What is Massage Therapy -
(Massage Therapy Information)
Massage Therapy Scope of Practice
Massage Therapy practice is the assessment of the soft tissue and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissue and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, or relieve pain.
(Massage Therapy Act, 1991).
Right now in Canada, British Columbia, Ontario and Newfoundland/Labrador are the only provinces with education requirements and regulation overseeing massage therapists.
Only members of the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia, Newfoundland / Labrador and Ontario are permitted to use the title Massage Therapist or Registered Massage Therapist and use the letters MT or RMT with their names.
Massage therapists have completed a 2-3 years diploma program from a recognized massage therapy school. Massage therapists participate in a Quality Assurance Program that assists them in the maintenance of high professional standards and quality care of their clients.
Massage therapists use long, smooth strokes, kneading and other movements focused on superficial layers of muscle using a massage oil, gel or lotion.
About Massage Therapy – How Does It Work For You?
Massage therapists use series of different strokes on your body using a massage oil, gel or lotion. For example long smooth strokes, circular motion and other movements focus on layers closest to the surface of muscle and soft tissue.
Massage therapy improves circulation by bringing oxygen and other nutrients to body tissues.
It relieves muscle tension and pain, increases flexibility and mobility and helps to decrease ppain and stiffness in muscles and joints.
For a massage therapy treatment to be effective the massage therapist must have a good understanding of both the body and the feelings of the client.
Why Would You Get Massage Therapy?
You receive massage therapy for relaxation or treatment for a variety of health conditions:
• Back pain
• Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis
• Stress relief and stress-related conditions
• Headaches and migraines
• Muscle and related conditions such as spasms, strains and sprains
• Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
• Circulatory and respiratory problems
• Post-injury and post surgical rehabilitation
Massage therapy and stress relief usually go hand in hand. It is your opportunity to let go any depressing or negative feelings as you now out of a stressful environment. This time period when you on the treatment table allows you to relax. This may decreases the level of your stress hormone cortisol.
Massage therapy also appears to enhance immune function.
What a Typical Massage Therapy Session is Like
A typical massage therapy session is between 40 and 90 minutes. Your massage will begin with a brief consultation and review of symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle.
You will be asked to undress (many people keep their underwear on) while the massage therapist is out of the room, and lie face down under a sheet on a padded massage table.
The massage therapist will knock on the door to make sure you are ready. The massage therapist re-enters the room and will then adjust the face rest and pillows to ensure that you are comfortable and properly positioned. Tell the massage therapist if you are too warm or cold.
The massage therapist uses a light oil or lotion on the skin and begins the massage. A full body massage usually begins on the back and then moves down to the legs. You will then be asked to turn over so you are face up. The massage continues on your arms, legs, neck, and abdomen.
You are underneath the sheet at all times, and in North America, only the part of the body being treated at any one time is uncovered.
After the massage, the massage therapist leaves the room so you can get changed.
Take your time getting up. If you sit or stand too quickly you may feel lightheaded or dizzy.
Will Massage Therapy Hurt?
Massage therapy shouldn’t hurt. Occasionally there is mild aching when the massage therapist applies pressure over “knots” and other areas of muscle tension. If the pressure is too strong for you, let the massage therapist know.
How Will I Feel After a Massage?
Most people feel calm and relaxed after a treatment. Occasionally, people experience mild temporary aching for a day.
Massage therapy is not recommended for certain people:
• People with infectious skin disease, rash, or open wounds
• Immediately after surgery
• Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor
• People prone to blood clots. There is a risk of blood clots being dislodged. If you have heart disease, check with your doctor before having a massage
• Pregnant women should check with their doctor first if they are considering getting a massage.
Massage in pregnant women should be done by massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage.
Massage should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures.
Additional Massage Therapy Treatment Tips
• Don’t eat a heavy meal before the massage.
• If it’s your first time at the clinic or spa, arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete the necessary forms. Otherwise, arrive 5 minutes early so you can have a few minutes to rest and relax before starting the massage.
Massage Therapy How to Find A Registered Massage Therapist
Fortunately there are many different directories and you all you need to do is find your local directly. The College of Massage Therapist of Ontario has a list of all active massage therapists.