Registered Massage Therapists are the consummate manual therapists. With a comprehensive 2200 hour course of study followed by certification by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (Massage Therapy is provincially regulated), RMTs have training in anatomy, physiology, orthopedic assessment and treatment as well as a host of manual treatment modalities.
Having qualified as a Registered Massage Therapist in 1997, I have been in private practice ever since and have taught at various Massage Therapy Colleges. At present I am faculty at Centennial College ( https://www.centennialcollege.ca) in their Massage Therapy program. There is a wealth of experience from my role as an educator and clinician in my private practice.
The hands of the Massage Therapist are among the most versatile in the health care system. Being able to detect nuances in the tissue that indicate the tissue’s status, the Massage Therapist can employ these same tactile skills to initiate complete healing. Certainly, a relaxing massage is the specialty of the RMT, however, many therapists choose to employ their skills of touch in a clinical setting. This is true of me, and in combination with my training in Athletic Therapy (I was the 5th person in Canada to combine these designations), I blend the best of both in my work.
As with Athletic Therapy, you can expect a detailed history on the first visit followed by a comprehensive orthopedic assessment. Those choosing a relaxation massage with have a shortened intake process, but I will need to ascertain your needs regardless. This is essential to determine your precise needs and how to proceed with the massage. Massage itself is personalized by the patient’s preferences, body regions to be focused on, the depth of pressure, the tempo and even the length of the massage.
Being integrally familiar with the individualized nature of tissue (this varies depending on the client’s activity level, age, body area, lifestyle and even their mental state), the massage itself will be adjusted accordingly. In addition to massage, there are certain manual techniques I may especially choose to include or exclude, depending on the client’s needs. Some are more invasive and possibly have an element of discomfort (trigger point pressure, myofascial work), while others are profoundly subtle and even relaxing (Cranial Sacral therapy, Visceral Manipulation, Lymph Drainage). All have their advantages and an appropriate time for inclusion in the treatment.
In a general sense the purpose of massage therapy is to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function or relieve pain. It is a clinically-oriented healthcare option that relieves an array of discomforts stemming from stress, muscular overuse, injury and many chronic pain syndromes. More specifically, as RMTs evolve as professionals, they develop specialties and incorporate more manual techniques to augment their treatment skills. These advanced techniques are part of professional development which one learns, adapts and also, in my instance, also develop and teach.
My clients are assured of being in the hands (figuratively and literally) of an experienced and dedicated massage therapy professional.
Registered Massage Therapists in Ontario are certified and regulated by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario. (CMTO)