Spas in Macau are pioneering sound therapy with new technologies and the world’s first fully immersive music spa

Spas in Macau are in tune with the latest sound therapy treatments, believing the benefits can enhance the whole spa experience

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 4:53pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 September, 2017, 4:24pm

Few need proof of how sound can stir our emotions and transform our mood.

When you consider the countless styles of music, from classical to heavy rock, there’s a rhythm and a melody to reflect or transform every mood. It’s little wonder that for centuries sound has been used for its therapeutic and healing benefits, especially as a means to help induce deeper relaxation.

More recently, therapies and treatments using sound have advanced well beyond a few striking gongs, singing bowls and tuning forks. 

Unique to the Macau market at MGM’s Tria Spa, a new therapy lounge has launched using a technology called So Sound.

Already well-received in the United States, So Sound is said to balance your heart rate and blood pressure, and displace tension and stress, using musical vibrations that travel throughout your body as you lay in a lounger. 

“For me it lifts the fog of stress. I am able to more easily let go of mental and physical distractions and feel more relaxed and clear,” says Misty Stewart, spa director at Tria Spa, MGM Macau. 

Stewart, originally from the US, was won over by sound therapy 10 years ago, after a treatment using Tibetan Singing Bowls convinced her of the ability sound and vibration have to quickly and deeply help the body to relax. She believes treatments like the So Sound technology, can also help to maximise the benefits of treatments such as massages.

“I have known people who get regular massages and it takes them almost the entire treatment to relax enough to begin reaping the greatest benefits,”  Stewart says. “Imagine if that person could begin the massage in a more prepared state, how much greater could their results be? That’s essentially what So Sound can help with. It enhances the whole spa experience, so it was only natural to incorporate it into the Tria menu.”

Some physicians remain sceptical about the benefits of sound therapy, claiming there is little clinical proof that it works, something that Stewart believes will take time to change. “I remember years ago when I first received acupuncture and many people thought it was odd or even outright silly, and yet now it is being accepted within western medicine as effective for pain management. So I think I’ll rely on my own personal experience and the anecdotal evidence of our spa guests.”

Over at Rock Spa, inside the Hard Rock Hotel at City of Dreams, Macau, they are also champions of sound therapy.

The healing, using sound, is both physical and psychological at the same time
Connie Pong

“It’s the world’s first fully immersive music-centric spa menu using amplified vibrations, pressures and patterns, as the foundation of its treatments,” say Connie Pong, senior manager of Rock Spa.

On the menu here you will find signature treatments such as “Synchronicity” which uses a musical soundtrack and special rhythmic massage techniques to help ease muscle tension. There’s also “Face the Music”, which combines the therapeutic benefits of sound vibration and clinically proven organic products to rejuvenate and hydrate facial skin.

“Our massage bed is specially designed with a dome hanging from the ceiling and a subwoofer attached,” Pong says. “Our musical massage helps to takes you away from the world for a while. The healing, using sound, is both physical and psychological at the same time. Whenever you feel tired, stress, or you need a good boost it is good to come for sound therapy."

Pong is aware of different sound therapies being used to help to treat serious illness and for pain reduction. 

“An increasing number of mainstream medical and education institutions around the world use the healing effects of Himalayan singing bowls and gongs as a vital process of cancer treatment,” Pong says. “Deepak Chopra Centre in California has found that the sound of Himalayan singing bowls is chemically metabolised in the body as the endogenous opioid, which works as internal medicine and pain reduction."

Despite the long list of healing and therapeutic benefits that sound therapy offers, it is largely overlooked on most spa menus. However, both Stewart and Pong believe this will change as more people begin to understand how sound therapy can benefit the overall spa experience as well as modern lifestyles. 

“We foresee that sound therapy will get more and more popular given the lifestyle we are all in can sometimes be stressful and challenging,” Pong says.

“Sound therapy is effective because it influences our emotional bodies as well as our physical bodies. Human emotions have their immediate expression through sound, and it is often the repression of the sound of the emotions that creates emotional blockages. Conversely, sound can be used to unlock the blocked emotions and release them with ease and grace."