The scope of practice of a registered therapeutic massage therapist (as per AHPCSA regulations) shall entail the following acts, procedures or functions, that may be performed using suitable physical, chemical, biological, psychological, social, educational and other technological means applicable to the practice of health care practice in primary health care situations.

The following acts specifically pertain to the profession of a therapeutic massage therapist:

Verbal and physical assessment and evaluation of a patient’s condition for the purpose of evaluating the state of health and the delivery of a treatment regime to meet the needs of the patient.

These acts may be inclusive of:

  • Taking of comprehensive case history.
  • Assessing of the integumentary and myofascial structures.
  • Determining and preparing of a suitable patient-specific treatment protocol.
  • Maintaining of comprehensive case records regarding the condition and progress of the patient in his/her care, and of all actions performed in connection with the patient.
Application of therapeutic massage therapy treatments by the use of hands with reference to the treatment and prevention of conditions of illness in any patients.

This is facilitated by:

  • Therapeutic massage techniques i.e. the manual mobilisation of soft tissue structures.
  • The use of other modalities or equipment to enhance the therapeutic massage treatment, with appropriate training. These may include:
    • Acupressure/shiatsu techniques
    • Myofascial trigger point therapy
    • Myofascial release techniques
    • Bio-energy / polarity techniques
    • Hydrotherapy
    • Exercise
    • Stretching
    • Strapping and taping
    • Ice and heat therapy
  • Relaxation techniques or methods.
  • Listening skills.
  • Nutritional and lifestyle advice.
  • The recommendation of suitable open sale unscheduled preparations and products.
  • Attend to patients outside of practice.
  • Primary healthcare screening methods.
  • Homecare advice.
The promotion and maintenance of health of the patient/s.


  • Attention to hygiene, physical comfort, and reassurance to the patient.
  • Promotion of lifestyle changes that may include dietary advice, exercise, rest and sleep with a view to assisting in the rehabilitation of the patient.
  • Education leading to the attainment of optimal health for the individual.
  • Delivery of emergency first aid treatment (including CPR), if necessary.
  • Inter-disciplinary consultation, liaison and/or refer.