that show positive effects in seniors with early signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The right sounds and tempos can help reduce the frustration associated with forgetfulness and leave these patients feeling calm and at ease.

Music also benefits younger people who have issues with chronic stress management and anxiety. Studies have shown that music can help fight off depression and improve your mood. Choosing music with slow tempos and gradual chord progressions is excellent for calming a busy mind. According to Time Magazine, music can also improve blood flow and lower your levels of stress-related hormones like cortisol.

Now I know in this fast-paced world we want to multi-task, but listening to calming music while you check your email or scroll through your news feed will not be effective. You have to eliminate outside distractions to truly feel the benefits of relaxing music.

For a calmer state of mind stick to natural sounds, soothing piano, meditative or classical music. I curate the music in my massage studio based on what I think will benefit the overall wellness of my client. Click below to listen to a sample of relaxing muisc.

Types of Relaxing Music I Suggest:

  • Ocean Waves
  • Nature Sounds
  • Pan Flute
  • Meditation
  • Classical

Anxiety-Inducing Sounds

Music is used in movies and other forms of media to set a mood. In horror movies, certain sounds and tempos evoke anxiety and negatively affect a stress-free mind. I am not trying to knock how composers use sound in scary movies, but this type of music is made specifically to put you on edge. Fast tempo and frantic chord progressions tend to evoke feelings of fear and stress.

Some people listen to metal or hard rock because it helps them release aggression. I understand this and see those specific benefits, but the way that this music is written will not have a calming effect on your brain. I do want to note that there is not one type of music that works for everyone when it comes to calming down. Some listen to extremely fast head banging metal, and AC/DC seems like rain sounds to them. Click below to listen to a sample of music that could cause anxiety.

Massage Therapy and Music

I feel that the connection between mind and body is a huge part of why massage therapy is so effective. I want what I choose to play for my clients to add to their healing. I like to use soft, gentle sounds that ease them into a serene state of mind. I want every one of my clients to leave feeling relaxed and at peace, so I make it clear that my clients can request a change in music. The right environment can definitely calm a wandering mind and evoke emotional healing.

Suzanne Schaper is a Board Certified Massage Therapist serving Lenexa and Overland Park, KS. She loves sharing her knowledge for health and wellness with her customers. "A life free of pain and disease is a more full life." Suzanne enjoys assisting her customers in their pursuit of health and happiness.

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