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The Fitness Zone

Massage Therapists Share Top Tips For Starting A Massage Business
August 27, 2019

Thinking about becoming a massage therapist but not sure where to start? Don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered. We asked some of our talented graduates from our Remedial Massage Therapy course to share their insights on how a career in massage works. 

Justin Strong

What were you doing before the course?

Personal trainer and Property Restoration Technician 

What inspired you to do the Remedial Massage Therapist program?

An inherent desire to help people, and a love for the human body.

What's something that you will never forget in the course?

The energy that the coaches brought to every session.

What have you been up to since graduating?

Working with some amazing people at the Movement Team which has given me the opportunity to treat some elite level athletes including the Women’s Brisbane Roar soccer team. 

What's the first thing an aspiring massage therapist should do when considering starting their own business?

Build on their experience, get out there and volunteer their time, networking with like-minded people and practice what you preach. 

In your experience what is the most important thing you can do to build trust with a client? 

Be honest, and yourself. 

What are your plans now?

Keep working for the Movement Team, keep volunteering my skills to new sporting organisations, meet new people in the industry and start thinking about what I will study next. 

What has been your biggest challenge as a professional massage therapist and what did you learn from it?

The leap from studying to working in a clinic with different types of physicians, ideas, experiences, skill levels and personalities. 

I learnt there are always going to be many different opinions and experiences in every field of health and fitness, some will be right, some will be wrong. So just remember to keep an open mind and take a positive away from every interaction. 

Why would someone do the course through the Australian Institute of Fitness?

The course is genuinely well designed for keeping students motivated and highly prepared for the workforce. The Australian Institute of Fitness maintains high standards through excellent coaches and an amazing atmosphere of health and fitness-oriented ideals. 

Lyndsay Miller

What have you been up to since graduating?

I have been finishing up my 20 years in the Army, some casual work massaging the AFLW Brisbane Lions as well as assisting soldiers rehab and return to work programs and individual athletes. 

What's the first thing an aspiring massage therapist should do when considering starting their own business? 

Ask a thousand questions, even if you think they may be silly! Also keep research on current practices, marketing tips and trends.

In your experience what is the most important thing you can do to build trust with a client? 

100% has to be communication

What are your plans now?

To continue studying and learn as much as I can, hopefully stay on casual with the Brisbane Lions, and find a clinic close to my new location. Then finish my business model on a holistic resort for the emergency services, Defence Force and elite sporting teams!

What has been your biggest challenge as a professional massage therapist and what did you learn from it?

Juggling the conditions of clients where they can be so different from one to another. What I’m learning is to keep practising, learning the different assessments of conditions and movement patterns of the body. Always bounce conditions with another professional and learn different ways to treat clients, as everyone is different. 

Jess Florance

What were you doing before the course?

I was on maternity leave for a couple of years and prior to that I worked in the customer relations department at the City of Onkaparinga

What inspired you to do the Remedial Massage Therapist program?

I had always been interested in massage but never thought it was something I could do. My best friend was interested in the course initially, so I decided to tag along to her meeting with her and after talking to one of the Career Captains and hearing about what the course entailed and the fitness-based style of learning in the course, it really appealed to me. It was something completely different to past jobs and the thought of changing a career to something that could actually make a difference in people's lives, really excited me.

What's something that you will never forget in the course?

The amount of knowledge I gained and the friends I made. I had no idea how in-depth the course would be into the human body and it was so rewarding to learn about something I was passionate about. And of course, the friends and connections I made along the way was incredible. 

What have you been up to since graduating?

I currently work from a busy clinic in Christies Beach called JT Remedial Therapies. I applied for the job before graduating and was offered the job pretty quickly.

I have also maintained my position as a sports trainer at the Port Noarlunga Football Club. I started this role as a way of gaining experience within the course for my external hours and have now moved up to a Head Trainer position working alongside other experienced people, with the senior group at the club.

What's the first thing an aspiring massage therapist should do when considering starting their own business?

Know your area and the type of clientele you want to focus on. You need to be willing to open yourself up to all opportunities and put yourself out there. 

In your experience what is the most important thing you can do to build trust with a client? 

Definitely being confident in your own skills and being proactive in helping your client. I get a vast range of different clients, with different lifestyles and different attitudes. Being able to adapt to each client’s needs and showing empathy builds a lot of trust, but they are also there for a reason. So knowing what is going to help your client and involving them in the process towards their rehabilitation or getting rid of that headache etc, helps them to understand and believe in you as a therapist, which then builds that trust in you. 

What are your plans now?

I plan to continue working for JT Remedial Therapies as I have built a great clientele base there and it is an amazing place to work. Footy season has just started again also so my year will be jam packed with helping those who need my help (and even those who think they don’t ☺).

What has been your biggest challenge as a professional massage therapist and what did you learn from it?

One of the hardest challenges I have come across, especially when entering the outside world after studying, is when you get a new client, who has a number of issues and they ask you a lot of questions and you honestly have no idea how to answer them or what the problem may be…it’s very easy to panic and look unprofessional. 

However, I learnt very quickly to instead use that problem as a way of learning and being confident in yourself even if at that particular point you can’t answer them exactly. Being in this industry can be very daunting but knowing you are not alone and there is ALWAYS new things to learn and believing in your own skills can lead to such rewarding outcomes. 

Why would someone do the course through the Australian Institute of Fitness?

I would always recommend the institute. The coaches and staff are always so welcoming and always there to help. 

If you are interested in becoming a massage therapist and love a relaxed but professional learning environment where you get the best education possible, then the Australian Institute of Fitness is definitely the place to do it! 

