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What Makes a Good Massage Therapist? 5 of the Most Important Qualities

What makes a good massage therapist? This is a question many of our students ask when they begin massage therapy school. There are certain qualities in a massage therapist that can make them stand out against the competition, causing clients to seek them out and stick with them over the years. First and foremost, it’s important to attend a quality accredited massage therapy school where you’ll learn the basics and get first-hand experience conducting body work.

what makes a good massage therapist, woman receives back massage from therapist

These 5 Qualities Are What Makes a Good Massage Therapist

The following list was created based on information from clients visiting our school spa, as well as from talking to massage therapy graduates now working in the field.

1. The Ability to Communicate with Clients

Want to know the most important quality of a good massage therapist according to Avenue Five graduates? The ability to communicate with their clients. Each client is different and has unique needs, pain, and sensitives. Therefore, the best way to provide excellent service to each client is by asking them what they like, what feels good, and what hurts. Asking what kind of pressure a client prefers at the beginning of their session is not sufficient enough. Instead, open the doors to communication throughout the entire session. Continually ask if the pressure is good, if you should go firmer or softer, and if there are any areas they’d like you to focus on most. Ask about past injuries, daily pain, and so forth; the more you know about a person the better you can treat them.

What makes a good massage therapist - massage therapist communicates with client while massaging hands

2. Always Be Open to Learning More

As mentioned above, each client is different. Therefore, you are sure to run into injuries, pain, or requests that are new to you. Never be afraid to ask questions, learn from other massage therapists, and take chances. Treat each day at work as an opportunity to learn something new and you will continue to improve at your craft.

3. Take the Time to Set Intention

Before and after each session, take 5-10 minutes to ground yourself. Take deep cleansing breaths and close your eyes, focus on releasing stress and being in the now. This will help prevent you from taking the stress of your clients home with you, or even into the next session you have booked. 

4. Recognizing the Importance of Self Care

As a massage therapist, you essentially sell self-care every day. Therefore, you know better than anyone that if you fail to take good care of yourself, you can’t give us much to your clients. Massages require so much of you and include a lot of repetitive movements that can be tough on your body. If your neck is hurting or your hands are sore, you can’t possibly offer as good of a massage. That’s why it’s important to take good care of yourself. Stretching after work can help release tight muscles. Plus, getting regular massages from your colleagues is a big help as well.

5. Caring for the People You Work With

Caring about making a difference and helping people feel better is easily one of the most important qualities of a good massage therapist. Authentic care will shine through your work and provide a positive impact to the people you work with.

Ready to take the first step to become a licensed massage therapist?

Book a tour of one of our two Avenue Five Institute locations in Austin, Texas. We offer an accredited massage therapy program that includes in-depth training and hands-on experience. Learn more!