10 Habits Of A Successful Massage Therapist

My name is Alyssa LeBlanc, and I am a massage therapist at Choice Health Centre. Being new to the scene and treating during a COVID-19 outbreak, I often get the comment outside the clinicAren’t you uncomfortable treating during a global pandemic?! You must be crazy?!” While I fully understand their point of view, we as a society and community need to continue being treated and truthfully, I am passionate about my career, even if I’m fairly new to the scene.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with my hands for the past 14 years, and in this new profession, I am able to see a variety of clients with varying conditions and concerns every day. Our clinic follows all protocols and guidelines put in place by our government to ensure the health and safety of both our clients and our team. So why choose now to get treated you may ask… Well, why not now? Whether your reason is for mental health or physical stress/strain, the team at Choice Health Centre is willing and ready to help you feel better.

Right now, a large percentage of Nova Scotians are working from home and have developed postural issues due to lack of an ergonomic workstation set up and poor body mechanics. A report by Halifax-based Narrative Research found that while half (52 percent) of Atlantic Canadians have worked from home during the pandemic, six-in-10 (61 percent) of those people expect they will be returning to the office in the next three months. Whether you’re preparing for a return to the office, or you just need a pick-me-up, we’ve got your back (and your neck and shoulders too).

Just over 6 months ago, I made the transition to Choice Health Centre. I’ve been welcomed with open arms by the phenomenal multidisciplinary team, positive atmosphere, bright spacious location and a sense of community with my clients. I am challenged and encouraged with continuous growth, which has been a blessing in these bizarre times. Having just over a year and a half of experience under my belt, I wanted to share a few things I have learned along the way. These are habits I strive for as a successful therapist and to promote longevity in my career.

What Habits Make a Successful Massage Therapist?

The habits that make a successful massage therapist include a clear style of communication, proper technique for client satisfaction, positive mental attitude, action-oriented mindset, diligence, basic marketing skills, effective time management skills, the right equipment, an understanding of self-care principles, empathy, self-discipline, and a desire to learn.

1.Communication … Clients want to be HEARD!! It’s important to relay what your concerns are to your therapist for a better understanding of what the treatment entails. As a therapist, I want to empower you with consent and encourage you to communicate pressure or pain. I will also be sure to let you know what to expect for homecare/up-keep.

2.Technique… What style are you? Therapeutic or relaxation? Do you like intent and confident hands and firm, deep pressure? Usage of appropriate techniques and styles such as Swedish massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial and cranial sacral are key factors for a successful massage.

3.Positive Attitude … I consider myself a personable therapist. I find it easy to relate to my clients and do my best to accommodate and provide a comfortable atmosphere, all while making my clients feel at ease. I value building a practitioner-client relationship. I also like to be mindful to hold space for clients if they don’t want to strike up a conversation during their treatment.

4.Treatment Plan…Have a clear, concise, and appropriate plan. I like to involve the clients in their treatment/homecare and planning for their next visit. Having an integrated approach to treatment with our multidisciplinary clinicians can help better suit your specific needs.

5.Offering a non-judgemental, empathetic, caring, and safe environment is my top priority, regardless of your ethnicity, sex, age or status.

6.Marketing…Consider having an educational platform. Being active on social media for referrals, promotions, client retention and online bookings are all key factors.

7.Time management… Respect time with scheduling, as we know that time is valuable. It’s important to have a cancellation policy/no show fee in place.

8.Equipment…Proper equipment is essential – hands included! It’s great to have the option for a hydraulic table or to adjust the height of the table manually for proper body mechanics. A stool or chair are also key pieces of equipment for a massage therapist. I generally use a hypoallergenic water-based lotion on clients but keep in mind that skin will change with the seasons and changes may have to be made based on this or the type of therapy being offered, such as deep tissues or using topical analgesics. Twin-queen sized sheets, towels, pillows and tools i.e; silicone cups for fascial work and a percussive machine are all important tools.

9.Self Care… Strengthening and stretching your muscles and improving their stamina will set you apart as a therapist. Be sure to take time for your own body and take advantage of the access to multidisciplinary treatment scenarios. Whatever you choose, ensure you are filling your cup as well.

10.Personal and professional growth… Always keep an open mind and develop skills to improve yourself. Updated courses or continued education, first aid, marketing and business building skills, credentials and word of mouth referrals are always a great compliment to receive.

I hope this sheds some light for a new therapist like myself or at the least, this information is useful in making yourself a priority to get treated or what to potentially look for when choosing a massage therapist.

Feel like your well overdue for some self-care? Book in at Choice Health Centre! We would be thrilled to help you with maintenance and preventive care, regardless of if it is therapeutic or relaxation.


  1. Narrative Research *https://huddle.today/half-of-atlantic-canadians-have-worked-from-home-during-the-pandemic-and-half-want-it-to-stay-that-way/ Oct,28,2020- Huddle Staff
  2. Outcome Based Massage Putting Evidence into Practice, Third edition Carla-Krystin Andrad
  3. A. Rothstein 12 Habits of a succeed as a massage therapist. BLOG December 6, 2019

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