About Massage Therapy
Of all the technological innovations in the world the human body is by far the most complex and amazing. While the body can absorb much stress and abuse, like all finely tuned machines it takes very little to stop it from performing at peak operating levels.
In order to keep functioning, the body will often make many slight adjustments long before we actually recognize that there is a problem. This is where massage therapy comes into play.
A massage at the hands of a trained professional can help the body to readjust itself back to optimum levels of performance.
Human touch has always been the first line of defence when we experience pain or injury. As children we quickly learned that it was often our parent’s touch or a loving kiss that made all our hurts disappear. In time, our first reaction to an injury is to rub it to make it feel better.
Throughout the ages and all around the world massage techniques have been developed to treat an array of aches and pains, injuries, and specific conditions. Today, even with the incredible advancement of medical technology and scientific discoveries, massage continues to hold an important role in the health care and pain relief for many people.
In the early 1990’s, the Government of Ontario recognized both the growing role of massage as a part of the health care system and the need to regulate its practitioners. The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) was established under both the Massage Therapy Act and the Regulated Health Professions Act to establish safe guidelines and practices for health related massage therapy.
The primary goal of the CMTO is to ensure the public’s safety. This is done by working with recognized schools of massage therapy and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to establish a comprehensive and consistent curriculum for Massage Therapy schools. The intense training programs are 18 months (without a break) to three years in length.
After graduating from a Massage Therapy program, students must then pass an independent examination process administered by the CMTO. Once registered, Massage Therapists must continually update their skills and knowledge through approved courses. In addition, RMTs are also subject to regular assessments of their practice by the CMTO.
If any member of the public has a concern or issue about an RMT, the CMTO has a complaints process in place to investigate, discipline, and / or suspend therapists accused of misconduct. The CMTO and its Registered Massage Therapists are continually working to maintain your trust and safety.
The Scope of Practice
Like all medical professionals, Registered Massage Therapists have a specific scope of practice. For them it is the assessment of the soft tissues and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of soft tissues and joints. RMT’s have the goal to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment your physical function or to relieve your pain.
Massage is not just for relaxation and stress reduction. It can be an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions such as,
- Back and neck pain,
- Sinus Problems
- Tension Headaches and some forms of Migraines,
- Rounded Shoulders,
- Carpal Tunnel, Pronator Teres, and Thoracic Outlet Syndromes
- Bursitis, Sprains, and muscle spasms and scarring,
- Muscle imbalances.
- Problems with the Hip and Sacrum,
- Rheumatoid and Osteo Arthritis,
- Knee injuries such as patella femoral syndrome,
- Shin splints,
- Plantar Fasciitis to name just a few.
If you have any concerns about whether Massage Therapy is right for you please ask your physician or chiropractor.
From start to finish massage therapy is a team effort between you, your RMT and your other health care professionals.
To ensure maximum results it is advised that you follow the advice and recommended exercise and stretching regimes provided by your RMT.
Health Care Benefits
In the past ten to fifteen years, Insurance companies have also recognized that massage therapy can be an effective tool in reducing expensive and painful health problems. As a result, most insurance companies not only offer massage as part of their coverage but have continually increased their available annual limits.
It is important to note that most Insurance Companies will only pay for massages provided by a Registered Massage Therapist. Claims are usually made using a receipt that includes the RMTs registration number.
Ironically, many people do not take advantage of this portion of their health care benefits and miss out on getting regular massage treatments.
Before getting a massage treatment, it is advisable to check with your insurance company to learn the process you need to follow to be eligible to have your massage covered by your benefit program. Some policies require that you get a referral from your doctor first.