Maria Benedetto

What were you doing before the course?

Before the course I was working a part-time role as part of an administration team, as well as a mother of three young children. 

What inspired you to do the Remedial Massage Therapist program?

Your everyday person with poor posture and my thoughts of how can I help is what inspired me to do the Remedial Massage Therapist program. Everyone requires assistance to care for their health at some stage in their life and I knew Remedial Massage is the key. Having only very little knowledge of the anatomy and massage techniques, but wanting to know more attitude, I was drawn to the Institutes program. On application I was told stories of other successful therapists who have studied at the Australian Institute of Fitness which was also very inspirational. 

What's something that you will never forget in the course?

Something that I will never forget in the course is the massages we would give to each other after learning a new technique. This is where the support and encouragement is developed between the students and coaches. 

What have you been up to since graduating?

Since graduating I have been fortunate to work as a Remedial Massage Therapist for a chiropractor, volunteered and paid work at the West Adelaide Football Club, set up a home-based business (ORA Therapeutic Massage) and working for Sportsmed. I have also completed a Myofascial Cupping course as well as attended many Health Seminars and Hands on Workshops. 

What's the first thing an aspiring massage therapist should do when considering starting their own business?

When considering to start your own business work out your specialty and find something that makes you stand out from other therapists in your area. 

In your experience what is the most important thing you can do to build trust with a client? 

To build trust with a client you need to show confidence, compassion, respect, support and listen to the client. A client will only return if they believe in you and this can only happen if you believe in yourself and do right by the client.

What are your plans now?

My plans are to continue working as a Remedial Massage Therapist for my employers and at home. I hope to continue my education with an Advanced Myofascial Cupping course in the near future and attend many workshops to expand my knowledge.

What has been your biggest challenge as a professional massage therapist and what did you learn from it?

My biggest challenge was to believe in myself. I knew I had the drive and enthusiasm but often questioned myself if I was good enough. I have learnt that showing confidence in my work has a positive impact on my clients’ wellness. 

Why would someone do the course through the Australian Institute of Fitness?

It was an experience like no other. You will develop memorable friendships with the other students whose aspirations for their future are the same as yours. As well as the encouragement of your peers, you will be fulfilled with the ongoing support of the coaches and staff during and after the completion of your Diploma. The Institute has a vibrant atmosphere offering so many opportunities for a successful career. 

Phil Welsh

In your experience, what is the most important thing you can do to build trust with a client? 

By simply explaining what you believe the issue may be whether referring to muscles, bone structures or simple agonist/antagonist movements which may help in the recovery of the client’s injury. The client will always love when you show confidence and passion in what you are doing!

What are your plans now?

Looking to build my knowledge on more aspects with human anatomy and complete some short courses to further my current qualifications.

What has been your biggest challenge as a professional massage therapist and what did you learn from it?

Biggest challenge would be adapting to different massage environments, for example sports, clinics and corporate areas. Now having experience in all of those settings I’m feeling a lot more confident in my surroundings. 

Why would someone do the course through the Australian Institute of Fitness?

Not only the lifelong friends/memories you get out of studying at the Australian Institute of Fitness but the amazing career opportunities you can get through the studying here!

Loved every minute of studying which originally was something I found daunting, but the fantastic staff at the Australian Institute of Fitness make it enjoyable!

Tina Rhoder

What were you doing before the course? 

I was a housekeeping supervisor and mother of two kids.

What inspired you to do the Remedial Massage Therapist program? 

I have a background in beauty therapy and asked myself one day what I REALLY wanted to do. I loved the massage component of beauty therapy and wanted to further explore that

What's something that you will never forget in the course? 

The people, from my fellow classmates to the amazing coaches and everyone else, the people at Australian Institute of Fitness are so supportive and encouraging. I think that makes a huge impact on your learning experience 

What have you been up to since graduating? 

It has only been a couple of weeks since graduation, but I have been busy setting up my membership with my chosen association and getting all of my things together for starting my own business. 

What's the first thing an aspiring massage therapist should do when considering starting their own business? 

Research associations! Then start by joining one, they have a lot of information on what to do and where to start and are a great point of contact when learning to begin a business. Also ask other business owners or RMT's, your coaches are a great recourse when it comes to needing advice and guidance.

In your experience what is the most important thing you can do to build trust with a client? 

Communication! Make sure you talk to your client and give them the opportunity to share their pain and any concerns they may have to determine the best course of treatment you can offer for them. Then address those things with honesty and reassurance.

What are your plans now? 

I will be moving my home clinic into a 'wellness hub' to share my amazing skills with the community whilst having the privilege of working with some amazing holistic therapists. I plan to continue learning and growing as a therapist and business owner to offer every client the best services I can. 

What has been your biggest challenge as a professional massage therapist and what did you learn from it? 

Second-guessing my knowledge! When presented with a challenge I would initially worry I don't know what to do, but I always take a moment and think it over, because I have the knowledge to tackle almost every situation. I have learned to trust myself and my qualification. 

Why would someone do the course through the Australian Institute of Fitness? 

The wealth of knowledge amongst the coaches is so valuable! It would be hard to top their wealth of knowledge and their support and guidance anywhere else! The campus itself is so welcoming. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to become a massage therapist.

Sign up to our Remedial Massage course

Feeling inspired? The Australian Institute of Fitness provides a Diploma of Remedial Massage, a one of a kind course that gives graduates the opportunity to work as a Remedial Massage Therapist across a range of industries from professional sport to rehabilitation. If you want to learn more, you can enquire here

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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