It's something that, honestly, took me a few years to learn.

As a massage therapist, I acknowledge that the time on the table is the client's time; and not mine. 

As a human being... 

I tend to be fairly open already, even more so when vulnerable. It was easier to express thoughts/feelings to individuals who weren't as close to me as my primary nurturers, especially when the vulnerability was in regard to a primary nurturer. I avoided conflict with my primary nurturers; which filled me with much to process.

I didn't know that's what I was doing: processing the data of my life.

Sometimes sharing my experience greatly benefited my clients; it reflected their own stories, in a different way--and it gave them a sense of understanding and acceptance that they hadn't yet experienced.

Other times...I was mindlessly reaching out for validation of my human experience from the few individuals I was in contact with...and in a sense, had captive on my massage table. Thankfully, I've had mostly pleasant and copacetic experiences than not....and the "not" were certainly learning ones, when I had the bandwidth to learn from them. 


Changing, growing, human. 

I understand that sometimes, certain reflections (people) elicit certain thought processes, and there are things that need to be expressed; I am happy to provide that mirror that better helps you see yourself, and in the process, helps me see myself...and vice-versa. Thank you for being my reflection; and may my process serve you in perceiving yourself, too.

Yet, indeed: silence is golden.

It's important that the time on the massage table be about the human being on the table; that the therapist be intently focused on the tonicity, breath, and body adjustments of the client; as well as maintain self-awareness regarding body mechanics, breath, and the therapist's own tension (and adjusting accordingly). To do that well, requires focus. When I focus on those aspects, each session, there isn't much mental bandwidth left for much else...if we engage in speaking, we detract from that focus.

Some clients like to talk during their sessions; they don't realize how animated they are as they communicate...I can feel their muscles activate, expressing their emotional engagement tangibly to my hands. I eventually realized that allowing them to express verbally was stirring up their nervous systems too much; and I couldn't put them in the deeply relaxed state that allows the nervous system to reset itself, and break the anxiety loop.

Sometimes, my clients are my friends; and the boundary between client/therapist becomes blurred. They deserve silence, too: to focus on their breathing; and for their nervous systems to register the changes going on within their bodies.

Whatever the conversation is, it's detracting from the finite focus I can dedicate to my clients and to our work. It's also preventing the client from changing brain wave frequencies from more engaged to less engaged, thus redirecting resources from the body's immune well as decreasing their bandwidth for perceiving pressure in the areas that need attention.

So let's save that for before and after the session, and keep the table time as a period of focused meditation, with breath being the centering point. 

We limit the communication to the Pressure Rainbow: colors and numbers that clearly express when I've found an area that needs attention (Gold), and if I need to adjust my pressure when it feels like too much (Yellow, Orange, Red).

The numerical gauge (1-10) provides a clearer understanding of how much pressure the client is perceiving, especially when they are familiar with their body and correlating the perceived pressure to each zone.

It's there for the people who want to communicate. Clearer, simpler feedback = better results.

I know I provide better bodywork when I'm quiet and focused: I'm better able to process the tactile feedback that my hands are picking up; the auditory feedback from listening to the client's breath; and the visual feedback as my eyes see changes in muscle tone, the rise and fall of the back/chest...facial expression...It's a lot to take in. 

When I absorb it with silent focus, the therapeutic work that I put out is of a higher quality.

I'm learning how to gently remind folks to focus on their breathing, instead of talking; that we can talk about it after the session, if it's still on their minds...I realize that's a part of my job: reminding my clients (and myself) to be quiet, and breathe.

I will continue to practice both: reminding myself to focus in silence, on the many things I need to pay attention to; and reminding my clients to focus on their breathing, reserving communication to expressing pressure perception.

My clients' nervous systems will better integrate the changes within their vessels, providing longer lasting results. Wellness is increased and maintained. Progress is more readily made.

Time to talk, before and after the session, is included in the session price for individual (vs. couples or group) sessions. 

While we're playing with our mini-hoops, we're both assessing your body mechanics and movement, as well as sharing conversation. As we enjoy our pre-session walk, we can chat while we warm up our muscles and increase bloodflow. After, we can discuss anything that you'd like during the post-session walk, which supports your body's integration of the changes in a different way--and may help prolong the effects of the bodywork.

Plenty of time for expressing whatever needs to be expressed.

On the table, it's a Golden Time...silent bliss.

Thank you for breathing with me.