For those looking to compassionately care for others, provide relief from ailments and relaxation to enhance wellness, becoming a massage therapist is an in-demand career that may be an ideal fit. With a growing aging population and a society evolving in its understanding of the value of self care to enhance quality of life, this field promises to continue to expand. A massage therapist education/massage therapist classes at a massage therapy school or massage therapist colleges provide the essential training, but to truly succeed you need to possess and master so much more.
With the technical aspects covered in your massage training, you need to consider what will give you the competitive edge as you pursue your career opportunities. Here is what we’ve discovered.
6 Essential Skills Required to Thrive as a Massage Therapist
1. Perception and Professionalism
One of the keys to success for a massage therapist is being keenly in tune with what a client wants and needs and the information and cues they give through their verbal and non-verbal communication, and then acting accordingly. In order for a client to get the most out of their time with you and to maximize their relaxation and healing, they must feel comfortable, honoured and understood. A successful massage therapist is able to listen to and perceive the kind of experience the client is having and act in a professional and responsive manner. This ability allows for a positive experience that enhances well-being for each of you.
2. Exceptional Communication and Customer Service
An ability to clearly, consciously and effectively communicate with a client, lights the way for that client to share honestly, and to trust the relationship with you. Asking the right questions that encourage the client to open up about their history, their wellness goals and vulnerabilities, allows you to understand their needs better. Acting out of integrity – doing what you say you will do, being on time, ensuring confidentiality – builds a trusting, and often a long-term relationship, with the client.
3. Cleanliness and Safety
Setting the tone for relaxation is essential in this profession. Ensuring an atmosphere of cleanliness, tidiness, and a warm and welcoming environment, allows a client to feel calm, cared for and safe. Post COVID it is necessary for clients to know that your consideration of their health is a priority. Your cleaning and sanitizing practices should be apparent and communicated when necessary. You need to make sure that a person’s perspectives on how to remain healthy and safe are honoured, discussing masks, sanitizing, and being open to what feels right for them, at every stage in the appointment.
Clients come to you for healing, self care, and compassion, and can be experiencing various levels of stress, anxiety or pain. To thrive as a massage therapist, you need to not only sympathize with how a client is feeling, but truly consider how you would like to be treated, cared for, were you experiencing their situation for yourself. Whether a client wants to talk or not, your empathy for them is felt in your energy, your eye contact, and the way you provide the massage techniques for them. A person who truly does well in this industry is one who deeply feels for those they serve, while consistently maintaining professionalism.
5. Stamina and Dexterity
Massage therapy is not for the faint of heart. Well, at least for the faint of hand or physical stamina. As you will be standing for long periods, moving through emotions and needs of clients, and manipulating muscles and tissues for hours at a time, your stamina and dexterity matter. You need to maintain your own strength in body, mind, and spirit as you move from client to client, know when to take breaks and maintain your own sense of well-being. This ensures you are the best version of yourself for your clients each and every day.
6. Leading-Edge Training and Certification
Cultivating these skills can empower your success, but you also need to receive an excellent education and training, taught by industry experts, with hands-on experience in a program that is recognized by a governing body.
Anderson College’s accelerated Massage Therapy program is recognized by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario. It is 88 weeks and students are exposed to diverse and extensive clinical opportunities through an in-house public clinic. Upon successful completion, students are eligible to graduate and challenge the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario registration examinations. Candidates who successfully complete this examination will be entitled to use the professional designation of Registered Massage Therapist.
Anderson’s program is based on the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics identified by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) and the Inter-jurisdictional Practice Competencies and Performance Indicators identified by the Federation of Massage Therapy Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FOMTRAC).
If you’re still considering whether massage therapy may align with your interests, take the “Anderson College Massage Therapy Career Training Readiness” Quiz.
If you feel you possess these essential skills and are ready to embark on the training for this in-demand Massage Therapy career, we’re here to support you every step along the way. Your success is our success. Book a virtual appointment with an Admission Advisor today!
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