The best massage therapists in Canberra

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Image of person getting a massage.

Best Canberra Massage Therapists. Photo: File.

Whether you need to relieve tension, reduce discomfort or just want to relax and unwind, a great massage therapist can do you the world of good.

Trained massage therapists manipulate the body’s soft tissues to improve your health and wellbeing. Many types of massage therapy are available, each with benefits.

In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a massage therapist, and share where to find the best in Canberra.

What makes a great massage therapist?

Choosing the right massage therapist will make you feel better as quickly as possible. Massage can your stress away.

It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a massage therapist.

  • Experience. Massage therapists don’t legally require formal qualifications to practice in Australia. However, you should look for a therapist who is experienced and also registered with the Australian Association of Massage Therapists.
  • Style of treatment. Not all massage therapists specialise in all types of massage. This means you’ll need to choose one who can meet your needs. Some, for example, specialise in pregnancy massage. Others specialise in remedial massage. Some massage therapists have a specific style like Thai or Swedish.
  • Friendly. Quality massage therapists are friendly and personable. They make you feel comfortable and at ease during your massage.
  • Pleasant environment. Great massage therapists have treatment rooms that are calm, clean and pleasant, not cold and uninviting. A pleasant environment helps you relax and enjoy the experience.
  • Price. The price of your massage will vary on various factors. This includes the type and length of your massage. It’s best to shop online, or make some phone calls, to ensure you pay a fair and competitive price.

The best massage therapists in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Massage for Health

Massage for Health has a large team of therapists and specialises in remedial, relaxation and sports massage. All therapists are trained and have years of experience. Several styles of treatment are available, including remedial, relaxation/deep tissue, sports and corporate/workplace massage. Traditional Chinese medicine and massage is also available.

Penelope Hanley wrote on Google, “Definitely five stars from me for Emma and all the therapists who have looked after me over many years when I've had different injuries.”

Elite Massage Solutions

Elite Massage Solutions is about improving the way clients move. Through a personalised and individual approach, Elite Massage Solutions offers remedial, sports, deep tissue and relaxation massages. The business is a member of the Association of Massage Therapists.

On Google, Matt Hayes wrote, “Kellie takes great pride in providing a clean, calm and comfortable space for her clients. She is extremely professional in her manner and service, always discusses treatment options … and genuinely cares …”

Therapy Masters

Therapy Masters offers a wide range of massage services with all therapists trained and experienced. Massage styles include relaxation, remedial, hot stone, and pregnancy. All practitioners are members of professional associations such as the Association of Massage Therapists and Massage Australia.

On Google, A Solo wrote, “I have been to this clinic many times and love the variety of modalities, friendly accredited therapists, city location, the loyalty program …”

Clinic 88

Clinic 88 operates three clinics in Canberra – Macquarie, Deakin and Woden. Each is a multidisciplinary clinic that assess and treats aches, pains and injuries. Remedial massage and sports massage are two services available. Clinic 88 has a large team of therapists who are all trained, experienced and caring. With remedial massage, all therapists are registered for health insurance rebates.

Kellie Lane wrote on Facebook, “Great staff. Great service. They really know what they’re doing.”

Siam Senses

With studios in Braddon and Phillip, Siam Senses Thai Massage and Day Spa provides high-quality treatments at reasonable prices. Massage styles include remedial, traditional Thai, hot rock, prenatal and postnatal. Appointments start at 30 minutes and go up to 135 minutes. Only the finest organic products are used. Siam Senses is an accredited massage provider with an Australian Traditional Medicine Society registration.

On Google, Christie Barry wrote, “Very professional remedial massage with good pressure and communication.”

If you’re looking for more information on massage services, you might like our articles on the best remedial massage clinics, the best massages in Belconnen, the best Thai massage, best Chinese massage centres and best pregnancy massage that Canberra has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is massage therapy?

Massage involves rubbing and putting pressure on muscles, connective tissues, tendons and ligaments. When massage is used to improve your health, it’s known as massage therapy.

What are the types of massage therapy?

Many people find massage immediately calming and relaxing. Research shows that massage can help with issues like back pain, headache, depression, anxiety, and strains or soft tissue injuries.

