There are many different titles and words used to describe a massage therapist.
The most common are; massage therapist, massage practitioner, bodyworker, masseuse (female) or masseur (male), Registered Massage Therapist (RMT), or Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT).
Here is a look at why there are different titles for massage therapists and what some of the other titles mean:
Different Names for A Massage Therapist
Here is a brief breakdown of what some of the alternative titles for a massage therapist mean:
This term is used to describe someone who practices massage therapy, but who may or may not be licensed.
A practitioner may work under the guidance of a doctor or other healthcare professional but may not be classified as a formal therapist.
Related – Here is how to correctly spell ‘massage‘!
This title is used to describe someone who practices massage therapy but may also incorporate other bodywork modalities.
There are loads of different modalities and types of massage therapies, such as reflexology or lymphatic drainage.
The word masseuse comes from French and is used to refer to a female massage therapist.
Masseur is the male equivalent of masseuse and is also French in origin. It’s a lot less commonly heard or seen as there are fewer male massage therapists!
Soft Tissue Therapist
Soft tissue therapists work with the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the body.
A soft tissue therapist is usually trained in various massage techniques and may be able to diagnose and treat injuries.
Sports Injury Therapist
As the name suggests, sports injury therapists specialize in treating sports-related injuries with massage therapy.
They have a deep understanding of the anatomy and physiology of athletes and how to best treat specific injuries.
Remedial Massage Therapist
Remedial massage therapists are specialist massage therapists who understand the structure and function of the body.
They are trained to assess, diagnose and treat acute injuries, as well as chronic conditions.
Registered Massage Therapist (RMT)
An RMT is a massage therapist who has completed additional training, as well as passing an examination to become registered.
In some areas, only an RMT can be referred to as a ‘massage therapist’, so this title is most commonly used in those areas.
What Is the Difference Between a Masseuse and A Masseur?
The difference between a masseuse and a masseur is gender.
A masseuse is a female massage therapist, while a masseur is a male massage therapist.
Most often, the word masseuse is used to describe a male practitioner of massage therapy as the term masseur is not as commonly known.
There is nothing wrong with this, I’m sure there are few men who would be offended!
Both terms come from the French language and aren’t as commonly used these days (in my experience).
But it’s a nice sign of respect if you do use either of these words to describe your massage therapist.
What Is the Technical Name for A Massage Therapist?
The technical name for a massage therapist is an RMT (Registered Massage Therapist) or an LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist).
These titles are used to denote a massage therapist who has had additional training and who holds an official license.
Most states, countries and provinces require that massage therapists be licensed in order to practice legally.
In some areas, only RMTs and LMTs are referred to as massage therapists, so it is important to understand the difference if you want to be sure you are visiting a qualified and certified massage therapist.
The various titles for massage therapists can feel a little confusing, but it’s important to understand the difference between them so that you know what kind of therapist you are visiting.
By understanding the different titles, you will be able to find and choose the most suitable person for your needs.
Whether you want to see a massage practitioner, bodyworker, masseuse, masseur, soft tissue therapist, sports injury therapist or an RMT, you now know the difference!
Remember to always check the credentials of any massage therapist before you book an appointment.
Good luck in your search for the perfect massage!
Image credits – Photo by Usen Parmanov on Unsplash
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.