Lifestyle

A place to ‘just be’ | Color immersion space in Clinton aims to feed the soul

Clinton resident Barb Nichols plays a Tibetan singing bowl in her new space, part of her Sound Massage business. Nichols uses the colors in the room to provide uplifting energy.  - Celeste Erickson / The Record
Clinton resident Barb Nichols plays a Tibetan singing bowl in her new space, part of her Sound Massage business. Nichols uses the colors in the room to provide uplifting energy.
— image credit: Celeste Erickson / The Record

For more than 20 years, Barb Nichols has imagined a room filled with color. A place for people to be immersed in various shades that uplift spirits.

That room, an expansion of Nichols’ Clinton massage studio, Sound Massage, will come into fruition next weekend during an open house.

“We’re affected by colors and environment,” she said. “Here you’re surrounded by different colors projected on the walls. Slowly moving and changing, you can drink in all the colors.”

Using an LED light system ranging from warm oranges to vibrant greens along with patterns, Nichols said she wants the room to be used as a personal sanctuary. It’s designed to feed a person’s energy from their body to spirit, especially in the grey winter months, she said.

The room also includes a place to lie down, along with music and a few items such as Tibetan singing bowls, crystals and herbs for scent.

Nichols said sometimes people can become off-balance when there isn’t enough of a certain color in their lives. If a person lives in a desert area they might not get enough of the color green, or, for example, living here there aren’t as many tropical colors, she said.

The colors also share a link with emotions. If a person is carrying a lot of energy from anger, they will be attracted to water and go for a walk on the beach, she said.

“We can use elements and colors to balance the energy,” she said. “It’s simple, something we can all do if we become aware of it.”

She wants the room to be used for people to relax in the colors with the sounds of nature, active music or silence — a place for people to “just be.”

“They may be depleted, need energy and want to crank up music,” she said. “Maybe they want to rock out and dance around the room to get their ya-yas out.”

Massage client and friend of Nichols, Jeanette Eveland, said she was excited for the innovative space to open.

“It’s a whole different way to find your inner self — through colors,” she said.

With the sound massage, Eveland said the experience was different from anything she’s ever done. All of her senses were in play, vibrating by the tone of the bowls.

“Barb’s just got this magic about her,” she said. “She has this gift to come up with innovative ways for people to get in touch with their inner self.”

For the massage, Nichols blends the vibrations of sound with body work. She uses four Tibetan singing bowls and places them on top of the client’s body. The client is laying face up on a waterbed hooked up to vibrate to the tones of a gong, synthesizer or drum. Nichols plays the bowls simultaneously with the sound vibrations coming from the front and back of the client’s body.

Nichols has been using this technique for 20 years after being inspired by an experience in Hawaii. While swimming, she said she was lucky enough to experience the vibrations from the song of a nearby humpback whale.

She was so inspired, she wanted to recreate that feeling for others.

“All we need to do is expose ourselves in those situations,” Nichols said. “That part of us knows how to bring the balance and drink in what’s in the environment so we don’t have to think about it. And bottom line is we feel better.”

 

Color immersion room

• The open house will take place from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 10 and again from 1 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 6714 Kenney Way, Clinton.

• Introductory prices begin at $35 for half an hour, $45 for 45 minutes and $55 for an hour. The cost increases for longer increments.

 

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