A seasoned therapist will usually “intuitively sense” when you want silence, says Shari Harrison, CMT, a veteran massage therapist at LifeSpa in St. Paul, Minn., but a newer practitioner may not be as in tune. A therapist who knows you well may want to check in with you, “asking about how you’re doing, your family, and so on, because you’ve developed a relationship,” she adds.
Generally, though, “if you’re quiet with them for a while, they’ll understand that you want quiet as the session continues.”
If you still find yourself in need of more silence than you’re getting, simply ask for it -politely, Harrison says. She suggests something like, “This feels so good, I’d really like to zone out now.” You can also communicate your preference by saying, “I really need to relax today,” or asking the therapist to turn up the music.
The simplest signal, she says, is to just take a deep breath and exhale. “That’s a signal for silence that nearly every therapist will recognize.”
This originally appeared as “I prefer silence during massages, and some therapists talk more than I’d like. How can I politely communicate my preferences?” in the June 2018 print issue of Experience Life.