Frequently Asked Questions About Massage Therapy
Why do RMT's Charge HST?
Under the federal Excise Tax Act, 2009, massage therapy is a service to which HST was applied. While massage therapists are considered health care practitioners under Ontario Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, massage therapy is not included in the definition of health services that are exempt from the application of the HST, as we did not meet the requirements to do so in 1991 when the bill was drafted. Our profession has recently, 2018, tentatively met the requirements to petition for HST exemption, however this process will take several years before RMT's across Canada will become HST exempt.
Are RMT treatments covered by OHIP?
While an RMT is a regulated health professional, their services are not currently being covered by OHIP. Instead coverage is through private insurance companies such as, Sunlife Insurance Group.
What is a Registered Massage Therapist?
In the province of Ontario, a Registered Massage Therapist is a regulated health care provider. Who had to complete a post secondary program in which a set curriculum of; skills, physiology, pathophysiology, anatomy, neurology, special orthopedic tests. And upon completing the program, successfully passed a written and practical regulatory exam. After passing the exams, the therapist must remain in good standing with the College by paying regulatory fees, and completing continuing educational units. Furthermore, they must remain in good legal standing with the provincial and federal government. All of which is regulated and overseen by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario. A RMT's standing and work location is public information on the CMTO's website. As a regulated health care provider they must meet requirements of all other health care providers such as; Regulated Health Professions Act, PIPEDA, and PHIPA. As well as the specialized Massage Therapy Act.
The terms RMT and MT are protected titles, and as such can only be used by those in current good standing with the CMTO in Ontario. To ensure transparency with patients, and they are aware of what type of treatment they are about to receive, and to ensure the protection of patients, so that techniques which could be potentially harmful techniques when used without proper education are not performed on unsuspecting patients.
What are the benefits of Massage Therapy?
The benefits of regular use of massage therapy include; improved circulation, decreased anxiety/depression, reduced muscle pain reduction and sometime elimination, improvement of joint mobility and improvement of lymphatic drainage.
The following conditions is a short list of ones that can have a positive response from massage therapy in a addition to traditional treatment options(full list available in a brochure at the Beith RMT);
Anxiety and depression
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Headaches and Migraines (some types)
Muscle Tension and Spasms
Post Surgical Rehabilitation
Stress and Stress Related Conditions
How Often Should I receive Treatments from a Massage Therapist?
The frequency of treatments will be determined by the type and seriousness of conditions that the patient is receiving treatments for. At your appointment with your massage therapist they will give you a suggested guideline of a treatment plan which will include; treatment frequency, length of treatment appointments, areas to be treated in the appointments, appropriate homecare for the treatment of the conditions and approximately how many treatments the patient should expect for proper treatment of the conditions.
What Areas of my Body Will the Massage Therapist Touch?
Areas to be touched during treatment and during assessments by your massage therapist will not only be indicated by the condition which is being treated but also will need the patient's (your) consent prior to being touched or assessed. This means if you do not want an area suggested by the RMT to be worked on touched by them, then simply tell them so and it will not be included in the treatment or assessment. If it is an areas that would benefit your overall condition to be included then the massage therapist will explain this and the consequences of it not being included. However, if you still do not want it included then it will not be.
You will be asked for consent to treat any area before each appointment, meaning if you left out one area in a previous treatment such as feet, and want them included in today's appointment then give the RMT your consent for the area to be included in today's treatment. In addition just because consent was given in the previous appointment to treat an area, does not mean it has to be included in the next appointment. For instance if arms where included in the previous appointment but you do not want them included in the next appointment when the RMT asks for consent for areas to be treated in that appointment do not consent to treatment of arms, and they will not be included.
Please note; some areas are considered to be sensitive areas on many individuals and as such will require express written consent before either assessment or treatment. These include; upper thigh, upper inner thigh, glutes and chest wall.
Do I Have to Remove All of My Clothing for my Massage Treatment?
The short answer is no, you do not have to remove any articles of clothing that you do not want to remove. After going through your assessment for the treatment begins the RMT will go over what items of clothing would ideally be removed for the treatment. For instance for a treatment of head, neck and shoulders for a man clothing removal would include the shirt and any necklaces for better skin contact and gliding which most patients find more comfortable as apposed to having the shirt dragging on their skin as the therapist works through it. However, if the patient does not want to remove their shirt for the treatment then their therapist will offer an modification such as treatment through the shirt but removal of the necklace to prevent chocking or damage to the chain. This is true of all areas which can be treated by massage therapy and all articles of clothing including religious garments.
The purpose of the massage therapy treatment is to provide both a relaxing and a restorative form of hands on treatment. If the patient is not comfortable during the treatment then they will not relax and the effectiveness of the treatment will be reduced. All massage therapy treatments are patient centered and as such will be modified when possible to provide the most relaxing and still effective treatment for the patient.
Moreover, just because the patient removed an article of clothing in past appointment does not mean that they are obligated to remove it in any future appointments.
Is Talking With My Therapist During My Appointment Okay?
As with other regulated health care providers what is said to your RMT during your treatment is completely confidential, and can not be repeated except in requirements by law. Some patients find that talking with their therapist during their appointment can help them relax and deal with with any anxiety that they are having during the treatment. This is normal and perfectly acceptable behavior during the treatment. Conversation topics will be kept within appropriate boundaries by the therapist and what they are comfortable discussing, especially about themselves or more complicated psychological concerns for which the RMT does not have additional training in. However, talking during the treatment is not required at all, some patients prefer an quite and silent treatment, which is also perfectly acceptable.
Common interruptions by your RMT during your appointment include; instructing when and how far the patient to turn onto their back or side, discovery of a condition relevant finding during the treatment that was forgotten to be disclosed during the assessment stage of the appointment, or checking in on the patient's pain level as a response to pressure used or techniques used during the treatment. No other conversations will be started by the therapist during the treatment. However, questions asked of the therapist by the patient will be answered during the treatment.
What Will My Massage Therapist Do With My Information?
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. This information will be kept by the therapist for a period of ten (10) years after the patient's last appointment with that clinic, even if the patient has died or was discharged from care.
How Can I Find a Registered Massage Therapist?
You are currently on the website of a centre where two work. However, if you are looking for someone else who has moved away and would prefer to see them all that you need is their; first name, last name and their city (province will also work) and so long as they are in Ontario still and actively registered you can find them again.
To do so visit: and follow the prompts and the site will tell you all of their current business contact information. Why is this possible? Because in Ontario Massage Therapists are regulated by a sole body, the CMTO, with which we have to keep our contact information up to date and this information is public knowledge if you know where to look. Even better news? All regulated health care professionals in Ontario have the same policies with their governing body/College. So you the patient can quickly track down your last; doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor and more.