– by Kathryn Hodgson, RMT –
I often hear people say that they are going to ‘treat’ themselves to a massage and I’m definitely happy for them when they do. However, massage therapy is so much more than a luxurious indulgence for our stiff and sore muscles: a therapeutic massage from a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) can be an excellent drug-free treatment option in helping to attain and/or maintain optimal health and functioning beyond the muscular system.
Many people tell me that when they found the perfect RMT to help them with their issues, they wondered why they had waited so long to try massage therapy. Perhaps we wait so long because we don’t know that it could help us. Honestly, do you immediately think of seeing an RMT to treat your constipation, TMJ dysfunction, the numbness in your hands, your insomnia, asthma, chronic sinusitis, swollen joints, or your headaches? In truth, before becoming an RMT, I wouldn’t have even thought to mention my ‘digestive issues’ to my massage therapist. But, if you take nothing else from this article, please know this; RMTs are highly trained to assess and provide treatments for a myriad of health concerns and pathologies, and to coordinate with other health care practitioners to ensure continuity and consistency in the care of your health. Here’s why …
In BC, RMTs are regulated health professionals governed by B.C. Health and the Health Professions Act. To attain the RMT designation, therapists must graduate from a provincially recognized college after having successfully completed a minimum of 2,200 hours of education and training in the RMT programme. Moreover, before receiving their license and certification, RMTs must undertake and pass a rigorous set of provincial registration exams as set out by the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC). The CMTBC also requires RMTs to maintain current First Aid and CPR certifications and pass regular criminal records checks. After granting registration, the CMTBC mandates an ongoing requirement of RMTs to complete a minimum number of continuing education hours to maintain their currency, competency, and registration in this health profession. Essentially, the CMTBC “acts on behalf of all British Columbians to ensure RMTs always deliver safe and effective treatments”. Therefore, when you are receiving treatments from an RMT, you are under the care of a Regulated Health Professional with all the rights, protection, and attention you deserve.
Equally as important as knowing the education, skill, and regulations of the RMT profession is understanding and embracing the fact that as the patient, you have ultimate power over your treatment plan and delivery. This means that you can decide which therapist is right for you. It means that you must consent to treatment before the RMT can commence the massage and you can withdraw your consent at any time. It also means that you have the power and the ability to address any questions or concerns you have about your treatment with the provincial regulatory body, the CMTBC.
There are many RMTs available with different styles of treatment and focuses of practice and it’s important to find an RMT with whom you feel comfortable and who can provide the type of treatment you deserve. Unsure about who might fit your needs? Ask your friends, other health care providers, or an RMT. But do rest assured that in choosing an RMT to treat your health concerns, it means that you truly are in the hands of a professional.
For more information visit www.KathrynHodgson.com