What Attributes You Should Have To Become A Massage Therapist

STARTING A MASSAGE THERAPIST CAREER? Are you thinking about starting your professional career as a Massage Therapist? Congratulations! you are about to choose one of the most beautiful, exciting and enriching professions that exist, but be aware; not everything is plain sailing. You should know a few things before you decide to go for it.

I remember that when I started my studies as a Physical Therapist, by the second year, 30% of the students quit their studies and that by the end of the university degree only 60% of the students graduated. Here you have the why’s….In the world of Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs), something similar happens…so this post is to help you find out if you are made for this profession or not, in order to save you time, money and disappointments.

Qualities that you should have in order to become a Massage Therapist:

COMPASSION. For others who are suffering, as most of the time you will treat people who suffer from some kind of pain or injury. Remember that in this profession, at times, you work surrounded by suffering, can you handle that?

EMPATHY. For those who are suffering. People under stress, physical pain or emotional imbalance can sometimes act very rude and nasty. At this time, you should practice your empathy and be able to understand that the pain or limitations people experience, specially in chronic conditions, can change their personality and character.

BELIEF. Believe that you can help to improve their physical condition, change their state of mind and lighten their mood.

EQUANIMITY. You should always offer the same quality of service for all of your clients, regardless of the connection or affinity you have with them.

HAVE A BACKBONE. LMTs can not be scrupulous, as many times you will have to face oily skin, pimples, clients with a strong body odour (natural smell not produced by poor hygienic conditions).This takes me to the next one…

STRONG PERSONALTY. Sometimes you will have to deal with uncomfortable situations, such as having to ask your clients to take a shower before the massage, ask them to wash their feet, deal with situations of sexual harassment, or any other situations that you might experience during your massage session.

Things you should always avoid:

PREJUDICE. Never judge people by their looks, religion, sexual orientation, culture…

BEING A CHATTERBOX. If you are a person who can not stop talking, then, this is not your dream job as you should only talk at the beginning or the end of the session.

INDISCRETION. Remember that we have a deontology code and that everything that our clients tell us, or any information related with them, should be a professional secret.

BEING NARROW-MINDED. Many LMTs can not look beyond the physical body, but I encourage you to keep in mind that we are not only skin, muscles and bones, and that in order to live a healthy life we should strive to have a balance between our body, mind, energy/emotions, and social and natural environment. If we do not take all these aspects into consideration, then, we will not be able to fully help our clients. So look further, broaden your perspective, and keep studying not only anatomy and physiology, but complement your knowledge with energy medicine, quantum physics, sound healing, traditional medicines, psychology, nutrition…the sky is the limit!!!

I am sure that there are plenty of “qualities” and also “things to avoid” that I have missed…but I would love to hear the most important ones for you under the years you have been practicing massage. Could you please share with us at least one “quality” and one “to avoid”?

Wishing you a great day ahead!

César Tejedor


2 thoughts on “What Attributes You Should Have To Become A Massage Therapist”

  1. I would add not to make claims about what can be cured and to refer to other professionals when appropriate. For instance a client complains of back pain and together we agree to a treatment plan and the number of sessions to resolve the soft tissue if there is no improvement then refer out to a physician etc. I had a client like this and they did find cancer in the spine.

    Be humble; it’s a gift to be able to relieve pain and suffering but that doesn’t give us the right to diagnose.

    1. Hi Soljurny! yes you definitely have a point there…its important for a massage therapist to know the boundaries and to be honest with ourselves and our clients as to what we are able to cure and what not…humbleness is an important attribute as you say!

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