The experience that made me think "What Is The Best Kind of Music to Hear at a Spa?"
When I'm fortunate enough to go, I always have to ask, "what is the best kind of music to hear whenever I get to go to a spa?"
Two weeks ago was the first time I visited a spa in Estonia. I went to the place where newer practitioners begin their journeys to becoming the best masseuses ever. I was lucky enough to pay about 35 euros to use a man we’ll call Sander in order to fix my lightly injured seizure shoulder and back.
Sander had to be about 6’3 and had some of the biggest hands I had ever seen. I guess that is what happens when you select “sports massage” on your worksheet. While in Cambodia, they will find you the blindest guy, in Estonia, you get the biggest. Either way, I was about to get my back worked right the hell out by a man with very little personality... Naturally, he didn't need any personality once he got his hands on me.
I was taken upstairs to Sander’s room in order to get loose and begin my new healing process. Yet the very first thing I noticed was the fact that the music was so very different in the room to which I was escorted. Rather than the average spa meditation music, this place had jazz coming from inside the room.
Spa Visits in Cambodia and the United States
While it isn't known as well out here in Estonia, from 2016 to 2021, I was fortunate enough to live in Cambodia. It's a space where there are almost two different massage identities. First, there are large groups of women all working in a small spa together where they take on new customers from all over the world. As soon as you step into a place like Bodia Apothecary, the scene completely changes from the very sweaty one you're used to outside. Inside, the lights have become darker and you begin to hear their spa music over the speakers inside which are always playing music. It’s always very yogic and peaceful. Then there is a sports massage person. Typically a blind Cambodian man, I like to think that has learned the timbre of my body from the way my bones scrape across one another. This man will put his hands on you in a very different way than the women will. Sometimes they may work with a collection of other blind masseuses on an average Phnom Penh street corner charging about $10 for a rub down, or they'll be set up by the foreigner working at your gym. Still, as relaxing as it can be, I have yet to hear any music playing whenever I've met any male masseuses.
In the United States, there are almost too many different types of spas and personalities you can go and see. Get your back a $40 dollar chiropractor, go out and find a skilled blind person to do a massage of your own, or find another group of women from all over the world to work as a team in order to please their clients. The music will likely be just as yogic and peaceful in that space as well. While it may be the kind of music we expect to hear when visiting the spa, I have to say that Sander of Estonia may have shown me something brand new that I enjoyed a whole lot.
Sander Works Me With The Jazz Music
Maybe we get used to things as we age, but there was something kind of special as I pulled my arms out to the lower part of the table and put my head down on the table to Frank Sinatra. My back was already hurt, so Sander began to apply greater pressure over a Herbie Hancock song I hadn’t heard in years. Later, after flipping me over to my front, my fractured shoulder was worked out to “Take the A Train” by Duke Ellington. Oh, it absolutely hurt me badly until it just didn’t anymore. It could have been the power of the jazz music playing at this spa, or maybe it was Sander’s gigantic fingers. Either way, my body finally felt ready for something new and improved by the end of the spa experience.
So while my Cambodian and United States lives had me ready for this yoga-inspired form of meditation music, Sander managed to get me thinking differently about what spa music could really do for people. Maybe jazz can really show us something different from the yoga music I've heard in other spas. Luckily for me, the only way to find out is to go back and try again.