For those at the start line...

It can be very confusing for a beginner to know where to start, here is real advice from a real therapist.

Massage can be an incredibly rewarding career. Whether you want to learn to treat on a professional level or perhaps you are learning to treat friends and family at home or maybe eventually you want to have your own business. Which ever the reason you can either choose to sprint to the finish line or run a marathon!  


Marathon to the finish line:

This involves completing a Cert IV in Massage Therapy of about 6-12 months in duration and anywhere from $2,000-$7,000. A Certificate IV in massage therapy is basically a relaxation massage course where the practical skills acquired are Swedish Massage. Some courses offer bonus Sports Massage/Trigger point Therapy modules to give their Cert IV students some competitive edge however a lot do not.


To learn more deep tissue and remedial techniques you would then go on and study a Diploma of Remedial Massage which is another 6-18 months and another $2,000-$7,000. The Certificate IV will enable you to apply for membership and insurance with massage associations such as Massage Association Australia, Australia Association Massage Therapists, Australian Massage Therapists, Australian Natural Therapists Association, Australia Traditional Medicine Society. However only a Diploma course will enable you to register with health funds to provide health fund rebates to clients.


So if you choose this path and you finally get to the finish line thousands and thousands of dollars out of pocket and a year or two of you life gone only to discover that massage if not for you or you are not for massage!      


Sprint to the finish line:

You may have noticed many short massage course options and these serve two purposes, some are for post graduate therapists already a member of one of the above associations looking to gain points to renew their membership. Every association will require you to complete further education each year and accumulate a certain amount of points to be able to renew your membership each year.


However some of these short courses are actually suitable for beginners to use as entry level courses to enter the massage industry. The International Institute of Complementary Therapies recognizes short courses and if the short course is a IICT approved training provider then you can use that course to launch you into the massage industry and apply for membership and insurance with IICT.


How wonderful to be able to test the waters first by completing a short course or two initially and discovering whether you like massaging up to 8 hours a day AND most importantly if you are good enough to keep your clients coming back for more. All this before investing or possibly even wasting thousands and thousands of dollars and a couple years of your life!     



In 2007, Body Whisperer completed a series of short courses in Daylesford at The Central Springs School of Massage. Completing Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Hot Stone Massage and Indian Head Massage and using these to sprint into the massage industry!

After a year of struggling solely as a relaxation massage therapist, Body Whisperer was lucky enough to learn deep tissue massage one-on-one with another massage therapist. After this, Body Whisperer's appointment book was flourishing and due to the previous short courses lacking in theory, in 2009 completed a Cert IV in Massage therapy.


In 2010, while the Body Whisperer "way" was established and very successful, a desire to charge more and begin offering health rebates saw the completion of the Diploma Remedial Massage.   

Become A Professional Massage Therapist
Become a Relaxation Massage Therapist

Step 1 - Complete the Massage Essentials Online Beginner Course - 5 full days 


Step 2 - Complete the Advanced Relaxation & Therapeutic Massage Course Online Theory - 2 full days 


Step 3 - Attend 3 full days of one-on-one practical training to learn the strokes, techniques and sequences


Step 4 - Take out membership and insurance with IICT for 'Massage - Relaxation' and if you have a certificate from any other Massage courses you've completed you'll also qualify for 'Massage - Therapeutic'. If this is the only massage course you have a certificate for then you'll only qualify for 'Massage - Relaxation' and need to complete the course below OR any other massage course from any IICT approved Institutions.    

Become a Deep Tissue Massage Specialist

Step 1 - Complete steps 1-4 above 


Step 2 - Complete the Specialised Deep Tissue Massage Course Online Theory - 1 full day

Step 3 - Attend 3 full days of one-on-one practical training to learn the strokes, techniques and sequences 


Step 4 - Add to your IICT membership and insurance 'Massage - Therapeutic' and 'Massage - Deep Tissue'


Become a Pregnancy 
Massage Therapist

Step 1 - Complete the Massage Essentials Online Beginner Course - 5 full days 


Step 2 - Complete the Pregnancy Massage Course Online Theory - 2 full days 


Step 3 - Attend 3 full days of one-on-one training to learn the strokes, techniques and sequences  


Step 4 - Take out membership and insurance with IICT for 'Massage - Pregnancy' or add to your current 

  • try before you buy a Cert IV or Diploma course with short courses
  • look for IICT approved training providers
  • be wary of courses that promise to have you fully qualified in a 2 or 3 day course...It's not possible! You'll find yourself very under trained.
  • find out what theory your short course teaches if any, yes massage is practical however what about the muscles, injuries and conditions, client interview process and record keeping, contraindications and precautions to name a few
  • find out maximum number of students and how many instructors. Remember an instructor only has 1 pair of eyes. You need as much personal guidance as possible when learning something new. 
  • charge less to compensate for not offering health rebates. $50-$60 an hour for example instead of $85-$95.

© 2023 by Body Whisperer Therapies PTY LTD