If you’ve ever been to a high-end spa for a massage, you may have noticed soothing music, soft lighting, and other stylistic design choices intended to exude a relaxing ambiance. Or maybe you don’t notice them because you’ve blissfully drifted off.
Whether you notice them or not, most successful spas put a lot of thought and planning into their massage environment. From what you see to what you smell, spas carefully select design details based on their ability to relax your body and mind.
If you’re considering beginning an in-home massage treatment with a massage bed, you don’t have to sacrifice the spa-like experience just because you may not have a zen garden in the backyard or fancy water features. By making some adjustments to your own living space or wellness room, you can replicate some of the most important features of the spa environment to maximize your in-home massage experience.
From choosing the proper lighting to investing in a high-quality massage bed, here are six ways to create a soothing in-home massage.
Getting a massage can be a rewarding multi-sensory experience from what you feel to what you hear. Replicate the spa atmosphere in your home by playing soft music or nature sounds to reduce both mental and physical stress and mask any sounds that can come in from outside.
Research indicates that music can ease stress by lowering our heart rate and cortisol levels and releasing endorphins to improve our sense of well-being. There is even some evidence that music can help lessen physical pain by shifting brain activity away from pain-related connectivity patterns and promoting positive emotions, especially when music is slow and relaxing.
Nature sounds like ocean waves or rain are similarly effective at decreasing the body’s sympathetic response (which causes that “fight-or-flight” feeling) and increasing the parasympathetic response, which helps the body relax.
Studies show that our sense of smell plays an important role in the physiological effects of mood and stress. Specific plants like lavender, rosemary, lemon, and bergamot have been shown to reduce anxiety and increase relaxation when used in aromatherapy, which would complement a soothing in-home massage experience.
According to John Hopkins, aromatherapy works because the scent molecules in these plants travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially impact the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain.
Candles are also great choices for lighting, which should be dim and ambient. Studies show that this type of soft and subdued lighting can relieve stress and promote relaxation, whereas bright lights help to increase mental alertness and wakefulness. Warm-colored light bulbs can also achieve this type of lighting. You should also make sure you can control how much natural light you get in the room by having curtains or blinds that block out any bright sunlight from the window, which can be too stimulating.
Feeling too hot or too cold can ruin a massage. We suggest aiming for a cool temperature (around 67-70 degrees Fahrenheit), which is conducive to helping your body rest and repair. You can always use a blanket for added warmth, which is important if you tend to get cold easily. After all, colder isn’t always better. According to a temperature study at Cornell, cold temperatures in an office setting cause employees to be distracted, and distractions during a massage can lead to tense muscles and a racing mind.
When it comes to your in-home massage environment, less is more. Surrounding yourself with clutter can be both distracting and stressful.
In fact, research shows that clutter has a negative impact on overall well-being by increasing stress, decreasing productivity, and fostering unhealthy habits. Along with having too much “stuff” around you, it’s also important that your massage takes place in a room free from too much traffic, too. If you live with other people, ask them to give you some space for the duration of your massage so their sounds and movement do not detract from your experience.
Investing in a high-quality massage bed like the CERAGEM V6 is key to ensuring a soothing in-home massage experience whenever you need it. Equipped with sophisticated spinal scanning technology, heated massage rollers, and air cell massagers, the CERAGEM V6 delivers a customized massage for all body types comparable to an in-person massage.
In addition to providing relaxation from mental and physical tension and stress, the CERAGEM V6 is an FDA-cleared class II medical device that increases circulation and improves flexibility, so you can emerge from your massage with more energy and vitality than you had before.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist specializing in health and wellness. She has written for TIME, Health, Glamour, Parents, Women’s Health, VICE, and the Telegraph.
Health Psychology Review – Music therapy for stress reduction: a systematic review and meta-analysis
National Library of Medicine – Functional connectivity of music-induced analgesia in fibromyalgia
John Hopkins Medicine – Aromatherapy: Do Essential Oils Really Work?