Achieving success as an RMT is a lifelong process that begins with superior massage therapist training and a genuine commitment to helping others lead healthier lives.
Whether they have joined a multidisciplinary clinic, launched a private practice, work at a resort, or travel the globe with a sports team - the most effective massage therapists are united by their technical expertise, excellent communication skills, business acumen, and adherence to the highest professional standards. They are well rounded practitioners who understand that personal and professional rewards rely on the strategic cultivation of a particular skill set.
Here are just a few of the characteristics of a successful massage therapist:
Students graduate from massage college with a solid foundation in anatomy, physiology, pathology and neuroanatomy, which they draw on when assessing the condition and unique needs of each patient they treat. After a thorough assessment, the RMT will decide which therapeutic techniques would best serve their patient’s needs, calling upon a diverse repertoire of technical skills to devise a customized treatment plan. A successful massage therapist is confident with a range of approaches, such as myofascial release, sports massage, joint mobilization and Swedish massage. And crucially, they are committed to professional development through continuing education. In British Columbia, the College of Massage Therapists requires that all RMTs renew and enhance their skills and stay up-to-date with best practices. In addition to required continuing education activities, dedicated massage therapists often seek out workshops, consult the latest research and network with their peers in order to continually expand the scope of their expertise.
In order for a patient to truly benefit from massage therapy, they must feel at ease communicating with their RMT. An effective massage therapist is an excellent communicator who helps patients feel comfortable during assessment, treatment, and follow up. Whether the RMT is explaining a technique or making recommendations about self-care, the quality of those exchanges may have a significant impact on how the patient feels during and after treatment - and whether they return for subsequent visits! Successful RMTs foster a welcoming, professional, safe environment where patients feel comfortable discussing their medical history and current challenges.
In British Columbia, the practice of massage therapy is highly regulated under some of the strictest guidelines in Canada. The CMT’s Code of Ethical Conduct guides every aspect of the profession, outlining patient rights, practitioner obligations, and defining the RMT’s scope of practice. Successful massage therapists are well acquainted with the Code and stay up-to-date with any changes, demonstrating their commitment to patient safety, exemplary employee conduct and best business practices.
Most massage therapy clinics operate as small businesses, which means RMTs wear two hats: the health care practitioner and the small business manager. Success requires a working knowledge of everyday operations and promotional marketing strategies.
The most effective massage therapy training programs help students develop the business skills they will need to eventually run their own clinic, such as patient bookings, reception operations, payments, accounting and record management. Client outreach programs and hands-on experience at the college clinic provide a solid foundation on which RMTs can grow and sustain a thriving practice.
What other qualities do you think successful RMTs possess?