The ideal qualities of a massage therapist should include in-depth knowledge of the human body along with competency in different massage techniques. Interpersonal skills, physical strength and business knowledge is a must. Once you set your mind on developing them, they will become second nature to you. Some of the important traits in a Massage Therapist are Knowledge and Competency, Professionalism , Good Communication, Proper Body Mechanics, Friendliness and a Kind and Nurturing Attitude.
Having a caring and kind therapist is a must for your clients and it is an important formula for therapeutic success. A good therapist will need to a good listener and be able to display empathy in order to create a nurturing experience that will enhance the healing process. A good therapist will stay within professional boundaries when relating to clients and they will also learn to stay grounded in order to avoid transferring any negative energies onto to the client.
The 5 main Swedish massage techniques as they were developed by Swedish doctor Per Henrik Ling, a physical therapist, developer and teacher of medical-gymnastics are: 1. Effleurage 2. Petrissage 3. Tapotement or Rhythmic Tapping, 4. Vibration or Shaking and 5. Friction. These techniques will be discussed in another blog. Along with different techniques, there are also different types of therapeutic massage such as:
Swedish Massage: The most popular therapeutic massage type, the light to medium pressure helps relieve stress, reduce pain, boost mood and promote relaxation.
Trigger Point Therapy: A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. Trigger Point Therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release.
Deep Tissue Massage: Deep Tissue is similar to Swedish massage, but the technique focuses on the deepest layer of muscles to target knots and release chronic muscle tension.
Sports Massage: For athletes of every kind, each therapeutic massage is specific to your sport of choice, with focus on a particular troublesome area like a knee or shoulder.
Shiatsu Massage: is an ancient technique from Japan. It combines gentle stretches with finger pressure to work on different pressure points. The idea is to fix imbalances in the flow of energy in your body. Although there's no concrete evidence of Shiatsu's use as a healing method, people who have had this massage still report stress and pain relief.
Thai Massage: this is one of the more invigorating types of massages, as the therapist rigorously manipulates your body, moving it into yoga-like stretches. The therapist uses every part of his or her body: hands, knees, legs, and feet --to not only stretch you but also apply pressure on your muscles and loosen your joints. This type of massage is both energizing and, at times, relaxing. I have one experience with Thai massage many years ago, but my experience as a newbie was not very good. (I'll explain later)
Regardless of the type of Massage therapy you decide on; as a whole, it is a profession built on the idea of trust. Trust in your client and their trust in you are vital to creating a strong therapist/client relationship and, ultimately, your ability to help your clients. A therapist must have strong ethical standards in order to build trust and create and maintain a therapeutic environment that is beneficial for both therapist and your clients.