Modern masseur or massage therapists are usually highly qualified professionals and the work is very similar to that of a somatologist.
The main responsibility of masseurs is to massage customers and administer other body-conditioning treatments. This is done either through electronic vibrating equipment or manual techniques such as kneading, rubbing and stroking the soft tissues of the human body, including muscles, tendons and ligaments, to assist healing, stimulate blood circulation, relax contracted muscles, relieve stress or pain and facilitate the elimination of waste matter.
Massage therapists may use techniques such as muscle stretching to assist with recovery and to enhance muscle performance, or finger pressure techniques in therapies such as Shiatsu and reflexology. They also use complementary aids, such as infrared lamps, wet compresses and ice, essential oils and herbal or mineral therapies to promote recovery, relaxation and well-being.
Masseurs who have acquired skills in specialised massage techniques, such as aromatherapy, reflexology and manual lymph drainage, are able to serve a wider client base. Masseurs may also recommend particular diets and exercise routines for clients.
Massage therapists and masseurs generally work in three broad (sometimes overlapping) areas:
Schooling & School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution has its own entry requirements.
No specific requirements for part-time and correspondence courses
Diploma: N.Dip: Somatology - CUT, CPUT, DUT, TUT, UJ.
Interest in the holistic approach to body and mind has led to recent changes to the curriculum of this course. The course now places greater emphasis on physical education, nutrition and stress management and less on aesthetic treatments such as make-up.
To practice Therapeutic Massage Therapy (TMT) in South Africa one is legally required to be registered with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA). All training that is undertaken needs to be accredited so as to permit registration. Holistic massage therapy, relaxation massage therapy and sports massage therapy are just a few types of TMT.
Aromatherapy and Reflexology are not types of therapeutic massage therapy but practitioners are also registered health professionals with the AHPCSA.
The AHPCSA website contains the most up-to-date information relating to accredited qualifications and registration requirementsfor this occupation.
Massage Therapy Association
P O Box 53320
Tel: 079 846 0964
The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA)
5 de Havilland Crescent South
Tel: (012) 349-2331