Are there risks to massage therapy?

The Australian Government’s Healthdirect says there are some risks of massage and that some people should avoid it. Massage might not be right for you if you have issues like blood clots, burns, bruises, an infectious skin condition, osteoporosis or nerve damage.

Does Medicare cover massage therapy?

Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of massage therapy. If you have private health insurance, however, you may be able to get some rebate. It’s best to first ask your health fund what’s included in your ‘extras’ cover.

What are the benefits of massage therapy?

Many people find massage immediately calming and relaxing. Research shows that massage can help with issues like back pain, headache, depression, anxiety, and strains or soft tissue injuries.

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I have had “a lot” of massages, most of them Chinese, as I like that they target muscle groups rather than just generally rub you all over. I cant recommend one place over another because most places have constant staff rotations (mostly because of visa restrictions).
All masseuse have a unique “style” so it might take a few different masseuse (even in the same shop) before you find one you like. Dont be afraid to guide them. Always appreciate their efforts.
If you want a better massage, go during the week and in the morning/early afternoon, when they are less tired/overworked.
A harder massage means you will get more benefit from it a day or two later, rather than straight away, so tailor the massage to suit.
If you dont like the massage, talk to the masseuse, or say something when you pay, as they know bad opinions mean less income. There are some very average masseuse out there so make sure you dont put up with a bad massage.

I went in for a massage tonight and the guy that was massaging me was clearly preoccupied- I could tell he was distracted as he kept stopping every few seconds. Later on I discovered a bad smell lingering (if you get what I mean). He had let one rip.. I also could feel him tapping and clicking on his phone which he had placed on my back and was reading while he was doing a half a**ed job. I have never had such a poor massage in my life. When the massage had finished I saw a sign that said if they read their phones while massaging ask for another therapist and start the clock again. I wish I had seen this prior to the massage. I had previously had a good massage in there in the past but I am never going back, oh,… Did I mention they also charged me full price for this kind of service?! I do not reccommend!

muscledude_oz9:16 pm 24 Feb 13

Krankin said :

Clinic 88 are the bomb.
I have been to all three sites across Canberra. Very professional. both injury stuff or sports/remedial.
Very comforting knowing that they are all top qualified as I’m very sure a few I have seen are pretty dodgy.
They also will suggest a particular therapist if you ring and ask what you are after. I love that bit.

Southern Cross Health Club sends members with sports injuries to Clinic 88. There have been no complaints, in fact they are regarded very highly among the bodybuilding/fitness elite in Canberra.

JimCharles said :

Krankin said :

Clinic 88 are the bomb.
I have been to all three sites across Canberra. Very professional. both injury stuff or sports/remedial.
Very comforting knowing that they are all top qualified as I’m very sure a few I have seen are pretty dodgy.
They also will suggest a particular therapist if you ring and ask what you are after. I love that bit.

It’s always a chore working out who’s qualified…the classic Thai way is to frame a certificate saying the practitioner was trained at Wat Po temple (blind masseurs working by touch sense only), but by that score they must have trained millions….you can’t tell so just have to go and try them out. When you find one you like, stick with them.
I’ve tried two in Canberra..Siam Senses and another one in Braddon. One girl at Siam Senses was marvellous…built like a prop, knees, thumbs and elbows, lots of clicking and crunching. Unfortunately “she move Sydneee” and i had a real rubbish one last time.

I’ve always had to pay in advance as well at SS.
Also a bit of a trial paying about $60 an hour instead of $6….a bit more business and competition could bring the price down a little.

My wife and I went to Bali over summer. We had some tremendous deep tissues massages and my wife speaks Indonesian, so she chatted to one of the girls afterwards . We paid 120000 rupiah for a one hour massage, which is about $12 AUD. My wife told me that of this, the masseuse received 6000 rupiah, or 60 cents, for her hours work.

We gave the girls large tips, because while Canberra massage prices seems excessive, 60 cents an hour is simply wrong.

Krankin said :

Clinic 88 are the bomb.
I have been to all three sites across Canberra. Very professional. both injury stuff or sports/remedial.
Very comforting knowing that they are all top qualified as I’m very sure a few I have seen are pretty dodgy.
They also will suggest a particular therapist if you ring and ask what you are after. I love that bit.

