(taken from rmtao.com)
What Is Massage Therapy?
Massage Therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage therapy helps alleviate the soft tissue discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, 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.
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 many specific problems, including:
- Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis
- Stress relief and associated conditions
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle and related conditions such as spasms, strains and sprains
- Back pain
- Repetitive strain injury
- Circulatory and Respiratory problems
- Pregnancy and labour discomfort
- Post-injury and post surgical rehabilitation
Can anyone receive massage therapy?
Yes, 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. When booking your first consultation, be sure that the Massage Therapist is the right choice for you.
Is massage therapy a regulated health profession?
The practice of massage therapy is regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) and is therefore 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.
Alternatively, look for someone who displays the logo of the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario. All RMTAO members must maintain their registration with the CMTO in order to be members.
Do I have to remove all my clothing for massage therapy?
No. Your comfort as a client is of the utmost 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.
How often should I have massage therapy?
Some people believe that one treatment is enough; however, massage therapy is most beneficial in acute conditions when used over a series of treatments and then followed up with maintenance or preventive treatments.
Through mutual discussion, your Massage Therapist can help you establish a program which fits your physical needs and lifestyle. Your Massage Therapist is most interested in your recovery and in the maintenance of your health. Any recommendation for further treatment is being made by a qualified health professional and is made with your utmost care in mind.
What happens 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 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.
Is massage therapy covered under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)?
No. Massage therapy treatments are not covered under OHIP, regardless of whether or not the treatments are required by a physician.
Most progressive extended health benefit plans do cover massage therapy treatments when provided by a Registered Massage Therapist and most do not require a physician’s order to do so, although some do have that requirement. Contact your employer for more information.
Is Massage Therapy covered by my Health Insurance plan?
Most progressive extended health insurance plans cover massage therapy treatments when provided by a Registered Massage Therapist. Most do not require a physician’s order for treatments, although a few may still have this requirement. Most plans require that the covered individual pay for the treatment and submit the expense for reimbursement. Contact your employer for more information.
Most Massage Therapists will require payment upon the provision of services. As most are operating as an independent practitioner, they are not in a position to provide credit, that is, wait until payment is received under extended health plans, before receiving payment. Discuss this with your Massage Therapist before treatment.
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.
How can I pay for massage therapy?
Many people pay for massage therapy through an insurance plan. When paying through an insurance plan, some massage therapists will bill directly while others will require payment from the client who then submits the claim to their insurance provider. Ask your Massage Therapist prior to initiating treatment.
Some insurance plans may require a physician’s referral prior to the start of massage therapy treatments while others allow treatment without referrals. Most plans have a maximum amount available.
The following is a summary of reimbursement options available:
- Employer Sponsored Extended Health Insurance Plans, which may be administered by private companies
- Consumer Purchased Extended Health Insurance Plans
- Veterans Affairs Canada, in the case of war veterans
- Private Automobile Insurance Companies, in the case of clients who are victims of motor vehicle accidents (under authority of the Auto Insurance Rate Stability Act, 1996)
- The Work Place Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), in the case of workers injured on a work site (under the authority of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997)
- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (for members of the RCMP)
- Transportation to a massage therapy office may also be reimbursed to persons who qualify under the Ontario Disability Support Programme.