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Let’s face it...there are a lot of people around making a lot of claims surrounding how they can help “save you from pain” and help “heal your injuries”. There is so much information at your fingertips when you start to just type the words “What is…” into google. So many suggestions pop up before you even have a chance to be specific about what it is that you want or need. In general I think that the access to information that the web has provided is amazing, but at times can be a bit overwhelming. Do you agree?? You want to be able to trust the people who are claiming that they are the experts in whatever it is that they are talking about. But how do you know?? In the field of massage therapy it is much the same...both on the internet and in person- a lot of people making a lot of claims that they can cure/fix/treat/prevent/etc., etc., etc.
What is Registered Massage Therapy?
Registered massage therapy is a type of treatment that focuses on rehabilitation- restoring function and relieving pain.
Registered massage therapists are health care professionals that use their hands and other tools to provide support and relief to injured or painful tissues.
They provide this hands on treatment based on an assessment of your specific injury, and based on anatomical knowledge of the body- how it functions and how it is all connected.
They can provide you with a home self care program that supports the treatment that they are offering, and offer you advice on how to maintain your health at home.
Registered massage therapists, also commonly known as RMT’s can be effective in the treatment and management of many conditions and disorders. They work on the muscles, nervous system and circulatory system.
Why is the “Registered” part of Registered Massage Therapy Important?
Very simply the “registered” part of a “registered massage therapist’s title tells you that you can trust their knowledge, background and training. In order to use the title of a “registered massage therapist” they have to:
- Attend and completed their training at a certified school of massage therapy
- Pass exams in which they have to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding
- Complete continuing education courses each year that they wish to remain a registered massage therapist.
- Apply and maintain good standing with their college- i.e. their governing body that ensures they are maintaining their training and practicing ethically.
- In BC RMTs are governed by the College of Massage Therapists of BC.
- This governing body is responsible for making sure that RMTs are staying up to date with their continuing education and practicing to the standards that are set out by the college. Ultimately they ensure that the quality and standard of care is adhered to by anyone using the “Registered Massage Therapist” title.
- Insurance Coverage
If you have extended health benefits that you can access, often massage therapy is one of the types of treatments that is covered. In order to have your visit to your massage therapist covered however, it must be a registered massage therapist, in good standing with the College to qualify.
Other insurance bodies such as the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) (for motor vehicle accident related injuries) and WorkSafeBC (for workplace accident related injuries) will only approve and pay for sessions that are provided by a registered massage therapist.
The Department of Veterans Affairs and the RCMP also have similar regulations.
4 Tips and Reminders to know that you are choosing a Registered Massage Therapist
- The College of Massage Therapists will provide a registration/practitioner number to each member in good standing. You should be able to ask your practitioner for this and they must provide it for you when they are writing their receipts.
- Registered Massage Therapists have graduated from an accredited school and have written exams to enable them to use their title. They should have their diplomas visible in their office or should be able to provide it to you.
- Registered massage therapists must carry liability insurance in order to work under the given title.
- In BC, you should be able to see this symbol posted somewhere in the workplace of a Registered Massage Therapist.
When you’re in pain, you just want to be out of it right?
Just remember to take that little bit of extra time to ensure you are seeking out help and advice from someone credible.
Both the training required and the rules and regulations that registered massage therapists have to abide by in their practices can help you feel comfortable placing your trust and health in their hands.
If you’ve never been to a registered massage therapist before, check out this quick 3 minute video on what to expect on your first visit.