What Makes a Good Massage Therapist?

Mar 29, 2018

What makes a massage therapist stand out?

Whether you’re looking to find the perfect massage therapist or you want to become the best massage therapist you can be, you may be interested in what exactly makes a good massage therapist great. Because a massage is an emotional as well as a physical experience, massage therapists need a range of personal, social and business skills, in addition to the physical techniques of the profession.

Here are a few things to consider.

Before the massage

The booking and confirmation process should be smooth, easy, and stress free. Staff at the studio should be friendly and helpful – answering any questions the customer might have and accommodating of their requests. A fabulous therapist will also provide an overview of the appointment including what style and type of bookings are taken, the expected length of time of an appointment, when the customer should arrive, and the location of the clinic. All of these exceptional customer service skills will make customers feel at ease and comfortable about where and when they are heading to the clinic and what to expect through the appointment. A great therapist will leave a customer excited and looking forward to their upcoming appointment.

Arriving at the clinic

An inviting clinic setting which creates a sense of calm, relaxation and healing is provided by a great massage therapist. Customers should also receive a welcoming smile and continuation of fabulous customer service skills while waiting for their appointment. They should wait just the right amount of time too, so as not to cause frustration.

Some massage services are offered in a client’s own home. Arriving at the venue with ample time ahead of the appointment to ensure you can locate the home without a sweat, set up and prepare the space for the massage to commence are all great sign of a fantastic massage therapist.

The atmosphere created in the room is important too. A therapeutic massage engages your senses through not just the touch of the massage itself, but also through the use of soothing music, aromatherapy scents and massage oils.

Listening skills

Good massage therapists are also good listeners. A great massage therapist should provide clients with education regarding their health and well-being, in addition to therapy that will improve their quality of life. However a massage therapist who listens to the responses regarding pain or previous injuries of a person will influence the type of massage provided. This can also lead to follow-on services for clients who love their massage therapist – one who listened to their concerns and offered additional treatments to suit their target areas.

Ongoing training

As a massage therapist, ongoing training and upskilling to expand on physical massage skills is another sign of a great therapist. Clients are impressed with those whose passion for continual professional development shines through in their work. Staying on top of the latest industry-recognised information and applying it to your craft will make you an expert in your field. Demonstrating new techniques or new products with clients is a strong indication of a massage therapists’ true calling and passion for what they do.


A good massage therapist displays a high standard of professionalism. Whether you are attending a salon or a therapist is providing you a massage in your home, the level of service needs to remain high. In any service profession, especially one as personal as massage therapy, the ability to build relationships with your clients is essential to success. What will set anyone apart from the pack is their professionalism, empathy and making their clients feel like a real priority, even for a small business like a massage clinic.

Excellent massage skills

Of course some of the signs listed above are all very important when looking for a great massage therapist, but the number one time to spot a brilliant therapist is while they’re at work.

During a massage, a great therapist will relax and lengthen muscles and melt away aches. They’ll also check with their client throughout on the level of pressure applied and the pain threshold, and querying if the pressure needs to be increased or decreased to suit the issue. There are therapists who can see and speak with a client and just get the pressure level ‘just right’ to suit the client’s needs. The sign of a good massage is someone who can hone in on the areas that have been highlighted as key priorities for the massage therapist to work on.

Becoming a great massage therapist

If you need a refresher on your massage therapy techniques, take a look at Discover Massage Australia’s upcoming courses. We believe the best massage therapists learn through hands-on training. That’s why we focus on teaching you the practical skills you need, backed up with knowledge so you can competently treat your clients and be the best massage therapist you can be.

Cameron Aubrey

Cameron Aubrey has over 20 years experience in the massage industry, and leads the team as Course Director at Discover Massage Australia. Cameron holds a Diploma in Remedial Massage, and his expertise runs across a large range of massage techniques, particularly sports, Swedish and whole body massage.