It’s always a chore working out who’s qualified…the classic Thai way is to frame a certificate saying the practitioner was trained at Wat Po temple (blind masseurs working by touch sense only), but by that score they must have trained millions….you can’t tell so just have to go and try them out. When you find one you like, stick with them.
I’ve tried two in Canberra..Siam Senses and another one in Braddon. One girl at Siam Senses was marvellous…built like a prop, knees, thumbs and elbows, lots of clicking and crunching. Unfortunately “she move Sydneee” and i had a real rubbish one last time. I’ve always had to pay in advance as well at SS.
Also a bit of a trial paying about $60 an hour instead of $6….a bit more business and competition could bring the price down a little.

Genie said :

FootandThai in Weeden close, Belconnen

http://www.footandthai.com

Highly recommended, I go once every couple of months. Always come away feeling half a foot taller and as blissed out as a hippy on dope.

Clinic 88 are the bomb.
I have been to all three sites across Canberra. Very professional. both injury stuff or sports/remedial.
Very comforting knowing that they are all top qualified as I’m very sure a few I have seen are pretty dodgy.
They also will suggest a particular therapist if you ring and ask what you are after. I love that bit.

BimboGeek said :

Am I the only one who doesn’t want to be touched by strangers?

yes. the stranger the better, non? 🙂

Am I the only one who doesn’t want to be touched by strangers?

Madam Cholet9:12 am 17 Dec 12

Short update to the massage thread, in case anyone wants to pre-empt Christmas stress and get another hour of relaxation in before family ‘frivolities’ begin.

Suffering very sore muscles and a shocking run of related headaches I nipped across one Friday lunch to Thai Bliss in the new buildings on University Avenue. Chose the hour long Thai massage. And what a good choice it was. When the masseur started by sticking her knee in my back, I knew we were off to a good start! When you rock up for one of these massages they give you a pair of loose pants to put on – which I realised are to save your modesty due to limbs being manipulated this way and that!

The description of the massage advised that it would leave me feeling energised and peaceful. That and more I can tell you. Having to return to the office for a conference call was not exactly thrilling at that point as I was not sure that any words would come out of my mouth I was so relaxed! Suffice to say, I would not get in a car and drive after one of those massages.

I think it’s the best one I have ever had. Ever.

Madam Cholet said :

On the recommendation of Overheard, I have just visited Siam Senses down by the Jolimont Centre.
First of all, great massage. I tend to measure mine on how much discomfort I’m in when I go in, how much the massage causes me discomfort and the level of comfort when I leave. High scores on all.

Plenty of elbows used, and somewhat surprisingly the masseur spent a fair bit of time on the bed with me and actually sitting on me at some junctures. All very effective.

On the down side, I was surprised by their request for payment in advance of the service being delivered, (which I declined, and was afforded), and the 3% charge for using ANY card…not just credit.

Anyway, good massage, nice venue – worth another go.

Good to hear the massage went well.

Surprised about the pre-payment requirement. I’ve only been there twice and post-paid on both occasions. Maybe they’ve had some recent runners? And yes, not brilliant about the card charge — I went to an ATM. Businesses of any standing really should offer no-charge eftpos as a minimum.

Madam Cholet1:15 pm 09 Nov 12

On the recommendation of Overheard, I have just visited Siam Senses down by the Jolimont Centre.
First of all, great massage. I tend to measure mine on how much discomfort I’m in when I go in, how much the massage causes me discomfort and the level of comfort when I leave. High scores on all.

Plenty of elbows used, and somewhat surprisingly the masseur spent a fair bit of time on the bed with me and actually sitting on me at some junctures. All very effective.

On the down side, I was surprised by their request for payment in advance of the service being delivered, (which I declined, and was afforded), and the 3% charge for using ANY card…not just credit.

Anyway, good massage, nice venue – worth another go.

Is there anything more pleasant than having a long massage in the middle of the day? Well, perhaps we can think of something, but there aren’t *many* things as pleasurable, so long as you’re a wimp like me and ask for low to moderate pressure.

