Why I Do What I Do
Shantelle Jennings, LMT, owner, Sacred Space Massage & Bodywork

A longtime believer in the therapeutic value of sound, Jennings developed an innovative massage technique, Harmonic Hot Stone Massage, incorporating singing bowls, warm stones, and crystals. The treatment debuted one year ago at the Spa at The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Q. What spurred your interest in sound?

A. One of my first experiences with sound as a healing instrument was at the Whole Life Expo in Denver. I heard the sounds of crystal bowls playing from across the room and was immediately drawn to them. To play one, you gently tap the rim of the bowl with a suede mallet and then slide the mallet around the rim. I brought one home and while playing it spontaneously began to match the sounds with my voice. It was so freeing and amazing. From that point on, I started studying healing theories that incorporate sound, frequencies, and music. I also learned about chakras and crystals.

Q. How does using sound enhance your massage practice?

A. I believe the bowl sounds, the vibrations, help the cells in the body to “shift gears” into a more harmonious state. The bowl tones I use during the massage correlate to the seven major chakras, or energy centers, in the body. For this treatment I choose specific crystals to support the client’s individual needs. Then, the crystal bowls I play are tuned to a specific note, which corresponds to a chakra. The combination of crystals and tones used during the massage is designed to clear, energize, and balance the chakras.

Q. How does the technique affect you?

A. Sound knows no boundary. This treatment isn’t a one-way street; it doesn’t just affect the client, it affects me as well, inviting both of us to be in a more balanced and harmonious place. When I’m doing this work, I feel heartfelt joy. But I’m not here to convince anyone [of the treatment’s benefit]; I like to invite clients to have their own unique experience. Each treatment is as individual as the people themselves. I know a lot of massage techniques—this one is just my favorite.

—E.B.