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The Sounds of Spa

By: Abby Penning
Posted: November 24, 2009, from the December 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Eluv playing crystal bowl

Playing a special “alchemy” singing crystal bowl made with platinum, musician, sound-healing spa consultant and qi gong practitioner Eluv encourages stress relief and calmness through sound and music.

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At Canyon Ranch, the musical offering Acutonics is featured, a form of vibrational sound therapy that uses an array of tuning forks applied to the body. Practitioner Revak describes the service as, “A good treatment for relieving stress, reducing pain and aiding sleep. It can vary depending on what the client is seeking. We take a medical history before we start, and also talk with clients about their expectations for the service. Then we use the proper tuning forks applied on the appropriate acupuncture points to treat the body. We also use Tibetan bowls, bells and gongs to enhance the effects.

“Vibrational sound therapy has its roots in cosmic harmonies,” Revak continues. “If a person is agitated, the practitioner will channel the harmonics of the moon, because when you think about the moon, you think of calming nighttime, things more feminine and watery, which is perfect to bring an agitated person into balance. If a person is feeling fatigued, the practitioner will channel the harmonic vibration of the sun, because it brings vibrancy, warmth and energy, which helps energize the fatigued person.”

Canyon Ranch also offers a reflexology treatment at its Miami Beach, Florida, location incorporating music, and its Sound & Harmony treatment in Tucson pairs music and nature sounds to help inspire creativity, relaxation or sleep, depending on the clients’ sound selections.

Additionally, spa equipment can also be brought into the music mix, and not just through speakers and CD players. Canyon Ranch’s Mindlink Couples Relaxation Therapy is a side-by-side massage performed on sound tables. Those tables are also used for a variety of treatments at Ciel Spa at SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. There, they are used to help clients receive all the advantages of musical spa accompaniment. “The tables have speakers inside them so the clients can feel the vibrations of the music during the treatment,” explains spa director Mark Bodnar. “They also wear headphones, so they hear and feel it at the same time.

“It’s nice to stimulate more than one sense through the music, to get it really involved in the service,” Bodnar continues. “It’s so relaxing for the body, and it’s not only the therapist’s hands doing the treatment, but also the table.”