Thank you again for all the suggestions. I tried Therapy Masters today and it was great. Ninety minutes of relaxation. My blood pressure is just climbing back to where I’m officially alive.

When I saw just where they were located, I spared a brief thought for those slaving away nearby, working and moderating comments about massages and the like. Like about half a second.

Qi traditional Chinese massage in Belconnen Food Markets (opposite AFP) (new place).

Wonderful! ask for Cassie.

Heard good things about Soul Yoga Canberra (the one in Torrens, not Civic). They do Thai Massage.

Not had one myself but a cyclist friend had one and raved about it.

Siam Senses in the Jolimont Centre have really done it for me the couple times I’ve been there. The first one I had was in 2010 and while it was uncomfortable as all get out during (I chose the deep tissue massage and asked her not to let on the six occasions she asked if I was alright), I was doing Gene Kelly impersonations from ‘Singing In The Rain’ afterwards. Literally. The rain and the dance routines. With umbrella up Northbourne Avenue.

There’s one in Gordon Street more or less opposite Xchange on London that is dear to my heart. Good massage and she spent five minutes pedicuring the bejebus out of my in-grown toenail. Fixed in a jiff what drugs and a cupboard full of bandages couldn’t.

far_northact6:31 pm 28 Sep 12

I like Tim. Now mobile: healing hut. Mob: 0408867060. Very efficient!

Is there anywhere you can get a “walking on your back” massage in Canberra?

…Apart from falling over in a busy crowd that is!

carnardly said :

http://the-riotact.com/ladies-are-you-up-for-romantic-adventure-in-turner/54202 maybe this person can help….

🙂

Romance was never my thing….(-:

Thank you all for the suggestions so far. Lots to chase up. I love #8 Mr Waffle’s too lazy for a massage!

Therapy Masters seems popular.

MrMagoo said :

Massage for Health at Sinslie shops, (which is owned by one of my lecturers at CIT), Compass Health at Florey Shops.

Sinslie Shops – awesome freudian slip there Magoo!

Ok, I’ll preface this by saying I am studying to be a Remedial Massage Therapist at CIT. I would avoid the Chinese places as you don’t know about the level of qualification or not of the ‘therapist’. Ensure you get a Therapist who is aligned to one of the professional associations, has insurance and health fund status. In saying that, Therapy Masters in the City, Massage for Health at Sinslie shops, (which is owned by one of my lecturers at CIT), Compass Health at Florey Shops.

Genie said :

FootandThai in Weeden close, Belconnen

http://www.footandthai.com

I’m not really a massage-y person (I enjoy them but too lazy to actively go out for them) but the one time I did go here, it was absolutely fantastic.

I’d suggest you try Therapy Masters above King O’Malley’s pub in Civic.

Madam Cholet11:18 am 28 Sep 12

TheDancingDjinn said :

Madam Cholet said :

If I can get away from work for a bit in the city I go to Wangs .

The teenager inside me giggled at the thought of a “massage at Wangs” *insert Bevis and Butthead laugh here*

I did think of that too, but too late to change any of my text! And on reading your comment I did actually laugh like Bevis and Butthead.

FootandThai in Weeden close, Belconnen

http://www.footandthai.com

TheDancingDjinn10:58 am 28 Sep 12

Madam Cholet said :

If I can get away from work for a bit in the city I go to Wangs .

The teenager inside me giggled at the thought of a “massage at Wangs” *insert Bevis and Butthead laugh here*

I’d recommend the Griffith Massage Centre.

the masseuses above the iga in ainslie are apparently the bomb – he seems very nice from my interactions with him at mutual children’s activities and i have had independent reviews speak highly. happy to give them a plug – not sure of their business name.

Madam Cholet10:15 am 28 Sep 12

If I can get away from work for a bit in the city I go to Wangs on the outside of the Canberra Centre. Always been pretty good and just seem to have a knack of finding the sorest spots without even being told! Nearer home I use Miracle Therapy who generally set up in shopping centres – I know there is now one at Majura Park but haven’t tried this specific one. Again, in using these guys have had pretty good results.

I tend to use the Chinese places as they don’t charge the “warm and fuzzy” fee that the day spa’s do. Usually about $50-$80 depending on how long etc.

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