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Massage Today
September, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 09

The Healing Power of Music

By George Skaroulis

For many of us, music is a vital part of our daily life's soundtrack. It can serve to motivate or relax, and becomes essential for the purpose of massage therapy to set the stage for a peaceful massage experience.

Studies have proven that music can beneficially affect heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate and shifts in emotions and energy levels. Even more interestingly, the research has proven that the healing power of music goes beyond humans and extends to the animal world. The mood enhancing capability of music has provided tranquil restorations to animals that have been previously abused or neglected. The animals connect with the tones and tempos as a source of relaxation, just as we connect with music in a similar manner.

From a very young age, I can remember my fascination with music. My mom was a classically trained pianist, and around the age of five, I began sitting next to her watching, feeling the vibrations, listening and learning. Eventually we played simple duets together, side by side. I recall that it was not only wonderful bonding time with my mom, but was also therapeutic, even at that young age.

Others around me were keenly aware that music had a profound effect on me as an instant mood enhancer. Soon, I started playing music by ear from songs I heard on the radio as I was drawn to the music of artists such as The Carpenters, John Denver and James Taylor. After school, I would sit at the piano and express my daily experiences through my ivory and black canvas. My parents tell me they could interpret what kind of day I had at school simply by the style and tonality of what I was playing. Nearly 45 years later, music still serves as an outlet for my emotions and experiences, and my passion of music consumes much of my daily focus.

George Skaroulis - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Make Music a Priority

It is proven that music is going to affect the therapy recipient, but I also encourage you to keep in mind that it is just as important for the therapist to keep his/her music play lists fresh and inspiring for their own enjoyment. Do yourself a favor and don't get into a pattern of playing the same list of songs each and every time you perform your craft. I encourage you to shuffle your play list and update your song selections regularly. I know updating your music library might not be at the top of your priority list. However, we all are being forced to think more creatively in ways to both save and earn money.

By offering quality, relaxing and uplifting music to your clients, you are allowing them the opportunity to extend the experience of your session at home, so they can continue to reap the benefits of their sessions with you. By continually adding fresh new music to your library, you can then sell CDs on the spot to your clients, rewarding yourself with the additional income from the sale. In addition, having a few CDs on hand allows you an affordable gift for your very loyal clients on their birthdays or during the holidays.

Adding quality music to your life has several health benefits that extend to your family, friends and even your pets.

The American Music Therapy Association shares that "music has been shown to be an effective and valid treatment option for medical patients with a variety of diagnoses. Research results and clinical experience attest to the viability of music therapy even in those patients resistant to other treatment approaches. Music is a form of sensory stimulation which provokes responses due to the familiarity, predictability and feelings of security associated with it."

Start providing a musical sanctuary for your clients, and watch the positive atmosphere it creates in your practice.

I am grateful that my second nature ability to create music from my heart has become a source of healing and therapy to others. I have always claimed if I was not a musician, I would be a massage therapist. It is not ironic that my largest audience base is the massage therapy community, reflexologists and healers who are "in tune" with the important element of music and its healing power.

George Skaroulis is an award winning pianist and composer known for his ethereal and soothing piano style. His peaceful music is used by therapists and spas around the globe. George has dedicated much of his time toward events that have raised thousands of dollars for massage therapy research, benefiting both the Touch Research Institute and the Massage Therapy Foundation. His latest CD, the George Skaorulis Essential Collection and his 16 CDs are available at, iTunes and Amazon.


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