What is a Registered Massage Therapist?
In Ontario the titles "massage therapist" and "registered massage therapist" are protected and it is illegal for someone who is not registered with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) to use them. A registered massage therapist (RMT) is someone who has studied massage therapy (which includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, physical assessment, neurology, treatments, ethics, and other subjects) at an educational institution recognized by the Government of Ontario, and has successfully completed a written and practical examination from the CMTO in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act and the Massage Therapy Act. RMTs must maintain their registration with the CMTO by participating in continuing education and a Quality Assurance Program that assists in the maintenance of high professional standards and quality care of their clients. When looking for a massage therapist, it's always a good idea to check cmto.com to find a practitioner that is registered and in good standing.
What should I expect at my first appointment?
I would recommend coming 5 minutes before your scheduled time in order to fill out a health history and consent form. As per the Regulated Health Professions Act, this information is completely confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone without your consent. After you have filled out the initial paperwork, we will take about 10 minutes to go through it together, discuss why you have come for treatments and what you would like to focus on during your treatment, perform any necessary orthopedic assessments, and determine whether massage is safe and appropriate for you. The initial paperwork only needs to be filled out at your first appointment and it is reviewed annually.
What should I wear to the appointment?
Try to wear comfortable clothing to the appointment so that if any assessments need to be done, you can move easily.
Do I have to get undressed for my treatment?
Quite simply, no. This is your treatment and you don't HAVE to do anything. You will never be expected to do something that you are uncomfortable with. During your first visit I will tell you that you can get undressed to your comfort level. Skin-on-skin contact allows for the most effective treatment, however, it is my job to work within your comfort zone. If you do choose to get undressed, you will always be covered by a sheet and a blanket. Only the part of your body that I am working on will be undraped.
What if I don't like the massage or I want to stop the treatment?
Sometimes, massage may not feel awesome. You may be having a bad day and being touched just doesn't feel great, you may have a repressed trauma that emerges during treatment, you may not be feeling well, or you may not be clicking with your massage therapist's style. Whatever the reason, you have the right to stop or modify the treatment at any time. Open communication is always appreciated and helpful so that your massage therapist has a chance to fix what you aren't enjoying and you can get the most out of your visit and enjoy it!
Will massage therapy hurt/will I be sore after?
Generally, massage therapy should feel good but, depending on your body, what is being treated, and your individual pain threshold, massage can sometimes be uncomfortable. It should, however, never be painful. Throughout the treatment we will use a pain scale of 0-10 (0 being no pain, and 10 is hospitalization) and we don't ever want to be above a 6-7. Another good way to think about things is if you are having a hard time breathing through the treatment, the pressure is too much. It's important to stay out of the "pain" zone because when the body experiences pain, it instinctively tenses against it and this creates the opposite effect of what massage is meant to be doing. Everyone's pain tolerance is different (and it can change from treatment to treatment) so it is important that we communicate throughout the treatment. Some clients do find that they are a little bit sore for a day or two after their treatment and this is completely normal, especially if it's your first visit ever or your first visit in a very long time. Applying heat to the area and making sure you stay hydrated can help the symptoms subside. Take note of how you feel after the treatment so we can discuss it at your next appointment.
Do you offer deep tissue treatments?
I find that when most people ask about "deep tissue" treatments what they actually mean is "deep pressure". The phrase is ambiguous as everyone's perception of pressure is different, and there are many different techniques that can be used to access deeper tissues and muscles without using just shear force. I offer many different types of pressure from light to deep and use multiple techniques to access the deeper tissues gently. Together we will find the pressure range and treatment style that works best for you.
How often should I come for a massage?
How often you come depends on the effects you are looking to achieve, the reason you are coming for massage, and how much self-care you are willing to do between treatments.
If you are seeking massage for an injury or rehabilitation scenario (think tendonitis or a sprain), 1-2 half hour treatments a week for 3-4 weeks is advisable and ensures that the condition is being treated regularly and changes are being made to correct it. Once the condition begins improving, the time between treatments can be stretched out to more of a maintenance plan.
For general maintenance/preventative massage (think: you sit at a desk all day or you have a long commute to work) most people find that a 60 minute treatment every 4-6 weeks is beneficial but some people find that they need to come more frequently. It all depends on the amount of time that you sit at a desk or in a vehicle compared to the amount of time spent correcting that posture through massage, or stretching and strengthening exercises on your own time.
Please keep in mind that every body is different and the above suggestions are general. For a treatment plan specific to you, please contact me directly.
Can kids get massages?
With growing pains, the increasing levels of anxiety, tech usage, and athletic training regimens, massage therapy is a great idea for children. Some of the benefits of massage therapy for kids include enhanced body image, stress reduction, improved muscle tone, pain reduction, improved sleep, decreased aversion to touch (for kids with Autism and other special needs), and learning to advocate for their health.
Depending on the child, he or she may feel more comfortable with their parent coming into the treatment room with them, and that is certainly encouraged. With massage therapy, there is no minimum age of consent. As long as the patient can understand the information given, they can consent to treatment.
When choosing an appointment length, take the child's age and size into consideration. For example, a small 5 year old may only have the interest/attention span to have a 15-30 minute treatment and in that time they could still receive a full body treatment.
If you have any other questions regarding pediatric massage, please contact me directly.
Can I still get a massage when I'm pregnant?
Yes! Massage is great during pregnancy. Studies are supporting that massage therapy during pregnancy has been shown to help with the following:
improve maternal mood
decrease depression and anxiety
decrease stress hormones
decrease obstetrical complications
improve neonatal health and development.
Some people are concerned that prenatal massage may be dangerous but massage therapists are professionally trained to work with you to develop an effective and safe treatment plan throughout pregnancy that will compliment the care you are receiving from your doctor or midwife. There are special ergonomic cushions and supports, and positioning and pillowing techniques to ensure your comfort and safety during the treatment. Good communication with your RMT will result in the most beneficial and rewarding prenatal massage.
Do you give receipts for me to submit to my insurance provider?
At the end of each treatment, upon payment, you will receive an official receipt to submit to your insurance provider or to keep for your income tax. Please note that receipts will only be issued at the time of payment and are only issued in the name of the person receiving the treatment. Receipts cannot be post- or back-dated.
What payment methods do you accept?
Debit, Visa, Mastercard, E-transfer, and cash are accepted methods of payment.
Can I chat/be quiet during my massage?
Your massage is your time, so, it's totally up to you whether you would like to chat or have a quiet treatment. If you'd like to be chatty, please be mindful of your voice level so as to not disturb the other treatments going on around you as well as to ensure your privacy. If you would like a quiet treatment, please note that depending on what is being treated I may need to check in periodically for comfort/pressure levels.
What is your cancellation policy? What if I am late for my treatment?
When you book a massage therapy appointment, that time is specifically held for you. I kindly ask that you provide me with 24 hours notice to cancel your appointment. If you need to cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours notice, I respectfully reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee. This fee also applies if you do not show up to your scheduled appointment time. The fee may be waived (to be determined on an individual basis) as I do understand that life happens and sometimes unavoidable circumstances come up.
If you are arriving late to your appointment, you will only be able to receive the remaining time in your treatment as I am often booked back to back. Please note that the full treatment fee will apply.
Do you do MVA/OCF 18 or WSIB claims and treatments?
Although I currently do not deal with HCAI or WSIB, if you are looking for a MVA or WSIB treatment plan, I can help you locate another therapist in the area who does.