This blog is to explain the why behind how I conduct my massage sessions with my clients. Why each client is special to me and how I keep each one of them in their own little box that is only opened when they return to my massage table.
Seven years ago I was in my internship for massage, we were told not to speak with our clients during the massage and keep the room dark and very quiet. So I always tried to follow this policy and speak with the client on the way to the massage room about the type of massage, pressure and if they had any muscle issues. About halfway through my internship, I had middle-aged women on my table. She started to cry at the beginning of the massage. I was fearful that I had used too much pressure. Upon asking her if she was ok she began to pour out that her son had been killed a few days before the massage. She continued to talk for the rest of the hour session about the accident and her grief while I attempted to remain silent as possible without being rude. At the end of the massage, she thanked me for listening and said she felt much better that someone care enough to hear her out. Upon, leaving the room to set up for the next client my instructor called me in and lectured me for talking during the massage. At that moment in time, I released that a strict code of silence was just not reasonable that I would not be practicing that in my practice. I was written up but told her that was fine I was right no matter how narrow-minded she was. I feel that quiet is for meditation, not massage. This event helped shape me into the therapist I am today.
I have always allowed my client to talk or not talk during the massage. I find a couple of things happen with this approach. One a client that has no one that will listen to them has a chance to express themselves without reproach, I have no skin in their game so I can listen to them without judgment. This allows the client to relax and let me work on their stress issues with their muscles. Second, some clients need to talk to be distracted to relax while you work on them. This allows me to go deeper into their muscles without them realizing it.
Some of you might think well that is just too personal! Well maybe, but I put them into a box and do not think about their issues again until I see them. I remember each of my clients by their jobs and names. This triggers our past conversations. Over time I have seen many clients poor relationships with spouses, bosses or family improve. At times sad events I have seen a family loss but the client is able to cope and move on. They are able to keep the stress from affecting their bodies. Yes, I have had clients that developed too close of a relationship and had to ask them to move to another massage therapist. This is rare if you keep professional boundaries with them. I never speak to clients out in public unless they approach me. I have had clients thank me regularly for listening to them about everything from work, family, sports, and culture. I choose to not discuss religion or politics in the massage.
This style of working is not for everyone. I have a bubbly personality and enjoy traveling, working and seeing life through other peoples eyes. I love to ease the pain of body, heart, mind, and soul in one session. Remember to be able to laugh and admit you don’t know everything. I don’t need to know if I am always told the truth because it is the client’s truth, not mine. I do have sessions where client sleep the whole massage and this is fine also. I always say it is about the client, not me.
Walk on the wild side break a few rules that are not legalities, see how you feel making others world a better place.