1. What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints that using various techniques. Massage therapy helps alleviate the soft tissue discomfort associated with every day and occupational stresses, to enhance function, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions. If employed early enough after accidents involving trauma and injury, Massage therapy can greatly reduce the development of painful muscular patterning.
Massage techniques include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, lymphatic massage, Thai, Shiatsu, Chinese Tuina, and others.
2. How can massage therapy help me?
Massage therapy can be beneficial to people of all ages and conditions and is widely used to help obtain relief from specific problems including:
Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendonitis
Stress relief and associated conditions
Headaches and migraines
Muscle related condtions such as spasms, strains and sprains
Repetatvie strain injury
Circulatory and respitory problems
Pregnancy and labour discomfort
Post injury and post surgical rehabilitation
3. What is Registered Massage Therapist?
Massage therapy is a regulated health profession in Ontario and as such, massage therapy should be performed by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT).
A Registered Massage Therapist is an individual who has:
- Completed competency-based education at educational institutionsrecognized by the government of Ontario;
- Studied anatomy, physiology, pathology, physical assessment, neurology, treatments, ethics and other subjects;
- Completed a minimum of 150 clinical hours;
- Successfully completed examinations from and has been “registered” by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (the College) in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act and the Massage Therapy Act;
- Maintained their registration by participating in continuing education and a quality assurance program that assists in the maintenance of high professional standards and quality care of clients.
Only members of the College are permitted to use the title, “Massage Therapist” or “Registered Massage Therapist” or the designation of “RMT” or “MT”. All members of the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario must be registered with the College and are therefore licensed massage therapy practitioners.
4. Is massage therapy a regulated health profession?
The practice of massage therapy is regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) and is therefor a Regulated Health Profession. Only individuals who have completed the requisite training and have met the strict competency requirements of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) can call themselves a “Massage Therapist” or a “Registered Massage Therapist”. When seeking Massage Therapy, look for an individual who uses one of those two titles and ask to see their registration with the CMTO.
5. What will happen on the first visit?
On the first visit you will complete a confidential health history as part of your assessment. This is important as the Massage Therapist needs to know if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications. The massage therapist will listen to your concerns, assess your individual needs as well as other factors that may be contributing to you injury. (lifestyle, nutritional status, etc.) The massage therapist will then develop a treatment plan with you to ensure you receive appropriate treatment to help you return, as much as possible, to your normal activities.
6. Do I have to remove all of my clothes?
No. Your comfort level as a client is the most important to all registered massage therapists, whether that is the context of the clothing you wear or the treatment you receive. Massage therapists can provide important treatment whether you elect to remove any, some or all of your clothing. All RMT’s are trained in proper draping procedures to ensure that your privacy is completely respected at all times during treatment. Your comfort level and ability to relax is paramount to effective treatment.
Registered massage therapists will also describe the techniques to be provided to ensure that you are comfortable with them. Your consent is sought before treatment begins. If you are uncomfortable your RMT wants you to let them know immediately, whether that discomfort involves the treatment, draping or any pain you may experience.
7. Is massage therapy covered under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)?
No. Massage therapy treatments are not covered under OHIP, regardless of whether treatment has been requested by a physician. Most progressive extended health insurance plans cover massage therapy when provided by a registered massage therapist. Please consult your extended health benefit plan.
8. Why do massage therapists charge HST?
Under the Federal Excise Tax Act, massage therapy is a service to which GST was applied. While massage therapists are considered health care practitioners under Ontario Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, massage therapy is not included in the definition of health services that are exempt from the application of the HST. The list of exemptions is controlled by the federal government and the federal minister of finance has made clear that the current policies governing exemptions will remain in place. A health profession can be exempted if it is regulated in five provinces or territories or if it is paid for in the health plans of three provinces. Massage therapy does not meet either of these conditions.