Massage Competence Skills

Highly qualified and motivated professional Therapist

Provide Massage Therapy to clients


Massage Therapy means the systematic use of classical Massage and soft tissue techniques, to improve physical and emotional well being.  The Massage Therapist, or Massage Practitioner, is a person suitably trained and experienced for the purpose of applying such therapy. This standard is about providing massage therapy to clients.  Massage therapy includes the following types of treatments: - effleurage – superficial through to deep - petrissage – superficial through to deep - tapotement - friction - vibration - neuromuscular massage - joint/muscle range of movement - muscle stretching Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies. 


You will need to know and understand:

  1. the history, principles and development of massage therapy and it’s relationship to other healthcare
  2. the classifications of massage therapy and the mechanical, physiological, psychological and reflex effects of each
  3. the range, purpose and limitations of different methods, which may be used to meet individual needs
  4. the types of presenting conditions including:
    1. emotional/stress related conditions
    2. muscular over/under use
    3. muscular spasm
    4. muscular imbalance
    5. long-term illness
    6. terminal illness
  5. the consultation methods that are used for massage therapy including subjective and objective observation
  6. how to recognise cautions and contraindications to massage treatment and the appropriate actions to take
  7. how to recognise those occasions when massage may complement other healthcare which the client is receiving
  8. how to recognise conditions for which massage therapy is inappropriate and for which the client should seek advice from other sources or refer the client to another professional
  9. the circumstances when you may choose not to accept a client
  10. how the results of the consultation inform treatment planning
  11. how to construct a suitable treatment plan for your clients specific needs
  12. the types of treatments used in massage therapy, including:
    1. effleurage – superficial through to deep
    2. petrissage – superficial through to deep
    3. tapotement
    4. friction
    5. vibration
    6. neuromuscular massage
    7. joint/muscle range of movement
    8. muscle stretching
  13. the massage mediums, coverings and supports that are used for massage therapy and the appropriate application of these
  14. how to determine the most appropriate treatment method(s) for different clients and their particular needs
  15. the importance of maintaining correct posture during massage
  16. why massage techniques, pressures and rhythms are adapted to meet the needs and physical characteristics of the client and how to adapt them
  17. the possible benefits of massage therapy, including:
    1. relaxation/invigoration
    2. relieve tension
    3. improved range of movement and flexibility
    4. improved skin condition
    5. improved systemic function
    6. improved sleep patterns
    7. pain reduction
    8. injury prevention
    9. improved circulation
  18. the importance of giving clear and accurate instructions on self-care
  19. how to evaluate the effectiveness of the massage treatment
  20. the procedures for record keeping in accordance with legal and professional requirements
  21. the position of the axial and appendicular bones of the skeleton, functions of the skeleton
  22. the types, classification and structure of joints: range of movements
  23. types of muscles (voluntary, involuntary and cardiac)
  24. the definition of origin and insertion of muscles
  25. the origin, insertion and actions of all major muscle groups
  26. muscle tone and how it can vary
  27. the causes of muscle fatigue and how to recognise it
  28. the structure and function of the:
    1. integumentary system
    2. cardiovascular system
    3. lymphatic system
    4. nervous system
    5. endocrine system
    6. digestive system
    7. respiratory system
    8. urinary system
    9. cells and tissues
    10. reproductive system
  29. the definition of pathology
  30. how to recognise conditions:
    1. for which massage is appropriate
    2. where massage must be used with caution or modifications
    3. for which massage is contraindicated generally/locally
    4. for which massage is inappropriate


You must be able to do the following:

  1. consult with the client and plan the massage therapy
  2. check that the environment meets the clients needs
  3. ensure that any equipment and materials are suitable for use
  4. prepare yourself appropriately to provide massage therapy
  5. position the client for effective massage therapy and to give as much comfort as possible
  6. carry out the massage therapy safely, correctly and in accordance with professional codes of practice, legal and organisational requirements
  7. make appropriate adjustments to the massage therapy to meet any changing needs
  8. deal effectively with the client’s response to the massage therapy
  9. check the client’s well-being throughout and give reassurance where needed
  10. provide clear and accurate advice with regard to any relevant aftercare and self-care
  11. evaluate the outcomes and effectiveness of the massage therapy to inform future plans and actions
  12. complete and maintain records in accordance with professional and legal requirements


Peter Harcourt

Sports Massage Therapist in Norwich

* Footnote: Please note that female massage protocol requires an independent female not related chaperone when available at extra cost.


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