A Great Massage Therapist

A great Massage Therapist is like “The One!” They’re hard to find, you search everywhere for them and you never let them go once you’ve found one. And if for some reason you can’t see them anymore, you carry baggage around with you into any future therapeutic relationship.

What is a great Massage Therapist?

A great Massage Therapist will not be afraid of hard work, they will have done an exceptional amount of self directed learning and they will be able to get results for you that others can’t. And that’s why they’re the white whale of the healthcare industry. The massage therapy accreditation is not particularly hard to attain, that’s why It’s really hard to find all those qualities in someone who didn’t have to go to hell and back to get qualified.

Different people require different levels of care. Some people really enjoy the day spa massage, nice and relaxing! Some people think it’s therapeutic even. And to them, it probably is. But it’s not a particularly hard feat to get right. Some other people feel that a good deep tissue 1hr session is great. One where the therapist systematically goes through each muscle and relieves the strains. Again, with some hard work and application, that also is not a difficult task. It’s a template, and like all templates, they can be easily reproduced. But no one patient is the same, and a template approach will limit the results you get, and eventually leave the therapist burnt out.

Disclaimer: This is for Educational Purposes Only

Let me take a quick intercesion to inform you as to the nature of our advice. We are experienced healthcare clinicians. We wish to share our experience with you on topics to do with your health. We may be a little colourful in doing so, but at the heart of what we do is in-the-trenches experience. Whilst we have achieved academic success and understand evidence, we are not solely evidence based. We are, however, EVIDENCE INFORMED.

We find that the evidence is usually 10-15years (at minimum) behind what we are seeing in the clinic. We see real people, with real problems, and we’ve made a great living out of offering real solutions.

If all you’re after is the researched evidence, you can find some here (link to evidence page), or you can very easily look for more on Google. We want to give you real life advice, most of which you may not find in the research.

There is no way that this document can replicate or replace expert assessment and guidance given from a qualified registered healthcare practitioner who has seen you personally. I am sure you’re aware that I have no knowledge of your personal medical history or how you take care of your body. If you require care from a qualified practitioner, you would be best served by seeing someone who can empathise with your situation and treat you accordingly.

I’m sure you understand that I disclaim any and all responsibility for anything you do as a result of reading this document. And by reading this article, you accept 100% responsibility for the actions of you or anyone under your care.

Good Massage Therapist qualities

So what are some of the qualities of a good Massage Therapist? 

  1. Well, like I said earlier, they must not be afraid of hard work. Tissue work is extremely tiresome, and if they’re not prepared for it, they won’t be able to cope with energy needed to treat patients. 
  2. They must have a good knowledge of anatomy. They must understand what and where they are working and be able know what the muscles do and how they function. At least at the most basic level.
  3. They must have good communication skills. They need to communicate to their patients what they are doing and why they are doing it. 

Those qualities may make for a good Massage Therapist, but not necessarily a great one. A great Massage Therapist will differentiate themselves from the pack by being able to THINK! Sounds simple right? Not so fast.

A great Massage Therapist needs to be able think way above his or her qualification grade. They must think critically about everything that they do and constantly learn based on that critique. They must figure out solutions to problems that they have not been exposed to at University or Student clinics where you’re given guidance, mentoring and pretty harsh criticism. To begin thinking, they must want to actually help you with a problem you have, not just rub you down for an hour.

Australian Massage Therapy 

In Australia, Massage Therapy is not government regulated. Meaning technically, anyone can call themselves a massage therapist. Although there has been attempts by the profession to self-regulate, this has produced a wide variety of qualities, from the day spa oil splasher, to the quality therapist we are discussing. The market also demands different qualities in therapists, giving us a wide scope of therapists. 

The thought process of a great Massage Therapist is the same as a great Osteopath, Physiotherapist or Chiropractor. What am I doing and why am I doing this? What kind of person am I working on and what are some of the considerations I need to know about this person? Which particular tool in my toolbox of techniques is best applied here? And how can I be as efficient as possible in applying my treatment and helping this person? As you can see, this is not a template. There is a different solution depending on the problem. For them to be able to answer all these questions, they would have had to complete a lot of self-directed learning, but mainly, they would have had to have guidance in applying all of that knowledge through a sound treatment philosophy.

Good Masssage Therapists

Finally, a great Massage therapist will walk the talk. They will get you results. They will also possess many characteristics that successful people generally possess. This will cause them to do things in the pursuit of excellence in their profession. They would generally do a lot of strength training because they know the amount of hard work involved in their job. They will have a growth mindset that leads them to further education. And they will have solid mentorship from people they wish to learn from. 

The best place to find such a therapist is with other like-minded professionals. If you know of a clinic with a solid reputation for getting results, then they will most likely not accept anyone working with them that can’t match their quality. They will also provide the necessary mentoring for growth, and the environment to keep them happy and motivated.

In my 20 years of having massage therapists work with me, two therapists have shown this mindset, only one has lasted in possessing those qualities. 

So sure, there are some good massage therapists out there. And if I’m visiting a day spa, lots of oil goes a long way. But if you’re looking for a great Massage therapist, someone with the qualities and dedication of a professional, you’re going to have to look long and hard. If you want to experience what qualities I’ve described to you, the best way is to book in and find out.

Dr. Sami Karam, Osteopath

Dr. Sami Karam, Osteopath

I’ve been a qualified Osteopath since 2004. I’ve been playing football ever since I could remember and I have a passion for it. I’ve played at the highest level in the NSW State League at both Youth and Senior levels, and have also been Head Physician at numerous State League Clubs. I’ve travelled internationally and consulted with Sports academies in Barcelona and Italy. I have a special interest in Strength and Conditioning for footballers, as I believe it gives them an edge in their physical competition. My passion involves bringing all of this knowledge into every single treatment that I provide for all athletes. If you feel that I can help you and want to reach out to me, contact me.

More about Osteopath Dr. Sami Karam