Just recently in the news, it was reported a ‘We Massage’ Massage Therapist was jailed for indecently assaulting 2 women who had trusted him in his care as a supposed ‘health professional’.

As a diploma qualified and experienced (15+ years) remedial massage therapist, I’m disgusted with another tarring of our profession.

Unfortunately, unlike the physiotherapy profession, at this point in time, we (the massage industry) are unable to stop anyone calling themselves a ‘massage therapist’.

Our national body, the Australian Association of Massage Therapist (AAMT) fights strongly for professionalism in our industry but public perception is so wide and varied, much like the quality and qualifications (if any formal training) of practitioners.

The only weapon we have as a profession (that I can see) is improving community awareness in how to differentiate a legitimate massage practitioner from a dodgy ‘therapist’.

When our clients move or need to travel interstate, they always ask me how to find a high quality, qualified practitioner while they are away. These are the guidelines I recommend to anyone looking for a quality practitioner:

– Do they hold a Diploma of Remedial Massage from a registered training organisation (RTO) or, at a minimum, a government recognised Certificate 4 in Massage?

– Did they gain their qualification online? BEWARE of qualifications gained via external study. Very little hands-on and face to face training is required. RIDICULOUS for a hands-on industry! You can’t learn massage safely and effectively watching a DVD.

– Are they a member of a national body such as the AAMT?

Are they insured? Look for professional indemnity and public liability insurance as a minimum.

– Do they hold a current Senior First Aid certificate (a minimum requirement for any massage therapist to gain membership with a quality national body)

Can you claim your treatment on your health insurance?

– Do they have HICAPS (on the spot health fund claiming) and EFTPOS facilities? (This shows a higher level of service and professionalism)

– What experience do they have?

– If you have a trusted health professional (doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath, podiatrist), ask them who they recommend – this is one of the BEST ways to find a trusted practitioner.

Practitioners will still vary widely with their treatment approach (we’re not robots, after all) but if you follow all the points above, you should be confident your massage practitioner is legitimate and you will be safe in their care.

I have SO much more to say on this topic as dodgy practitioners INFURIATE me! Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in the hands of their health professional.

How have you found a great, legitimate practitoner?

Leave a comment or email us at

Holly Hicks
Owner, Bodyline Health International
(aka legitimate remedial massage company with qualified and experienced remedial massage practitioners!)

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