What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy is the assessment and treatment of the soft tissues of the body (muscles, joints, nerves, fascia, etc.). Massage therapists use a hands-on approach to determine the source of your problem, as well a to relieve your immediate symptoms. After assessing, massage therapists use a variety of techniques to help relax muscles, increase circulation, decrease tension and restrictions, and treat the various factors contributing to your condition (e.g. muscle imbalances, posture issues, etc.)
What are some of the benefits of massage therapy?
Many people associate massage with relaxation-based treatments, but massage therapy actually has a wide range of benefits in terms of general well-being, and has also been proven to be an effective method to treat a variety of conditions.
Massage therapy increases circulation and relaxation and decreases muscle tension and stress. Massage therapy can improve immune system function and lymphatic drainage, and can significantly decrease or eliminate pain. If you are suffering from an acute injury, massage can help decrease inflammation, reduce muscle soreness and tension, and accelerate the healing process. Massage therapy can also manually decrease adhesions, restrictions, and scar tissue, work out "knots" or trigger points, and relieve sore muscles.
Does massage have to be painful?
Absolutely not. "No pain, no gain" is definitely not the motto for massage therapy. We'll work with you to find an acceptable level of pressure and variety of techniques to ensure your condition is being treated effectively, without causing any damage.
Will I be sore after the treatment?
Sometimes, unfortunately, yes. A good massage treatment will address issues that won’t necessarily work themselves out, and the result of that work can often be some minor, temporary discomfort or achiness. Most patients say that it feels similar to the day after a good work-out, and that, once moving, the discomfort doesn’t last long. As your body adjusts to getting worked on in this manner, it becomes less & less uncomfortable afterward.
What is the difference between a massage therapist and a masseuse?
Massage therapy is governed by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario- a regulatory college that sets out guidelines on how to become registered, outlines rules the therapist must abide by in order to maintain their membership, and, in general, being responsible to the general public by ensuring ethical, high-quality & knowledgeable care.
"Massage Therapist" and "Registered Massage Therapist" are protected titles - just like Doctor, Physiotherapist, or Dentist. In order to become a massage therapist, you must complete a 2200hour intensive training course, including more than 150 hours of supervised clinical practice. After graduating, students must complete Provincial exams (both written & practical) in order to become registered. Once registered, your therapist must follow specific guidelines to maintain the high professional standards as required by the College.
By picking a Registered Massage Therapist, you can be assured that the therapist treating you is both highly qualified & trained, and must adhere to strict standards as set out by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario.
Do I have to get completely undressed for my massage?
No, you do not. The therapist may ask you to undress down to your underwear, depending on the area(s) being treated, but only if you're comfortable doing so. If not, please feel free to leave on whatever clothing you like, and your therapist will work around it.
Your therapist will instruct you on how to get on the table, and to cover yourself up with the top sheet. Please note that you will always be covered by the sheet, except for the area that the therapist is working on.
** If you become uncomfortable during your massage, you don't like the technique the therapist is using, or you would like more/less pressure, please let your therapist know immediately. You are in charge of your massage - while your therapists may make suggestions as to the most effective means of treatment, your consent, comfort, and participation int he decision-making process are most important. **
What happens during a typical massage therapy treatment?
Each massage treatment involves assessment, treatment, and the explanation of any recommended home care remedial exercises. If it is your first visit, the assessment portion will be more thorough, with questions being asked about the location, onset, etc., of your pain, and may also include some orthopedic testing to locate the source of your problem. During a follow-up visit, the assessment will be brief (usually just involving a few questions asking about progress, etc.). After assessment is completed, the treatment will begin, followed by instruction on remedial exercises after you have gotten dressed again.
Will my personal health information be kept private?
Absolutely. Everything discussed with your massage therapist is completely confidential, except as required by law. Written consent must be obtained before sharing any confidential information.
Will my insurance cover massage therapy?
Although massage therapy is not covered by OHIP, most extended health plans do cover massage therapy, as long as the therapist is a Registered Massage Therapist. However, many insurance companies will require a prescription from your doctor for massage therapy, so please verify with them.