Talking is one of our main forms of communication. During your massage therapy visit, much of the conversation will occur at the beginning of the treatment when you enter the massage room. This is the time that is set aside to discuss your health care goals and for the therapist to perform any special tests to help assess your condition. This time is also ideal for addressing any concerns you may have regarding the massage.
As a massage therapist, I always appreciate any questions you may have, no matter how silly you think they are! Its better to have them clarified and answered so that you can relax when you are on the table.
Once you are on the table, it is preferable for talking to be at a minimum. Not only does it help the therapist focus on the treatment, it will also help the client to tune-in to their body and relax.
For some people, talking helps them relax. This will usually be at the beginning of the treatment and then the conversation will generally taper off. However, some people aren’t comfortable with silence, in which case the therapist may request some breathing exercises if the talking is interfering with the treatment.
An intuitive therapist will let the session flow naturally and follow your cues for silence and conversation. In some situations, it is important to talk briefly about your comfort level, the pressure of the treatment, or when performing specific techniques. Therapists do appreciate feedback to let them know they are on the right track with the treatment, even if it’s just a sigh or a simple comment. However, it’s important to allow the therapist to focus, and the client to relax, in order to gain the most benefit from the treatment.
What happens when a therapist is overly chatty? If this is the case, speak up. Mention that you are really looking forward to relaxing and having some quiet time during your session. Your therapist should be able to pick up on your cue and proceed with a peaceful treatment.
In my experience, people start chatting because they don’t quite feel comfortable yet. They are naked, or mostly naked, on a massage table and a stranger is touching their muscles, their body. Some people are concerned about their shape, their weight, their skin, their hair, their scars. They are concerned that we may be judging their bodies. We are not.
Therapists are compassionate, professional, educated people. We have seen many shapes and sizes on our tables. We have treated many pathologies and injuries. We do not judge. We respect. We know that you are being vulnerable. Showing us what hurts (literally!) and allowing us to try and make you feel better. We take our job seriously and would not jeopardize your trust.
What we “see” on the table is a person who has come to us for help. Regardless if it’s for pure relaxation or to heal an injury. We see layers of muscles, the bones to which they attach, the fascia that surrounds and connects everything, your nervous system that allows you to tense up and relax. We see your skin flush red from firm contact, or your breathing slow down as your body softens. We will listen to the frustration of your injuries or the stresses from your day, but we won’t judge. And hopefully we can gain your trust so you can relax and let our experienced hands decrease muscle tension, release trigger points, stretch out tight structures and release your mind for just an hour of pure, quiet bliss.
While there may be information related to certain medical conditions and their treatment on this website, please consult your doctor or other healthcare professional to determine if a treatment described in the website is appropriate for you.
Kirsten Hammond is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Evolutions Massage Therapy Clinic- Saanich, BC & Sidney, BC & Brentwood Bay, BC