The nature of the work of a typical massage therapist requires one to possess a slew of essential skills. Therapists manipulate a client’s musculature to help induce relaxation or improve mobility, and they do this by using a wide variety of techniques. Such techniques also aren’t a one-size-fits-all—each method should depend on the client’s reason for the visit, as well as the latter’s physical condition, age, and such.

That said, what skills does a full-fledged masseuse/masseur need to perform his/her job well? Here’s a quick rundown of the specific competencies.

Back Massage

Anatomy and Physiology

Taught at every massage school from Portland and beyond, a thorough understanding of human anatomy and physiology is required of every practicing therapist. This is where masseuses-in-training spend most of their schooling, in institutions such as East West College. Therapists must learn the appropriate anatomical terms to identify target areas, as well as the size, shape, and specific characteristics of such parts.

People Skills

What’s a massage therapist without sound social skills? The thing that separates a great massage therapist from a bad one is the ability to foster social harmony, helping the latter feel at ease during a session. Should a client have his/her set of questions, great therapists answer with readiness and thoroughly explain whatever it is that they do.

Pathology and Sanitation

Therapists must also be able to identify various illnesses and injuries upon close examination, in order to aid in selecting which type of massage they’ll have to employ. Since a massage center is very much like any medical office, therapists also have to possess adequate knowledge of sanitation practices to ensure that the client’s health is kept safe from harm.

Excellent Physical Stamina

By now, it’s quite a no-brainer that performing a massage is physically demanding. Good massage therapists know how to make full use of their entire body to deliver a proper massage—while the hands seem to do all the work, the positioning of the legs is critical as the legs act as a base and source of power. Therapists must be able to do this for extended periods of time without tiring out.

Knowledge of Techniques

Lastly, a therapist’s technique is as important as his/her hands and feet. The hands don’t apply pressure by gripping and stroking random areas of the body at equally random intervals—for optimal results, all that pressure application must follow a set technique. Knowledge of techniques must not be fleeting as to prevent a therapist from being one-dimensional: the understanding of various methods must be extensive.

Essential Skills Needed For Massage Therapists,