What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body including, muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and joints. It is a clinically-oriented healthcare option that helps alleviate the discomfort associated with every day and occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions.
Massage therapy is a regulated health profession in Ontario and as such, massage therapy should be performed by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT).
What does it mean to be a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) in Ontario?
A Registered Massage Therapist is an individual who has:
- Completed competency-based education at educational institutions recognized 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 have 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 them in the maintenance of high professional standards and quality care of their 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.
Who can receive Massage Therapy treatment?
Massage Therapy is appropriate for individuals of all ages, including infants, children, and the elderly; however, there are some conditions for which massage therapy is not appropriate. A qualified Massage Therapist (RMT or MT) is trained to recognize these cases.
Many Massage Therapists treat a variety of diseases and disorders while other Massage Therapists concentrate on certain conditions (fibromyalgia) or groups of people such as athletes, performers, women during pregnancy (including labour and delivery), infants and children.
What happens on the first visit?
Before or 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, and consider other factors that may be contributing to your injury (lifestyle, nutritional status, etc.). The Massage Therapist will then develop a treatment plan with you to ensure you receive appropriate treatment that will help you return, as much as possible, to your normal activities.
Does my Insurance or OHIP cover Massage Therapy?
OHIP does not cover massage therapy.
Many extended health benefit plans do.
Refer to your insurance handbook, speak to your human resources department, or call your insurer directly. Have your Group and Member ID numbers handy. You may want to ask them the following questions;
- How much coverage do I have, if any?
- Is there a deductible? Is it per calendar year (i.e.: January – December)?
- Is there a maximum amount per visit?
- Must I obtain a doctor’s note before receiving massage in order to submit a claim for benefits?
Direct billing to Blue Cross is available for our Veteran Affairs Canada and RCMP clientele.
We do not direct bill to any other insurance provider at this time.
Do I need a Doctor’s note?
Your massage therapist does not require a doctor’s note to provide you with assessment & treatment.
If your Doctor, or other health care practitioner, has provided you with a referral note, great! Please share a copy with your Massage Therapist. The information will be considered in your Massage Therapy assessment and treatment plan, and the document will be stored privately in your file.
Your insurance provider may require you to have a doctor’s note in order for them to reimburse you under your extended benefits plan. Check your insurance plan to see if they require a note from your doctor.
How long should my appointment be?
For your first appointment, we recommend one hour. A full hour will give your therapist time to:
- Perform any assessment or testing that may be necessary.
- Determine which areas require more focused work.
- Make recommendations for your Treatment Plan.
A full-body massage generally takes one hour. On occasion a shorter session may be suggested to suit a client’s needs and treat a specific area. It is a good idea to stick with the treatment plan that you and your therapist have agreed upon so you can achieve the maximum benefit from treatment.
What do I wear during my treatment?
Your comfort as a client is of the utmost importance to all Registered Massage Therapists, whether that is in 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 RMTs are trained in proper draping procedures to ensure that your privacy is completely respected at all times during treatment. Your comfort and ability to relax is paramount to effective treatment.
Registered Massage Therapists will also describe the treatments to be provided to ensure that you are comfortable with them. Your consent is sought before treatment is provided. 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.
Be sure and discuss the most effective means of treatment with your Massage Therapist.
Does massage therapy hurt?
As with many treatments affecting the soft tissue, there are times when massage therapy can cause some light discomfort but it is not harmful. Discomfort usually diminishes and no technique of this nature is used without the therapist first discussing it with the client and obtaining your permission. A comfort scale will be established and the therapist will work to the client’s tolerance level. The client can stop or change the treatment at any time and Massage therapists will modify their techniques to meet their client’s needs. Communication is key.
You can feel a bit sore after a deep tissue massage. In most cases there is no discomfort after the treatment, but it does happen upon occasion. This reaction is completely normal, and is usually caused because your muscles are not used to being manipulated and worked on. This discomfort can last 1-2 days, and is similar to the feeling you get after exercising. The more often you receive massage therapy, the less you will have this post massage discomfort. This is because your tissues will get used to being manipulated, and will relax much easier.
What is your cancellation Policy?
We understand that life has its unforeseen circumstances. If you do need to cancel your appointment, please allow as much time as possible so that other clients may benefit from being treated, and our therapist can be compensated for their time. A minimum of 24 hours’ notice is required. If you do not attend your scheduled appointment, or if there is insufficient notice of a cancellation , you will be responsible to pay the full fee.
What is your late Policy?
If your arrival is delayed, we will make every effort to accommodate you but this may not always possible. Service time will be shortened to avoid delays for other clients and you will be charged at full-time value.
Will my Massage Therapist keep my information private?
As regulated health professionals, Massage Therapists are required as a part of the standards set by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario to maintain the information you provide, both verbally and in written form, in the strictest of confidence.
In addition, Registered Massage Therapists are covered by Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004. As a result, information that is collected about clients may be collected only with consent, may only be disclosed with consent or to your immediate health providers (circle of care), and must be secured and maintained. Any concerns about the requirements of this legislation or about whether a Registered Massage Therapist breached the requirements of the Act may be addressed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.