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Calming myself

Posted by: Phat Mama, 27-Jul-2010

I have been suffering from severe headaches of late due to overwork and looking at the computer screen till the wee hours of the morning.

My allergy to medicines, pills in particular, helps reduce my intake of unnecessary medication. At the worst I pop in one mild painkiller and that's it.

The latest remedy for me is listening to healing music, like those often played at spas and massage centres, which I frequent.

Last night, while browsing the Internet for reputable spa centres in Singapore, I came across the home site for Spa Botanica, Singapore's first destination spa (

Developed on a heritage site by HKRAP (HKR Asia Pacific Pte Ltd), Spa Botanica has been presented the Best Spa Experience and Best Tourism Host: Spa awards by the Singapore Tourism Board.

There's no doubt that there is a lot of good things to say about Botanica Spa but what's most interesting is the music that plays on the site. Once I opened the site, the music just continue playing and before I knew it I was totally immersed in it. It was like playing music from my iPod on repeat mode.

There are two albums available for sale. At this very minute I'm actually listening to The Five Seasons divided into Spring Rhapsody, Summer Celebration, Autumn Sonata, Winter Bliss and Spring Awakening.

The other album is The Five Elements, which pays homage to the five forces of nature, wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

I am not sure if the music termed as "original spa music" has been especially composed for Spa Botanica to be produced into these two albums or they are a compilation of existing works. Whichever it is, the albums are worth having if you are looking for some soothing music compilations for calm your nerves and de-stress.

Besides these selections, I also have a copy of a meditation track I came across on one of the radio stations on iTunes. It's called Open Heart Meditation by Irmansyah Effendi. You can also visit the site at

The Open Heart Meditation track is a 20-minute guided meditation, which helps us experience calmness within our heart. Practised regularly it can help us find peace of mind and learning to let go of our emotional baggage.

It is a very simple process, similar to other forms of meditation but would probably benefit those of us who need that extra push to understand the importance of acceptance and letting go.

Most of us would already know that meditation has been practised in Asia for over 5,000 years. And that there are various kinds of meditations techniques.

Some meditate by controlling their breathing, visualisation or my focussing the mind. I, however, opt for what is termed as "passive meditation" in which one relaxes to the music and free the mind from thinking.

Whichever method you choose to practise it will be what works for you because one of the core functions of meditation is to ease brain activity so as to benefit our body and mind.

In doing your meditation it is good to know what type of music works for us. The choices are normally instrumental pieces such as a piano recital accompanying the sounds of nature or something similar.

I like the sounds of the jungle, the insects and the birds which I get loads of from the album Voices of the Malaysian Rainforest (Danum Valley, Sabah, Malaysia) or the sounds of the African jungle (Africa Awakens - Natural Dreams, music for relaxation). The sound of panflutes (Beautiful Panflute Vol 1) and wind chimes (Windsong, wind chimes in a gentle breeze - Dan Gibson's Solitudes Nature Sound Collection) work as well. As for something more at home I opt for the sounds of the gamelan any time.

Try meditating or whatever you want to call it. It helps bring you to a calmer state of mind.