There are many massage therapists in your community and wellness accommodation places. But how do you know if your therapist is qualified and up to date with current research, theories about practice and techniques for common or unusual conditions of the body?
Massage therapy in Australia is self-regulated, that means there is not Statute or Act that applies solely to or specifically to, the practice of massage therapy.
However, massage therapists across Australia are accountable under the statutory codes and legislative instruments:
and other State by State mandates
There are differences in qualifications and knowing these can assure you that your therapist is capable of providing the treatments they are offering.
There are also other bodies regulating the code of conduct and practice of therapists, such as Industry Associations. This can provide a significant quality seal of practice.
There are key nationally recognised massage therapy qualifications at Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma levels. These are Government accredited programs that are awarded on successful theoretical and practical completion of programs of study.
Depending on the level of qualification, your therapist will also be eligible to work with Health Funds, to provide a rebate for treatments.
A graduates of Certificate IV programs will be qualified as a therapeutic massage therapist and are competent to perform general health maintenance treatments.
Graduates of Diploma programs will be qualified and known as a Remedial massage therapist and are competent to perform treatments involving specific remedial techniques to alleviate common musculoskeletal presentations such as low back pain.
Graduates of Advanced Diploma or degree programs will be qualified and known as a Myotherapist and are competent to treat complex musculoskeletal presentations with a more extensive range of treatment protocols.
In addition to National qualifications, there are other qualified practitioners who are trained in massage for purpose of their wellness protocols, such as chiropractors, physiotherapists, acupuncturists. Even beauty therapists will have covered massage techniques and treatment as part of their study and may be qualified as a relaxation massage therapist.
There are also therapists who put hold industry specific credentials or overseas qualifications in very specific areas like Traditional Thai Massage, or Traditional Chinese Massage. And of course, many therapists continue to train up in speciality fields.
What is a Modality ?
Practitioners, especially those aligned with industry associations, are required to continue their professional development in their field. This means that on top of their industry, remedial or practice competencies may choose to update and specialise in different areas or modalities of massage or complimentary wellness.
So it is worth checking out the specialisations offered by a practitioner like, ‘pregnancy and infant massage’ ‘sports massage‘ ‘dorm method’ ‘postural therapy’, ‘myofascial’ and so on. Understanding whether your practitioner is experienced in the area of care your require will make a BIG difference to the outcome of your massage sessions.
If you’re unsure – ASK
If you are unsure whether you can receive a health rebate on the modality you are exploring – ASK