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Massage environment, Tools

Setting the mood

Lighting, candles, scent and music plays a great influence when setting up a room for your massages.

Candles and lighting can make a big difference to a room. Candles provide a warm light that increases the temperature of the room both physically and mentally. There has been a primitive acknowledgement in the fire element of protection, warmth and survival since the earliest days of man. Controlling and using fire is one thing that truly set us apart from the other animals, and even today fire tends to captivate us and embrace us.

With modern lighting it is possible to create this atmosphere of protection and warmth without the risk of live candles. Coloured light bulbs and special lamps further expand the possibilities.

Scented candles can serve not only the purpose of providing light, but also to give the room a fragrance. You need to be careful in choosing which candles you buy as some are very perfumed and will become overwhelming for the client, as well as yourself. The larger a room is, the more strong scents can be used as it’ll be diffused. Incense and aroma lamps of various sorts can also be used.

Fragrances affect us much more than we’re aware of and moods can be changed rather profoundly. Just think about how the scent of fresh bread can make your mouth water, the fragrance of a flower make you remember a romantic situation, how the scent of foods or washing powder make you recall your mothers home, or how the smell of sewer can make you feel ill.

I’ll cover scents and aromatherapy at a later time and explain more about scents and their affects on our mind and mood.

Finally music is important for the setting as well. It serves several purposes. First off, it helps shut out all outside sounds that might disturb a massage session. Be it a car passing by, a child shouting, rain on the windows, a door slamming. All these are sounds that can distract the client from letting go and accepting the massage fully. They can bring the client out of her relaxed state and make her unconsciously tense her muscles or even become stressed.

Music also aids in setting a mood. It can support the massage in several ways.

Music helps finding the best rhythm for the massage and the techniques employed, it supports the massage style you use (for instance Hawaiian music for the Lomi Lomi massage), and give you an idea of how long is left before the time is up (provided you know the compilation/album you’re using) and allow you to focus on the massage instead of watching the clock.

Lastly, there’s a lot of music out there which aids with meditation and relaxation. As such the music can help the client with relaxing fully on all levels as well as helping you obtain and maintain a balance of positive energy and calm mood. This will ensure that the client gets the best massage possible.

All in all, there are many things to take into consideration when giving a massage, and the environment is at least as important as your health or the massage oil you use.

Related articles: Décor and Room and Colours and Moods

About Pia Poulsen

Pia Poulsen is educated as a wellness massage therapist at Institut FIGARI in Paris, from where she passed her certification exam in January 2008. Since then she has expanded her skills to become the first Advanced LaStone® practitioner in France as well as a certified LaStone® instructor.


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