Massage and Therapy

What Do Massage Therapists Do

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

Life can be pretty stressful at times, taking all your motivation and work spirit. In those times, massages work like magic. Massages help to relax your nervous systems, reduce stress and increase the relaxation of the soft tissues. Massage therapists are trained individuals who know how to work to relax the tension built in the muscles. 

In order for you to become a massage therapist, you have to undergo some training and gain your license to practice massage therapy.

But do you know what your responsibilities are as a massage therapist or what to expect from this job? ‘What do massage therapists do?’ will answer these questions about the job of a massage therapist. 

Who is a Massage Therapist? 

A massage therapist is a trained individual who is licensed or certified to therapeutically manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body using one or both hands or an instrument.” – according to Merriam-Webster

As a massage therapist, you will assess clients using a range of motion and muscle tests and proposed treatment plans. At the same time, you have to explain the risks and benefits of the massage done to them.

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You may also need to provide instructions for home care and information on techniques for further postural improvement, stretching, strengthening, relaxation, and rehabilitative exercises.

In an aromatherapy centre, women are taking herbal treatments


Types of Massage Therapy

There are different types of massage therapies for different kinds of issues. For example, some massage therapies can cure injuries; others can support wellness.

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So, let’s get to know the different types of massage therapy-


  • Swedish Massage– Swedish massage is a great way to encourage emotional calmness, which can have a positive effect on your muscles. If you’re looking to relieve stress or anxiety, a Swedish massage is a great option. Swedish massage is all about long strokes and light-to-firm pressure to leave you feeling refreshed. A Swedish massage typically lasts 60 to 90 minutes. It can aid in the relaxation of your nervous system.


  • Aromatherapy Massage– Aromatherapy massages use essential oils and soft, gentle pressure. Aromatherapy massage improves both mental and physical well-being by utilising essential oils derived from plants. Your massage therapist usually chooses which essential oils to use, but you can express your choice. Before using essential oils on the skin, they are diluted. You will be given a full-body massage while inhaling and absorbing essential oils through a diffuser.


  • Deep Tissue Massage– Deep layers of muscle and surrounding tissue are targeted, as the name implies, intending to lengthen and calm deep tissue. As a result, blood and nutrients are taken to your muscles, aiding in removing toxins. Muscles can become compressed from repeated use, even if the activity is as simple as sitting, driving, or hunching over your laptop/computer. In addition, it benefits people with injuries, general muscle tightness, or chronic muscle pain.


  • Trigger Point Massage– Trigger points include knots in the neck and tight areas of the back. This kind of massage can lessen pain by concentrating on releasing trigger points. In order to reduce tension, trigger point massage applies changing pressure levels to the affected area. Your entire body will be worked on during the massage, but your therapist will concentrate on particular tension points. The best candidates for trigger point massage are those with injuries, chronic pain, or a specific problem or condition.


  • Sports Massage– If you have a muscle injury caused by repetitive use, as you might get from playing a sport, sports massage is a good option. It can be used to help prevent injuries, so it’s a good option if you’re prone to them.

A Swedish-style massage, stroking, kneading, compression, friction, vibration, gliding, stretching, percussion, and trigger points are just a few of the many activities that go into a sports massage.

A therapist is giving a body message to a man


Benefits of Massage Therapy

Thus far, you may have noticed some benefits of massage therapy mentioned above. But now, you will get to know the benefit of massage therapy in more detail.

So, let’s dig in-

  • Improves Sleep– A massage will help you relax and improve your mood. Going to bed with your muscles relaxed and loosened promotes more restful sleep and makes you feel less tired in the morning!  A massage can lower cortisol (a stress hormone) while increasing serotonin and dopamine levels, neurotransmitters that help stabilise your mood. 


  • Enhances Immunity– Lymph node stimulation recharges the body’s natural defence system. “Massage therapy, according to medical research, can help boost immune system strength by increasing the activity level of body’s natural ‘killer T cells,’  which fight viruses.” – AMTA

  • Muscle Tension and Soreness– Massage can increase blood flow to the area where your muscles are sore and inflamed (and encourage recovery). Several studies have investigated how massage can help relieve pain, such as acute back pain, neck pain, headaches, and knee pain.

  • Eases Depression, Anxiety and Stress– The sympathetic nervous system drives your “fight or flight” response in stressful situations. In contrast, the parasympathetic nervous system focuses on routine and day-to-day operations that lead to relaxation and rest. A massage is thought to boost your parasympathetic nervous system, which can help you feel less anxious.


Massage therapy can help your body release endorphins, making you feel happy, energised, and at ease. Massage reduces anxiety and depression by increasing dopamine and serotonin levels while decreasing norepinephrine. Massage therapy has been shown in studies to be an effective treatment for anxiety and depression.

A woman is taking a facial message

What do Massage Therapists do?

Massage therapists generally are employed at clinics, spas, and salons. Their job is to give clients reviving and relaxing massages to effectively target tension in a client’s body; while alleviating physical stress symptoms.

In addition, massage therapists maintain knowledge of human anatomy and the musculoskeletal system to effectively target points of tension in a client’s body and alleviate physical stress symptoms. 

They target tense or knotted muscles and improve circulation by applying varying pressure. To set clear expectations for what muscle and tissue areas they plan to address, massage therapists consult with clients about the places they would like to focus on. 

Now let’s look at the responsibilities of a massage therapist- 

Many injuries can be caused by muscle tension, and trained massage therapists can locate the tension and release it to stop more severe injuries. What a massage therapist does include:


  • Discussing the client’s medical history, allergies, and other health issues.
  • Examining the soft tissues, joints, muscle strength, and motion.
  • Using massage to relieve pain and tension while being sensitive to a client’s medical history and injuries
  • Instructing clients in appropriate stretching, exercise, and relaxation techniques
  • After consulting with other healthcare professionals, create treatment plans.
  • Include additional massage therapies or treatment methods 


There are numerous benefits of massage therapy. Being a massage therapist might be one of the most exciting jobs out there.

However, most massage therapy’s success depends on both parties communication.  Hope this blog has helped you if you are planning to have a career as a massage therapist and with your question, what do massage therapists do?

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.