What’s the difference between a masseuse & a massage therapist?

Oct 30, 2023 | Guides

What’s the Difference Between a Masseuse & a Massage Therapist?

More and more people are seeking relaxation and relief from stress through massage therapy. However, it’s essential to understand the differences between a masseuse and a massage therapist to ensure you receive the right treatment for your needs.

Education and Certification

A significant distinction between the two professions lies in their education and certification requirements. A masseuse typically undergoes a shorter training program and may not require formal certification, making it a more accessible career path. In contrast, a massage therapist follows a more extensive and rigorous training program, often requiring hundreds of hours of education and obtaining official certification.

Scope of Practice

Masseuses primarily focus on providing relaxation and stress relief through basic massage techniques. They may work at spas or wellness centres and offer services such as Swedish massage and aromatherapy. On the other hand, massage therapists are trained to address various health concerns and injuries, often working in healthcare settings. They are qualified to perform deep tissue massages, sports massages, and other therapeutic techniques.

Techniques and Modalities

Massage therapists are trained in a wide range of techniques and modalities to cater to their clients’ specific needs. They may use trigger point therapy, myofascial release, or prenatal massage, among others. Masseuses, on the other hand, tend to stick to more basic, general massage methods aimed at relaxation.

Health and Medical Knowledge

Massage therapists have a deeper understanding of anatomy and physiology. They can customize treatments for clients with medical conditions and injuries. Masseuses, while skilled in massage techniques, may not have the same level of knowledge in addressing health-related concerns.

Job Opportunities

Due to their extensive training, massage therapists have a broader range of job opportunities. They can work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or even start their private practices. Masseuses, meanwhile, typically find employment in spas, resorts, and wellness centers.


The cost of a massage session can vary depending on the professional’s qualifications and the location. Generally, massage therapists charge higher fees due to their specialised training and ability to address various health issues. Masseuses often offer more affordable services.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can a Masseuse Perform Medical Massages?

Masseuses are not typically qualified to perform medical massages, which require an in-depth understanding of anatomy and pathology. It’s advisable to consult a licensed massage therapist for medical concerns.

Are Masseuses Less Skilled Than Massage Therapists?

Masseuses are skilled in providing relaxation massages but may not have the same level of expertise in addressing specific health issues, making massage therapists a better choice for therapeutic needs.

Is a Massage Therapist More Expensive Than a Masseuse?

Yes, massage therapists generally charge higher fees due to their specialised training and the ability to provide tailored therapeutic treatments.

Where Can I Find Masseuses and Massage Therapists?

You can find masseuses primarily in spas, wellness centers, and resorts. Massage therapists often work in a broader range of settings, including healthcare facilities, private practices, and sports centers.

Do Both Masseuses and Massage Therapists Use Essential Oils and Aromatherapy?

Yes, both may incorporate essential oils and aromatherapy into their treatments, but massage therapists are more likely to use them for therapeutic purposes.

Can I Request Specific Techniques from a Masseuse or Massage Therapist?

Yes, you can request specific techniques from both professionals. However, a massage therapist is better equipped to provide a broader range of techniques.

Understanding the differences between a masseuse and a massage therapist is crucial when seeking massage services. While both offer relaxation and relief, massage therapists are the go-to choice for addressing health-related concerns and specific medical conditions. Masseuses, on the other hand, excel in providing general relaxation and stress relief. Choose Circle 8 Massage and we will align your treatment with your needs, and you’ll be on your way to a more relaxed and healthier you.

Contact us today to book an appointment.

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When you come for a massage at Circle8 we don’t just treat your issue and send you away, we find out exactly which movements and muscles are causing it, explain to you what’s actually happening, give you exercises in the gym and at home that you can do to help alleviate and eventually get rid of your issue.