Welcome back to another installment of the Lady Bay Remedial Massage newsletter!  

This month I wish to discuss a topic close to my heart = Massage Qualifications. 

Confusion can often arise in the area of massage qualifications. Qualifications are something I endeavor to educate all my clients about but alarmingly due to the massage industry being unregulated ANYONE (with zero formal qualifications) can open a massage business.

As such it is vitally important to be aware of what you should expect to receive from the varying qualifications available.

Beauty Therapist Diploma or Certificate – A beauty therapist is only qualified to perform relaxation massage or hot stone massage (provided it is covered in their training).  A beauty therapist is not qualified to deliver deep tissue massage, remedial massage and most certainly not pregnancy massage or any form of spinal manipulation.

Certificate IV Massage – This qualification authorizes performance of relaxation massage/hot stone massage and deep tissue massage only.  Such therapists are not qualified to give remedial massage, pregnancy massage or any form of spinal manipulation. It is important to note ‘deep tissue’ massage is not the same as ‘remedial’ massage.

Only remedial therapists can perform assessment and treatment of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues of the body to assist in rehabilitation, pain and injury management. “Deep tissue” therapists do not have these skills, required training or qualifications.


The prevalence of unqualified massage therapists operating within the community performing “deep tissue” and “remedial massage” is of great concern posing many risks and endangering health.

Diploma Remedial (Dip. REM) – Only massage therapists holding this formal qualification are fully trained to conduct remedial, deep tissue and relaxation massage. NO PREGNANCY MASSAGE should be given. This point cannot be stressed enough. Many pregnant clients that walk through our doors report being laid face down for massage by ‘qualified remedial’ therapists, a clear display of a lack of knowledge, training and skills in safe pregnancy massage practices.

Pregnancy Massage Practitioner – Such therapists have undergone extensive additional training in the field of perinatal massage and are the ONLY therapists equipped with the skills to deliver current benchmark best practice for Mum and Baby.

Pregnancy massage practitioners are specialised in perinatal massage thus are the only therapists capable of delivering safe pregnancy massage.

As a basic indicator of qualifications, a professional massage therapist will be registered with an Australian association of massage therapy and you should be able to claim the treatment via your private health insurance fund.

If you are unhappy with a treatment you have received or are unsure of a therapists qualifications, please do not hesitate to ask questions e.g. what is your massage qualification? Are you recognised by private health insurance funds? Which massage association are you registered with?

The benefits of Massage Therapy from a reputable practitioner are immeasurable but may this be a timely reminder to select your massage therapist carefully and with qualifications at the forefront of your decision.

“Nurturing yourself is not selfish – it’s essential to your survival and well-being.”