Heavy metal meditation to reduce stress

Metal Panda Holistics Amanda Thomson is using heavy metal music to help people meditate. Picture: Michael Gillen
Metal Panda Holistics Amanda Thomson is using heavy metal music to help people meditate. Picture: Michael Gillen

A therapist is turning up her beloved heavy metal music to help bring down her clients’ stress levels.

Amanda Thomson holds regular heavy metal mediation sessions at Metal Panda Holistics, in George Street, Falkirk and a growing band of people are now chilling out to the sounds of Metallica and other monsters of rock.

Amanda (37) said: “We live in a world now where people just accept stress as a part of their lives and we shouldn’t accept it. A lot of people think meditation is very hard – you need to chant and clear your mind.

“In actual fact meditation is really easy. If you can sit still and breathe you can meditate. Once people realise it’s not difficult then it becomes about making it more accessible.”

Amanda, who suffers from ME, has been combatting her own stress for a number of years.

“Mediation helped me massively,” she said. “So I know the benefits. My passion is stress reduction. I found it difficult with traditional meditation. I thought, this music is rubbish, and I was thinking about how bad the music was instead of meditating.”

Then Amanda heard about heavy metal yoga and thought if it could work for that it could work for meditation too.

“It was amazing – it really worked for me so I thought, maybe it could work for other people. I’ve been a fan of heavy metal music since I was 12-years-old. If I have a stressful day at work I don’t go home and put on Beethoven.

“I put on the music I love – feeling the beat and the bass frequency works to bring down my levels of anxiety.”

A typical session will see people get comfortable on chairs or cushions – no lotus position here – do some breathing exercises and then Amanda cranks up the metal.

She said: “When I pick out tracks to use for each session I look for the frequency of the music and repetitiveness. People say they find it easier to meditate to heavy metal instead of traditional meditation music. This is what I’m hoping to do – break down the barriers of meditation.

“This is very new and there’s a lot of trial and error, so the feedback I get from clients is important. Hopefully people come away feeling less stress.”

Visit www.metalpanda.co.uk for more information.