Skills That All Great Massage Therapists Should Master

Find and keep clients and make a name for yourself with these traits.


Your job and income as a massage therapist depend almost wholly on making clients happy, so being able to retain existing clients and bring new ones in is incredibly important. An exceptional massage therapist can maintain a long list of clients and can continually keep them coming back for more. There are distinct qualities and skills all successful massage therapists must master to build and maintain that client list. We outline them below.

Becoming a Massage Therapist: Skills for Success

Here are some of the top skills you should master to become a successful massage therapist:

  • The ability to self-promoteMarketing yourself successfully is vital to maintaining and increasing your client base. Growing your current list with word of mouth, social media, and marketing materials can take you a long way in the world of massage therapy.
  • Business management skillsBeing able to manage your time, your finances, and your clientele should all be on the top of your to-do list. Stay organized and prioritize your tasks.
  • Proper massage techniquesKnowledge of all of the massage, bodywork, and somatic therapy techniques is vital to any professional massage therapy career. Know how to identify and perform trigger point therapy, Swedish massage, cranial sacral therapy, deep tissue massage, geriatric massage, and prenatal massage. You'll never know what type of massage therapy your client or employer will expect you to perform.
  • Communication skillsBeing able to communicate effectively with your clients is one of the most important skills you'll master as a massage therapist. Tell your first-time clients what to expect before a massage and walk them through the process while performing the massage, and be willing to accommodate their requests. Massage therapy is an incredibly social industry, and all massage therapists must learn how to talk to their clients effectively.
  • ProfessionalismPresenting your massage area professionally as well as communicating with your clients professionally may seem like a no-brainer, but mastering this skill will take a time and effort. The whole massage atmosphere must be relaxing and professional for each of your clients.
  • Dexterity and enduranceIt's no secret that massage therapists must learn how to master exceptional dexterity skills, but they also have to learn how to maintain stamina when seeing client after client. The more stamina you have, the more clients you can see every day. A good massage therapist will also be able to perform the more complicated maneuvers that massage therapy requires—and easily.
  • EmpathyBeing able to listen and empathize with your clients will help improve upon their overall well being and will strengthen your professional bond with them. Be sensitive to your clients’ needs, and always give them your full attention. Participate in "active" listening.

Get Booked—or Started

If you master all of the skills and techniques covered in this article and continue to sharpen your skills while working as a massage therapist, you'll have no problem creating that long list of clients you've been looking for. If you’re yet to begin training but want a massage career, the first step is as simple as hearing from a school near you.

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