One of the main goal of my practice is to allow my clients an opportunity to check-out, to truly unplug and relax. To do this I work on creating an immersive, cocoon like experience for my clients.
Having to listen to the murmur of conversation through a wall, the jangling of keys or the mail carrier deliver packages is NOT a great way to create the atmosphere I’m seeking for my clients.
Through research and trial & error I’ve been able to block out most outside noises. Of course, sounds like doors slamming are difficult to completely block since it’s the vibration of that action that’s the strongest, however there are steps that can help mitigate even those types of auditory intrusions. These are my Top 5 ways of reducing noise in your treatment space (or any space).
♦ DOORS : Get a draft blocker to put under all interior doors. This is a simple and cost effective way to begin to block unwanted noise. Doors are a big source of noise leakage. To check your door for leaks, turn off the lights in your treatment room, close the door and look for any places that light is coming through. That’s also where noise can come through. You may fill in the gaps with weatherstripping tape.
Lastly, if all possible swap out hallow interior doors for solid ones. If that’s not possible consider hanging heavy theater drapes on either side of the door (like you would for a window). It help to greatly reduce noise and gives an cozy feel.
♦ WHITE NOISE : A couple of white noise machines and/or sound machines placed strategically can have a big impact for less than $100. I have 2 white noise machine and 2 sound machines in my room and one more white noise machine just outside the door that leads to the common area of the office suite I’m in. It may sound (ha!) excessive – but it’s not. Trust me.
For best results try to get one of white noise machines in the area the most offensive noise is coming from. If it’s the lobby, make sure one of your machines is between your room and the lobby.
♦ SOUND SYSTEM : While a multi-speaker Sonos system is delightful and fills the room with high quality sound, the cost can be prohibitive for some.
Recently I was finally able to upgrade myself, however what I had been using with much satisfaction was a pair of Oontz Angle 3 ULTRA speakers. You can pair them wirelessly via Bluetooth, as long as one of the speakers is plugged into a device like a tablet or phone, for less than $100. (I use a Kindle Fire with Pandora Premium)
The advantage of having paired speakers is that you may place them in the best spots around the room to help further create your cocoon.
♦ SIGNAGE : Hanging up an “In Session, Quiet Please” type of sign can also help signal to others to lower there voices and close doors gently. If you space allows maybe even consider a light up marquee.
♦ COMMUNICATION : Lastly, the most difficult and maybe most important way to help mitigate noise is to communicate with those around you.
If you have a noisy suite mate or if the office across the hall has a door slammer it’s best to let them know how their behavior is impacting you and your clients. While it may be outside of your comfort zone to approach someone about this, keep in mind that most people want to be helpful and they may not even realize that they’re bothering you.
Again, while there’s no sure-fire way to eliminate all unwanted noise (aside from working in the Fortress of Solitude) employing one, two or all these steps will greatly reduce the distractions from outside your space so that you and your clients can focus on the buisness of healing.