What is a Registered Massage Therapist?

Registered Massage Therapist
Massage Therapy

Have you ever wondered what the letters RMT mean, and why you would choose a registered massage therapist over an unregulated professional?

Section 3 of the Massage Therapy Act, 1991 states: “The practice of Massage Therapy is the assessment of the soft tissue and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissues and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, or relieve pain.”

The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario exists to regulate the profession of massage therapy and ensure you will get the best care possible.

Regulating Massage Therapists protects the public in several important ways:

  • It gives you a way to report concerns or complaints about a therapist
  • It ensures all massage therapists have met and continue to meet specific educational and professional qualifications.
  • It assures you that anyone using the protected title RMT (Registered Massage Therapist) and who appears on the College’s public register is someone who is committed to uphold these standards.

What exactly are these standards? To answer, let’s take a closer look at the CMTO’s standards of practice.

The first section of standards is called “Communications/Public Health,” and outlines how massage therapists must handle each of these elements of the therapeutic process:

  1. Preparing the treatment area
  2. Informing the client of fees and obtaining agreement to a fee schedule
  3. Washing your hands and any skin surface that will/has come in contact with the client
  4. Interviewing the client about his/her treatment goals
  5. Identifying and managing risk of outbreak of infectious diseases
  6. Obtaining, updating and recording the client’s health history
  7. Obtaining consent for treatment
  8. Assessing or re-assessing the client’s condition
  9. Determining if massage therapy treatment is indicated
  10. Explaining treatment plan to client
  11. Explaining to the client what to do before and after the session
  12. Draping the client
  13. Recommending self-care
  14. Establishing and updating the client’s health record
  15. Using protective equipment if needed (e.g., mask, gloves)
  16. Discharging a client

In addition, the College sets standards for specific massage therapist techniques, such as stroking, effleurage, myo-fascial trigger points, applying low-grade joint mobilization, hydrotherapy, manual lymphatic drainage, reflexology and many others.

Not all massage therapists will have the training required to perform all of these techniques. Massage therapists are responsible for ensuring that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform a technique safely.

The next time you book an appointment with a Registered Massage Therapist, you can have confidence that they are being held to a high set of standards, and that they have your best interests in mind.

Written by:

Domenic Jason Falvo, RMT
Hand & Stone Barrie

Domenic has been practicing massage therapy for over 18 years in all types of clinic and spa environments.  Having done so he has acquired and abundance of therapeutic skill sets incorporating deep tissue massage, shiatsu, acupressure, advanced joint mobilizations, remedial exercise and hydrotherapy into the ideally seasoned massage therapy experience.  Domenic also has training in clinical acupuncture, progressive facial manipulation and reflexology that is also fused into his treatment.

Domenic prefers to focus on the cause of underlying issues rather than treating the symptoms alone, which is proven more effective in the long run for client health.  Although treating all types of acute and chronic injuries is Domenic’s main focus, he is seamlessly able to perform general relaxation massage with ease.

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