Have you had the experience of an overly chatty massage therapist talking your ear off when all you want to do is relax? Or maybe you are the type that needs conversation to relax and feel comfortable. As a massage therapist, I get all types of clients that want different levels of communication during their session. I consider the most important aspect of my job to be the ability to listen to the clients needs’ and shape the session to fill those needs. I have found there to be three general types of clients when it comes to chatting during a massage.
Some clients come to me to talk! Ya, they appreciate the delicious bodywork, but their main objective is to be heard. They talk the entire session about what is happening in their lives and with their bodies. My role is to listen and ask questions. This is their therapy session and they are also the their own therapist. Meaning that as they talk, they will come up with the solutions to any challenges they are facing. This type of client mainly just needs to be listened to by a neutral ear. Pregnant women are an example of one of these clients because they are being told what to do by everyone from their doctor to strangers in the grocery store. They need a neutral ear to sound off to about their mother-in-law who is hassling them about baby names or their male coworkers who are making remarks about how they better not take the next client because they can go into labor at any moment. The best thing I can do for these clients is listen while I rub!
The First 10 Minute Talkers
These are the clients that want to make small talk for about 10 minutes before settling down into a quiet slumber. It may take them a few minutes to unwind and find it easier to chat while doing so. Some new clients need this because I am a complete stranger that is now touching them. They just want to get to know me for a minute before they can relax completely. Or it may be a client that I see every few months and they want to do a mega-fast catch up session before they relax. We chat for a few and then the client goes to blissville. Blissville is what I refer to when the clients mouth drops open and their body starts twitching. If you have never been to blissville during a massage, then your therapist is not doing it right. This is the place where the most positive structural change can occur because the conscious mind is totally relaxed. While the client is blissed-out, the therapist can work deeply without pain.
The Silent Types
This client does not want to talk! They respond to your requests for direction with one word answers. They want to completely zone out from the moment their head hits the face cradle. If I talk to them then it should be no louder than a whisper and only when I absolutely must say something!
Which one are you? As a therapist, it is my job to figure out which type you are and proceed accordingly.