Frequently asked questions
What is Registered Massage Therapy?
Registered Massage Therapy is a regulated profession which is governed by the College of Massage Therapists of BC (CMTBC). RMTs have to follow certain regulations regarding confidentiality as well as the general health care laws of BC. Bylaws and standards of ethics are put in place by our governing body, as well as requirements to maintain registration. These standards are all very similar between Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, and other regulated professionals. Please follow the link to read more about the CMTBC and our regulations. https://www.cmtbc.ca/law-standards/health-professions-act-regulations/
RMTs perform an assessment of soft tissue and joints to be able to provide a safe and effective treatment to help with physical dysfunction. This includes injury, pain, soft tissue disorders, and joint pathologies. Techniques used often encompass manual massage, joint mobilizations, stretching, exercises, and suggestions to modify biomechanics throughout day to day life. For more questions, please see the following site. https://www.cmtbc.ca/registrants/resources-for-registrants/scope-of-practice/
Is it normal to be sore after a massage?
Yes, it is normal, but not common!
Deeper pressure during a massage can be beneficial to access different tissues and to release certain areas. Ideally, we as therapists want to warm up the tissue before using a heavy pressure and to flush the area afterwards to try to prevent soreness. However, everyone's body reacts differently to massage. It is possible that a manual technique could trigger a spasm, bruise fragile areas, exasterbate congestion, etc., but this is never the intention, of course.
It is crucial to communicate with your therapist while they work and let them know if something is hurting or feels especially intense. A mild soreness or slight amount of achiness after a massage is not necessarily reason for concern, but if you are incapacitated or in moderate to severe discomfort, please reach out to your Massage Therapist. They should have suggestions to ease the discomfort or at least be able to offer some insight into what the problem might be.
How often should I come for massage?
This varies greatly depending on the reason for seeking massage.
Some find a monthly massage to de-stress and relax very beneficial, while others have a specific issue they wish to work on. The latter requires a specific assessment and discussion about a treatment plan. Some individuals could see benefits from seeing an RMT once or twice a week.
Where can I learn more about RMT?
The governing body of Massage Therapists is the CMTBC, and their website is www.cmtbc.ca and they deal with legislature and complaints.
The professional association for Massage Therapists of BC is the RMTBC and they deal with public education and resources for RMTs. Their website is www.rmtbc.ca.
How will I be covered on the table?
Disrobe to whatever level you're comfortable with. Most people will keep their underwear on under the sheets, while others choose to remove all of their layers. It is also normal to stay entirely clothed.
During the entire massage, you will be covered under sheets and often a blanket. Massage Therapists will undrape an area of the body before treating it, such as an arm or leg, and then re-cover that area once complete. If you aren't comfortable having an area uncovered, please let your therapist know! We are always happy to accommodate.
What should I wear to a massage?
Wear whatever is comfortable. You can always undress (or stay dressed) to whatever level you are most comfortable with after the RMT has left the room, then he or she will have you lay down between the sheets on the table before returning to begin the treatment.
Occasionally, if you wish to work on an area in the upper inner leg or glutes, your therapist will ask that you bring athletic shorts; this allows for us to work without the sheets and to treat through the shorts instead, which can be more time efficient in some cases.
If you're unsure, please call the clinic and ask. Most places are more than happy to answer any questions you might have.
What can Massage Therapy help with?
All sorts of things! From sports injuries to pregnancy related issues, massage can help the body repair damaged tissue and ease sensitivity and discomfort. See a brief list below of common issues massage can be quite effective with:
- Back and body aches
- Nerve compressions
- Joint pathologies
- Muscle soreness
- Poor circulation
- Scar tissue and recovery post-surgery
- Injury prevention
- Biomechanical rehabilitation
- Systemic conditions such as diabetes, chronic bronchitis, emphesema, paralysis...
...and much much more. Please send me a message if you have a question!
Does my extended health care plan cover massage?
Most plans do, but you will have to check with your plan specifically. It can be as high as 100% of the cost or instead a dollar amount towards each visit.
Clinics will either direct bill your insurance company (depending on which insurance company you're with) so you won't need to pay much during your visit, if at all, or you will be given a receipt to send to your insurance company for a refund of the allotted amount.
Do I need a referral to see an RMT?
No, but medical doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other health care professionals will often refer to RMTs.
Extended health care plans usually have an allotted amount for massage benefits and you can simply book in with any RMT to start claiming them. In some cases, some insurance plans require a doctor to refer you to physiotherapy or massage therapy in order to start using those benefits, but these stipulations are less common.
Massage and ICBC
With the new rules from ICBC, they are automatically approving 12 massage visits within the first 12 weeks after an accident, covering $80 per treatment booked. You do not need a referral to take advantage of these treatments. That means that after you call the insurance company when you get in an accident, the next call you should make is to your Massage Therapist. We just need your ICBC case number.
Some clinics have reduced the duration of treatments for ICBC patients so the $80 covers the entirety of the treatment, while others are keeping their regular treatment durations and rates but allowing patients to pay the difference. For example, if a clinic charges $110/hr, you would pay $30 for that appointment. Those $30 can then be billed through any medical benefits you may have to further reduce the cost.