What are the Qualities of a Good Massage Therapist?

Massage therapist showcasing her qualities and providing a client with a massage.

Are you interested in becoming a massage therapist? Do you have the qualities it takes to be successful? If you want to obtain the qualities and knowledge to become a good massage therapist, do some research about your local vocational school’s massage therapy program. Find the school that fits your work and life style for just the right fit. You can start earning in as little as 5 months as a massage therapist. Start a career that is satisfying, helping yourself earn while helping others improve their quality of life. There are many different qualities that will make you successful as a massage therapist. Here are just a few:

Quality #1: Educated

The most important part of being a massage therapist is having the correct training. Vocational schools offer massage therapy programs for students to get the training and learn the techniques of each massage modality. With a diploma, you can confidently start helping clients with massage therapy, knowing that you have the skills and qualities needed for a positive client outcome. The curriculum focuses on massage therapy and you won’t have to take any elective or general ed courses. You will learn exactly what you need to know to become a successful massage therapist.

Quality #2: Articulate

An important part of being a good massage therapist is having good communication skills. Being articulate starts with active listening. You must listen as much as you speak. Make sure the client clearly understands what you are going to do and how they will feel after a massage. Be very detailed in the descriptions so the client understands what they are getting into. While good communication skills are key, it is also important to be articulate.

Quality #4: Flexible

You must be ready to adapt to change as a massage therapist. A client may miss a session and you must find a creative solution to the problem. You may have booked two clients at the same time and must figure out how to deal with the situation. Being open to change is an important quality for a massage therapist. Flexibility is a key quality for success.

Flexibility is also important as a physical trait. This comes from improved posture and will help lessen injuries or muscle soreness to your body during a massage therapy session. When it comes to flexibility, both mental and physical flexibility are important, for you to be able to offer the best massage that you can to your clients.

Quality #5: Friendly

Clients may talk with you like a friend as relationships build trust over time. However, it is important for you to understand what each of your clients want in a massage session. They may want to talk, or they may enjoy the relaxing quiet. Take a moment to ask the client at the beginning of each session to better understand the amount of conversation they are comfortable with during a massage. Happy clients are return clients.

Quality #7: Comforting

In addition to a friendly attitude, you must create a comfortable atmosphere. The use of scents, candles or lotions can help clients become more comfortable during a massage. While removing every pain, knot and sore muscle, you are making the client comfortable. This can have both a physical and mental calming effect for clients during massage therapy.

Quality #8: Careful

While you are comforting your clients, it is important to be careful. A good way to gauge your client’s comfort level is to observe their body language. As you use more strength in your massage stroke, watch for the client’s reaction. They may feel like pain is part of the massage, but if you understand the level of pain a client is in, by their body language, you can make sure that you are being as careful as you need to soothe their pain and muscle soreness.

Quality #9: Methodical

Being methodical takes carefulness one step further and involves thoroughness and order. Part of being a good massage therapist is performing massage in an organized manner. Massage therapy has a method or systematic approach and adhering to this will allow you to provide a comfortable experience for your clients.  This systematic approach is taught during a massage therapy program at a vocational school. Understanding the proper process will allow you to help your clients with a thorough and thoughtful massage.

Quality #10: Hygienic

As a massage therapist, part of your job is keeping clients healthy and preventing disease. It is important to keep a clean and sanitary massage table and working space. Good hygiene means proper hand washing, as well as regular hair and body washing, teeth brushing, and wearing clean clothes daily. Massage therapy involves touch and making sure you practice good hygiene is important to keep clients safe and healthy. Nothing is worse than a foul odor coming from you during a client’s massage.

Quality #11: Trustworthy

Building trust is important for your relationship with the client. Make sure you are positive, friendly, comforting and careful during a massage therapy session. Make sure you offer consistent technique that the client can count on every time they get a massage. Building trust is important in a relationship. Having your trust will allow the client to let one mistake go because they trust you to have their best interest in mind.

Quality #12: Self-Confident

Another way for you to build trust is through self-confidence. If you are confident in yourself, then the client will also be confident in you. The client must have a feeling of trust in your abilities, qualities and judgement. This confidence will create a comfortable and trusting atmosphere so that the client can relax and enjoy the massage.

Quality #13: Punctual

A client’s number one gripe about a massage therapist is being late for an appointment. Nothing is worse than sitting and waiting for someone. Don’t keep the client waiting, make sure you show up on time and are ready for the client’s appointment. Every once in a while, you will be running late or get stuck in traffic, but make sure you are punctual and respect the client’s time.

Quality #14: Discreet

When you are a massage therapist, you learn intimate details about a person and work with them in a very personal manner. By being discreet, you build trust with them. They can tell you about their health concerns or comprising situations and you will keep the information confidential. That way the client is completely open, and you can help them to the best of your ability.

Quality #15: Curious

Massage therapy techniques and knowledge evolves over time and a good massage therapist is curious. You should be curious about new technologies and techniques and curious about the world of massage. As a good massage therapist, you will need to continue to learn and evolve with the industry. That way you can offer the best massage therapy technique for your clients.

Quality #16: Ambitious

Some massage therapists want to start their own business or go to their client’s home to perform massage. This involves having a strong desire to succeed. A self-employed massage therapist will need to get a business license, massage supplies, and the ability to manage clients. To be a good business owner, you must be self-sufficient.

Quality #17: Self-Sufficient

Whether starting your own massage therapy business or going to work at a spa, you must be self-sufficient to succeed. Although you will create friendships with fellow massage therapists, it is up to you to create your practice, inspire repeat customers and offer the best massage you can for your clients. Being self-sufficient will give you confidence and that breeds client trust.

Final Thoughts

There are many different qualities that make a good massage therapist. These are some of the qualities you can obtain or learn during your career that will help you succeed as a massage therapist. With these qualities you will enjoy what you do and help others at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have the right qualities be a successful massage therapist? If you are interested in the healing powers of massage, you can begin your career in massage therapy at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. Our short-term massage therapy training program is designed to be completed in as little as 5 months with full time enrollment*. Our massage therapy training program is designed as a holistic program that will prepare students to focus on body mechanics of their clients as well as develop positive habits for the therapist. Together, those two areas will provide a foundation that can lead to longevity in the career field.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist and starting a rewarding career in the massage industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

Find out what Minnesota School of Cosmetology can do for you

11-month Cosmetology Diploma |

12-Month Massage Therapy Diploma |

5-Month Esthiology Diploma

By checking the box below, you are giving your express written consent for Minnesota School of Cosmetology to contact you regarding our programs and services using email, telephone, or text - including our use of automated technology for calls and periodic texts to any wireless number you provide. Message and data rates may apply. This consent is not required to purchase goods/services and you may always call us directly at 651-432-4624.

Yes, you may send texts to this number

  View Privacy Policy

Submitting this form constitutes your consent to be contacted by email and/or phone from a representative of the school.