A closer look at the profession RMT

Updated: May 11, 2021

Who are RMT’s and what is Massage Therapy?

Registered Massage Therapists (RMT's) in province Ontario are health care professionals committed to restoring and maintaining optimal health and pain-free function of the body.

They are educated and trained to accurately assess and treat with techniques that include massage and manual therapy, joint mobilization, hydrotherapy, and rehabilitative exercise such as stretching, strengthening, postural exercise and patient education.

Massage Therapy is an effective approach to pain management and rehabilitation. RMT’s 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.

A significant rise in massage therapy use in ON can be attributed to higher educational standards, extensive research studies proving the efficacy of massage therapy, and an overall increase in public interest in non-surgical and drug-free treatment options.

The most current research suggests that there is a direct link between our physical well-being and our mental or emotional state, which can be positively affected by massage therapy. Research also supports the use of massage therapy as an effective approach in injury management and rehabilitation, as well as part of a preventive care program.


How are RMT’s trained?

Ontario's Registered Massage Therapists (RMT’s) are among the most

educated and highly trained professionals in the world.

To become an RMT in Ontario, students must complete at least 2,280

hours of training at an accredited college. This can be compared from college

diploma to 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 neuro-anatomy.

Other studies include clinical sciences such as manual skills,

orthopaedics, remedial exercise, hydrotherapy and patient education.

The management of chronic diseases, injuries and the effects of

long-term stress are also studied extensively.


What typical techniques are used during treatment?

Swedish Massage This is the most popular form of massage used in North America. Often a lotion or oil is used to reduce skin friction. The therapist combines light stroking in one direction with deep pressure in another to relax muscles. The treatment expedites blood flow to flush lactic acid, uric acid, and other waste products from the muscles. Ligaments and tendons are stretched increasing their suppleness. Nerves are stimulated and relaxed, and stress is alleviated. The overall goal is to relax muscles.

Deep Tissue Massage This technique targets chronic muscle tension. The therapist's strokes are slower, using more direct pressure and friction. Depending on the texture of the deeper layers of muscle and tissue felt, the therapist periodically adjusts their hand positions, strokes, and intensity to work the tissues to release tension.

Myofascial Release Myofascial release, or soft tissue mobilization, is a therapy used to release tension stored in the fascia. Fascia are sheets of fibrous tissue that encase and support muscles, separating them into groups and layers. Following trauma, the fascia and muscles may shorten restricting blood flow. The techniques used in myofascial release, relax muscle tension and break up fascial adhesions.

Trigger Point Release Trigger points are tiny, tight nodules that form in muscles causing referred pain. Sometimes myofascial pain can be linked to one or more trigger points. The treatment goals include alleviating muscle spasms, improving circulation, and releasing trigger points. The therapist applies direct momentary pressure to a trigger point to cause its release. During the massage, the therapist may return several times to a stubborn trigger point to elicit its release.


What are the Benefits of Registered Massage Therapy?

  • Reducing or eliminating pain

  • Improving joint mobility

  • Improving circulation

  • Improving the function of the immune system

  • Increasing lymphatic drainage

  • Reducing depression and anxiety

  • Reducing tension within muscles

  • Increasing body awareness


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