Massage Therapy is an effective approach to pain management and rehabilitation. RMTs are effective in treating and providing relief for a wide range of conditions such as migraine headaches, tendonitis, arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, sports injuries, as well as many other common conditions related to soft tissue and joint dysfunction.
Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) in BC are among the most educated and highly trained professionals in the world. To become an RMT in this province, students must complete at least 3,000 hours of training at an accredited college. This can be compared to a university bachelor degree which typically averages 1,500 hours over four years.
Standard educational requirements include comprehensive studies in health sciences such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology and neuroanatomy. Other studies include clinical sciences such as manual skills, orthopedics, remedial exercise, hydrotherapy and patient education. The management of chronic diseases, injuries and the effects of long-term stress are also studied extensively.
A Regulated Health Care Profession
Massage therapy in BC has been a regulated health care profession since 1946 and is legislated by the government under the BC Health Profession Act. In 2001, the Health Professions Council (HPC) accepted a revised scope of practice definition proposed by the College of Massage Therapists of BC (CMTBC), the professions regulatory body. The proposed definition reads:
“The practice of massage therapy is the assessment of soft tissue and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of dysfunction, injury, pain and physical disorders of the soft tissues and joints by manual and physical methods to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function to relieve pain and promote health.”
British Columbians can be sure that they are receiving the highest quality of care available because RMTs in BC are governed by the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC) – the profession’s equivalent to the College of Physicians and Surgeons – the regulatory body for all RMTs in BC. The CMTBC ensures that the public receives safe and ethical care by establishing and enforcing standards of education, qualifications and the quality of practice for all RMTs.
Over the past decade, there has been a significant rise in the demand for massage therapy in B.C. This can be attributed to higher educational standards, research studies showing the efficacy of massage therapy, and an overall increase in public demand for non-surgical and drug-free treatment options.
In British Columbia, over 75 percent of medical physicians regularly refer their patients to a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) – and they make these referrals because massage therapy is both accessible and effective in the treatment of their patients’ conditions. Today, RMTs use a blend of modern science and ancient philosophies, utilizing specific techniques and modalities to treat many conditions that may include, but are not limited to: (see Table 1 below).
Massage therapy is also remarkably effective when used as part of a preventive care program. Some examples of general wellness care include pre or post-natal care (pregnancy), infant massage, stress management, sports training, injury prevention and performance enhancement.
Table 1: List of Conditions that May be Treated by Massage Therapy
|Fibrositis and Fibrosis
|Poliomyelitis &Post Polio Syndrome
|Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
|Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
|Herniated back (disc)
|Iliotibial Band Contracture
|Low Back Pain
|Degenerative Disc Disease
|Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
|Muscle Tension / Spasm
|Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
|Neuralgia / Neuritis
|Entrapments & Compression Syndromes
Source: Registered Massage Therapists Association of BC