Music as part of massage therapy

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Berthold Auerbach


Two clients have recently commented on the beneficial effect of the music during their treatment which they felt amplified the therapeutic effects, both physically and mentally.

As well as affecting our heartbeat, breathing and blood pressure, music is proven to affect the amplitude and frequency of brainwaves and change the dominant frequency from one stage to another.

Brainwave patterns are

  • beta and gamma when we are active, busy, concentrating or anxious
  • alpha when we close our eyes, are peaceful, reflect and relax
  • theta when we are highly creative, insightful and intuitive
  • delta when we are asleep and unconsciously process information


Ideally during a relaxing massage, we are aiming for alpha and theta states, which certainly tallies with the actual experience for most clients. Alternatively, if the work is more remedial which requires the client’s active participation, the beta or gamma states may be more appropriate.


Apparently when a brainwave pattern is practised over a period of time, the brain ‘learns’ that state – this is called ‘entrainment’ and it becomes easier to produce the desired brainwave state at will, as practitioners of meditation will confirm. Clients who are stressed may book for a series of massage treatments to regularly experience the alpha/theta states which they then, through ‘entrainment’ may be able to reproduce, perhaps by playing suitable music, when they need ‘down’ time.


I have a wide range of music which is covered by PRS licence so I, or the client, can choose an appropriate selection to instantly create a suitable ambience and enhance the therapy session.


Talking of music…. I and other therapists will once again be at The Gate to Southwell Folk Festival running the ‘Chill Out Zone’ from 5th to 7th June – do come and have a treatment from the wide range on offer. – see