Hands on: massage providers explained

Photo: wikimediacommons.org

Several people have recently asked me about the difference between certified and registered massage providers. They have also asked if a registered massage therapist (RMT) is required to “report” someone who is doing massage who is not an RMT.

I hope the following clarification will help to answer these questions.

For starters, we are truly fortunate to have a wide range of massage providers doing good work in our area.

  1. There are some people with little or no formal training who offer massage on a casual basis.
  2. People at the next level have certification. This involves hundreds of hours of training and practice in various forms of “relaxation massage”. Examples include estheticians and chair massage practitioners. They are trained in standards of professional practice.
  3. People with an in-depth massage education (a minimum of 2,200 hours of training and practice) are registered with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO). They are known as Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) or simply Massage Therapists (MTs). They are qualified to do “massage therapy”. These practitioners are guided by standards of professional practice and a code of conduct, and are governed by the CMTO.

An RMT would report a practitioner to the CMTO if they:

  • claimed to be registered but they were not, or
  • claimed to be doing massage therapy, not relaxation massage.

Otherwise, all massage providers have the right to do the work for which they have been trained.

About the author: Brian Tyrrell, RMT, is a registered massage therapist in the Valley. This is his 23rd year of practice in Barry’s Bay.


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