Tune In, Drop Off
By Renée Morrison
Forget whale songs, pan flutes and the satellite Zen channel: Spas and fitness studios around the world are unplugging the speakers in favor of live music.
The granddaddy of the movement is the Integratron in California’s Mojave Desert, an all-wood domed chamber where visitors lie down to feel the harmonic frequencies from quartz bowls in what’s called a “sound bath,” an experience said to have a deeply calming effect.
At Bota Bota in Montreal, Canada, spa-goers can benefit from the health perks of classical music, which has been proven to reduce blood pressure, by booking a massage set to a private concert by harpist Annabelle Renzo (pictured). Yogis do the same at classes choreographed to live percussion, saxophone or guitar music, offered at New York City’s Yoga Vida.
Meanwhile, “sound therapy” spa treatments make use of objects that resonate – Tibetan singing bowls, gongs and tuning forks – to send the body into a deep state of relaxation. The harmonious vibrations are believed to release tension caused by stress, allowing energy to run freely throughout the body and stimulate cellular healing. Test out the theory with a tuning fork session at Tiburon Spa in California (the forks vibrate next to acupuncture points), or at Fairmont Sanur Beach, Bali, where every spa treatment begins to the song of Tibetan singing bowls, an ancient spiritual practice said to align the chakras and promote inner peace – not to mention harmony.
Your Appy Place
Relax at home or on-the-go with these sound-based apps.
1. White Noise
Choose from over 50 looped sounds, from ocean waves to heavy rain.
2. Classical Stream Pro
Browse classical music by composer or select a playlist for your mood.
3. Brainwave Studio
Isochronic tones pulse at specific frequencies to send your brain into a state of bliss.