Better Health Channel


Massage therapy is the manipulation of a person’s soft tissue (such as muscles,tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, lymphatic vessels or organs) for therapeutic purposes. Massage can help with many health conditions, including muscle or joint pain, soft-tissue injury, constipation, headache and insomnia.

Your massage therapist might apply pressure, tension, motion or vibration to specific parts of your body, using their hands, fingers, elbows, forearm, feet or mechanical aids. They might also use oils, powders, heat rubs, or hot and cold packs.

There are many different types of massage therapy, including sports massage, baby massage, shiatsu, acupressure, reflexology and deep-tissue massage.

Services provided

  • Diagnosis and treatment
  • Pain relief
  • Injury prevention
  • Physical therapy
  • Manual (hands-on) therapy
  • Information and advice


Appointments can be made directly without a referral.

Your doctor or other health professional may also refer you to a massage therapist.

How to access

Go to Massage & Myotherapy AustraliaExternal Link to find a massage therapist near you.


The cost of massage therapy varies depending on the treatment. Contact the clinic before you attend if you are unsure of the cost.

Massage therapy is not covered by Medicare.

Private health funds
Massage therapy is covered by some private health funds but your coverage will depend on your insurance policy.



Complementary medicine


Massage therapists are not required to be registered with a government medical authority.



Minimum qualifications

No official education requirements


Different types of massage therapy can help with different conditions ranging from joint and muscle pain to stress and insomnia.


  • You are not required to have a qualification to call yourself a massage therapist.
  • A sign of a good massage therapist is membership of a reputable professional body, or being eligible for private insurance rebates.
  • There are many different types of massage therapy.