Remedial massage is an exciting, rewarding career that can take you around the world. It’s also a dynamic skill set that can be combined with a diverse range of other personal interests, from beauty therapy to sports.
To show you how varied a massage therapist career can be, we recently sat down for a chat with Stewart Carr, the newest remedial massage educator from our Cairns Campus. Over the past 25 years as a remedial and sports massage therapist, Stewart has worked with leading sports teams and elite athletes around the world. Read on to learn what Stewart had to say about his career and advice for readers interested in studying remedial massage.
Demi International (DI): What steered you towards a career in Remedial Massage?
Stewart Carr (SC): I’ve always loved sport, but I don’t have the talent to be at the top – which is fine, because not everyone can be! Becoming a massage therapist allowed me to get close to the action and feel like part of the team. I also found the educator during my remedial massage course really inspiring: He was a former boxer, and bucked the trend for tutors at the time.
One of the great things about remedial massage is that opportunities are always there if you want to chase them. I’ve never been shy to knock on a door or introduce myself and offer my services. As a result, at the start of my career many athletes were very receptive, and that’s how my success in sports massage started.
DI: For someone who loves sports, will studying a Diploma of Remedial Massage give them opportunities to work with professional teams and athletes?
SC: Getting a remedial massage qualification will give you plenty of opportunities to travel and see some cool places. Over the years, I’ve spent time working for professional cycling, rugby, and soccer teams – to name a few!
But the opportunities aren’t just in sport: Plenty of therapists work on cruise ships, and I even know one who works for Cirque du Soleil.
DI: What do you enjoy most about your job as a Remedial Massage Therapist?
SC: I love the diversity of the role. My office can be anything from a physiotherapy clinic to a hotel room, football pitch, or even a team car (as was the case at the Tour de France)!
DI: What are some of your career highlights to date?
SC: One of the highlights of a massage career has to be watching clients of all levels of capability accomplish more than they expected. It’s awesome when a team or athlete wins gold, but for other people finishing a 5K fun run or simply returning to work after an injury is a huge accomplishment.
DI: Can you describe a typical day as a Massage Therapist for a professional sports person/team?
SC: It most definitely varies depending on the sport and team. Last season with Cairns FC, for example, we’d meet at Cairns airport at 8AM and then fly to Brisbane. I was also a team driver, so I’d grab one of the minibuses and head to our hotel, where I’d treat players before going to the venue to set up.
Once players arrive at the venue, I treat and strap them for about 90 minutes before they get out on the pitch. Strangely, I don’t watch the game much. As a remedial massage therapist, I spend more time watching how players are running, seeing whether they’ve taken a knock, and looking for signs of fatigue and cramping. If there’s an injury, I go onto the pitch. Post-game, I hand out ice and deal with any injuries, then head back to the hotel.
Cycling is a different beast entirely – we don’t sleep much. It’s often chaos and things happening from 5AM till 11PM, but it’s an awesome experience if you like non-stop action.
DI: What career opportunities are available to someone with a Diploma in Remedial Massage?
SC: Becoming a qualified remedial massage therapist is a great standalone opportunity. It’s the highest level of massage therapist and is respected by medical professionals.
You can choose to be self-employed and work from home, or work in a multi-modality clinic alongside physiotherapists, chiropractors, and the like. There’s also the luxury side of working on a cruise ship or at a resort hotel.
A Diploma of Remedial Massage also serves as a stepping stone to higher education, like a degree in Exercise Physiology or Physiotherapy. Working as a Remedial Massage Therapist is a great way to earn a steady income while studying at a higher level.
One of the best things about a massage career is that you’re never stuck. After years of travelling with sports teams and athletes I transitioned into coaching, nutrition, and now teaching.
DI: What are the career perks of being a Remedial Massage Therapist?
SC: There are plenty! The biggest ones have to be:
- Career flexibility and freedom to choose your client profile. If you love boxing, then work with boxers.
- Flexible work times and locations, which are perfect for students and working parents.
- You can start your own business with low overheads and quick setup.
- It’s a pathway to other qualifications. Some massage therapists head into a more medical field like physiotherapy, and others might upskill with a beauty therapy qualification. In my case, I went into coaching, nutrition, and teaching.
DI: Who would you recommend a Diploma of Remedial Massage to?
SC: I would recommend Remedial Massage to anyone who has a desire to help others and is looking for a rewarding career that doesn’t confine you to a desk. It’s a great field and opportunity to turn your passion into an exciting career.
Feeling inspired to become a massage therapist?
Demi International can help you kickstart your career as a remedial massage therapist. Our nationally-recognised Diploma of Remedial Massage course is designed to teach you the knowledge and practical skills you need to enter and get established in a fast-moving industry.