|Soft music can provide the same stress relief as a pricey massage.|
(Photo © istockphoto/Neustockimages)
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Musician and composer Jeff Gold recently sent me a copy of his CD, Escapes, which consists of 60 minutes of instrumental music designed for massage treatments, yoga, and just about any activity that requires a relaxing soundtrack.
As I sipped a cup of Eco Tea and listened to Jeff’s compilation, I began thinking about soothing music in general. I usually gravitate toward meditative chanting and ambient sounds when I want to wind down (think Krishna Das, Deva Premal, and Brian Eno), but I know that my playlist of calming tunes may not be the same as yours. Musical preferences aside, it seems that when any soothing track is combined with deep breathing, it will have the same effect.
A recent study by scientists at the Group Health Institute in Seattle showed that deep breathing and soft music are just as effective in relieving stress as a pricey massage. This is good news for those seeking affordable wellness since a CD costs about $10 while a 60-minute massage typically costs $100 and up. “We were surprised to find that the benefits of massage were no greater than those of the same number of sessions of ‘thermotherapy’ or listening to relaxing music,” said Karen Sherman, a senior researcher at the Seattle-based health co-operative, according to the Daily Telegraph. “This suggests that the benefits of massage may be due to a generalized relaxation response.”
For more FREE relaxing sounds, download Todd Boston’s album Alive (and if you like what you hear, support the creation of Todd’s next album):
OR listen to this ambient sound design project by Matthew Wakem that was inspired by water (and contact him to design music for your spa, hotel, or lounge):Ambient Water Mix by Wakem Sound Design