The music group Marconi Union has teamed up with Radox Spa to produce what they are claiming to be the most relaxing ambient music track on in the world.
While there are some obvious flaws in how they vetted their track, it’s still a rather relaxing piece.
The folks at AltSounds had this to say in their piece on Music that’s more relaxing than massage or Mozart:
‘Weightless’ a specially-designed ambient track by Marconi Union is scientifically proven to be more relaxing than having a massage or listening to tunes by Adele, Mozart, Coldplay and more. Weightless uses specific rhythms, tones, frequencies and intervals to relax the listener. A continuous rhythm of 60 BPM causes the brainwaves and heart rate to synchronise with the rhythm: a process known as ‘entrainment’. Low underlying bass tones relax the listener and a low whooshing sound with a trance-like quality takes the listener into an even deeper state of calm.
The eight-minute track is free to download at www.facebook.com/radox and was created for Radox Spa by ambient musicians Marconi Union in consultation with the UK’s Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy. The track forms part of the Spa Therapy album, which includes exclusive tracks by Honeyroot, Echaskech, Laki Mera and Digitonal and is free to download from the Facebook page. Richard Talbot from Marconi Union said: “We were really interested in this project because of the scientific nature of it. Our music tends to be very relaxing but working with Lyz, the sound therapist, helped us to understand the science behind some of the techniques that we intuitively use when making music. It was fascinating to have the physiological responses to the music tested in a laboratory.” Scientists at Mindlab International, an independent research consultancy based at the Sussex Innovation Centre, tested subjects to record the subconscious physical responses to listening to Weightless versus other music and having massages. The effect of the activities on heart rate, respiration and skin conduction concluded that listening to Weightless had a much more relaxing effect than listening to conventionally ‘relaxing’ music by Adele, Enya, Coldplay, Moby and Mozart. Mindlab’s Dr David Lewis, one of the UK’s leading stress specialists and author of the best selling One Minute Stress Manager, said: “Brain imaging studies have shown that music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions.The results clearly show that the track ‘Weightless’ induced the greatest relaxation – higher than the massage or any of the other music tested. The study confirmed that the Radox Spa track Weightless has the power to soothe frazzled minds and relax stressed bodies.” Lyz Cooper, the UK’s leading therapeutic sound practitioner, who collaborated with Marconi Union on the track said: “What distinguishes Weightless from other music is the use of therapeutic sound. Many musicians and composers intuitively use therapeutic elements in their music every day, but when you put many of these elements together it is possible to create music that has an extremely relaxing effect on people – as confirmed in the tests.”
See the full story at http://hangout.altsounds.com/news/136897-music-relaxing-a-massage-mozart.html
A couple things to keep in mind while reading these glowing reviews . . . Marconi Union here are working with a commercial company as part of a product promotion effort . . . whether or not the actual track is relaxing, the spin is very much toward pushing Radox Spa products. The talking heads are mostly associated with the company and even so, the design of the experiment does not have to yield unbiased results.
The Mail jumped on the bandwagon with more on possible dangers to motorists . . . it’s so relaxing it’s a danger to folks driving . . . or not.
It slows your breathing and reduces brain activity to such an extent that Weightless, written by Manchester band Marconi Union, is said to be the ‘most relaxing song ever’. The eight-minute track is so effective at inducing sleep, motorists have now been warned they should not listen to it whilst driving. The band worked with sound therapists to get advice on how to make the most effective use of harmonies, rhythms and bass lines. The result on listeners is a slowing of the heart rate, reduced blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
The study – commissioned by bubble bath and shower gel firm Radox Spa – found the song was even more relaxing than a massage, walk or cup of tea.
The women were connected to sensors and given challenging puzzles to complete against the clock in order to induce a level of stress. They were then played different songs as their heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and brain activity were recorded. Studies found Weightless was 11 per cent more relaxing than any other song and even made many of the women ‘drowsy’ in the lab. It induced a 65 per cent reduction in overall anxiety and brought them to a level 35 per cent lower than their usual resting rates.
The song features guitar, piano and electronic samples of natural soundscapes. It is pierced throughout by buddhist-like chants that induce a trance-like state. Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, said Marconi Union had used scientific theory to make the ‘perfect relaxing song.’ She said: ‘The song makes use of many musical principles that have been shown to individually have a calming effect. ‘By combining these elements in the way Marconi Union have has created the perfect relaxing song. ‘The study found this to be the world’s most relaxing song. It contains a sustaining rhythm that starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to around 50. ‘While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat. ‘It is important that the song is eight minutes long because it takes about five minutes for this process, known as entrainment, to occur. ‘The fall in heart rate also leads to a fall in blood pressure. ‘The harmonic intervals – or gaps between notes – have been chosen to create a feeling of euphoria and comfort. ‘And there is no repeating melody, which allows your brain to completely switch off because you are no longer trying to predict what is coming next. ‘Instead, there are random chimes, which helps to induce a deeper sense of relaxation. ‘The final element is the low, whooshing sounds and hums that are like buddhist chants. ‘High tones stimulate but these low tones put you in a trance-like state.’
She added: ‘Sound therapy has been used for thousands of years to help people relax and improve health and well-being. ‘Music was at the heart of healing and worship among indigenous cultures. ‘Anybody who lives under a flight path or near a busy road appreciate the effect sounds can have on your stress levels.
‘Weightless is ideal for putting on at the end of a stressful day and unwinding.’
Dr David Lewis-Hodgson, from Mindlab International, which conducted the research, said: ‘The results clearly show that the track induced the greatest relaxation – higher than any of the other music tested. ‘Brain imaging studies have shown that music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions. ‘In fact, Weightless was so effective, many women became drowsy and I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous.’
Richard Talbot, from Marconi Union, said: ‘It was fascinating working with a therapist to learn how and why certain sounds affect people’s mood. ‘I always knew the power of music but we have previously written using gut feeling.’
See more at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049948/Most-relaxing-song-UK-band-Boffins.html and note how much of this story is similar to the previous one (albeit the Mail provides more specific data).
Okay, enough talking . . . here’s the song:
In any case, whether or not it’s genuinely the most relaxing song in the world, it is rather relaxing. You can certainly hear what seems to be binaural beats in the background as well.
For those with an interest, I use a theta-delta cyclical wave embedded into the background of my hypnosis audio sessions available via our online store at http://briandavidphillips.net/store/ and available for download. The binaural beat embedded into the audio enhances relaxation and trance depth.
All the best,