Professional Practitioners: Should we call them Masseuse?

This is an important question to address if you are someone on either side of the table. You need to understand what you are going to be getting as a customer, and you want to also make sure that you brand yourself properly as a professional when you pick the right term to define yourself. So, in order to understand the world massage and the people who provide those services, we need to start from the beginning and work our way up to the final conclusions on the topic. It goes deeper than you think and means a lot.

maassage therapist vs masseuse
massage therapist vs masseuse


There is a definite education difference between a massage therapist and a masseuse. A massage therapist is a highly educated professional who has gone through many programs and gotten all of the certifications and qualifications in order to help them earn their title of a massage therapist and the perks that it brings. It is a sign of prestige to have earned this title to help them create the right world for themselves. See What is Therapeutic Massage – Another definition of Therapeutic Massage.

On the other side of things, a masseuse is often someone who has little – or no – formal training with massage therapy. It could be learned through generational training or unofficial training but no medical-based formal training has occurred, or it was not completed to the standard of the certification and qualification options that are available.

As you can see, there is quite the difference in the two, one being more prominent than the other, and deserving more respect. Informal training is great, but proper, legal certifications are important for a reason and should be respected.


Much the same as education, salary can often be different between the two of these, formally and otherwise. Massage therapists, since they are professionally trained, have the right to ask and create a higher salary option for themselves. They are providing medical-based and important treatments to customers and their knowledge and time spent in working with the world is important to create the right space and look and feel for a higher rate. They deserve the financial upgrade. Massage Therapist Salary in Australia –

Massueses, on the other hand, have a lower rate in a lot of ways because they don’t have the formal education or recognition to be able to look at the pay raise as an actual option. They may get additional money in other way, such as tips (more on that later), but their formal pay schedules are significantly lower than massage therapists.

Gender Identification

When you refer to someone as a massage therapist, the term is gender neutral, which is fantastic for those that don’t want to be identified one way or another, or prefer the clinical term because it keeps everything professional. A masseuse is always used in a gender-based word like masseuse or masseur. In this way, it identifies the person one way or another, and can often create a negative experience for those that are looking for a way to keep gender out of it.

This is a new addition to this world just like the gender pay gap issue, but it is one that is quickly building momentum and creating outrage in the community of professionals. There is such a thing as safety in gender-neutral themes in the workplace, too.

The Common Association with the Titles

This is the nugget of things, right there. There is a huge difference when you look at the titles and what they mean socially speaking. When you hear massage therapist, you are automatically thinking clinically about something. You see it the same way that you think of any other medical professional. It promotes a healthy connection and relationship that is all about the therapy that you are going to receive as a client, nothing more.

On the other hand, there is often a connection between the term masseuse, and special favours in terms of how sessions end (you can fill in the blanks, here). This means that when you brand yourself in this way, it can often imply that you offer additional services that leave clients to have very clear and certain expectations. If you, as a professional, don’t offer these services and you happen to run into a particular client with a mean streak, it can often mean negative results which will come into play in the next point.

Additionally, when you refer to a massage therapist – a trained professional, remember – as a masseuse, it degrades what they’ve done and the training they’ve received . It is seen as derogatory term because it implies that there’s been no formal training, licensing or other emotional factors that go into creating a strong and secure educational background. It is something to always keep in mind and respect, the same way you would with any other kind of medical professional.

See Other Information about Massage Therapist Title: Massage Titles Matter: Why We Don’t Use Masseuse



Based on the point above, safety can sometimes be an issue between the two titles. If you a professional (formally or otherwise) in massage and are labeled as a masseuse, it gives the common connotation of additional services. If you are someone who simply doesn’t offer those services and get the wrong kind of customer, that customer can often become violent or cause professional problems for the masseuse. See Mobile Massage and Personal Safety –

They’ll target you as stalking victim, or they’ll create the right kind of environment for you to have other similar violent customers…there are so many options to consider that you should really look to stay away from these kinds of clients. This is done by making sure that you are always legally and socially referred to as a massage therapist.

The thing to remember in all of this is that common perception is just as important as legal and formal. There is a lot of difference between these two terms, and knowing, understanding, and respecting these differences will help you make sure that you always connect properly with the right people and – on the other side of the table – bring in the right kinds of clients that will help you promote yourself in the right light.

See This Video of Massage Therapist or Masseuse Narration of this webpage: