What should I expect from my first massage therapy visit?
Why choose a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT)?
What are the differences between RMTs and masseuses?
Does my extended health care plan cover massage therapy treatments?
Do I need a doctor’s referral?
Do I need to get undressed for my treatment?

What should I expect from my first massage therapy visit?
Your appointment will begin by filling out a confidential medical history form to establish your current level of health and ensure there are no contraindications to massage therapy. This is followed by an interview and assessment by your massage therapist to understand your individual health needs. Following the assessment, the therapist will leave the room allowing you to disrobe and get into position on the massage table (covered by a sheet). The therapist will re-enter the room and perform the treatment. When the therapist is finished, he/she will leave the room allowing you privacy to dress. Once you are dressed the therapist will meet with you again to discuss the treatment and assign necessary home exercises such as stretches and strengthening exercises. The first visit is usually a minimum of 45 minutes to allow enough time for proper assessment and treatment.

Why choose a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT)?
Massage therapy students are put through a rigorous training program at an accredited college, with hundreds of hours of hands-on training. Therapists must have medical knowledge including anatomy and pathology in order to understand how the body works and how to identify health problems. Their extensive education is necessary because RMTs are professional health care practitioners.

RMTs can help recognize conditions you have yet to notice. Tumours or skin cancer are just two examples of disorders massage therapists are trained to recognize – and, upon their discovery, send you directly to your physician.

The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC) was created to protect you. CMTBC operates as the profession’s regulatory body, much like the College of Physicians and Surgeons. CMTBC examines and licenses all therapists, sets professional standards including requirements for continuing education, and ensures patients receive safe and ethical care.

What are the differences between RMTs and masseuses?
Registered Massage Therapists are different than masseuses or body workers. A RMT has high level trainings that make them experts in hands-on treatment, injury rehabilitation and prevention. RMTs have the knowledge and skill to design individualized treatment plans which target a patient’s medical condition and needs. The term "Registered" tells you that the person has three years of training and is regulated by the CMTBC.

Does my extended health care plan cover massage therapy treatments?
The majority of extended health care plans cover registered massage therapy treatments. The extent of the coverage depends on your individual insurance policy. Policies typically have a percentage of coverage or up to a dollar amount (eg. 80% coverage up to a total of $500 per calendar year). Please check with your employer or insurer to determine the coverage you have.

Do I need a doctor’s referral?
There is no requirement to have a referral to see a registered massage therapist. Sometimes a referral may be required by your extended health care plan. You need to check with your policy to see if you need one to be reimbursed for the treatments.

Do I need to get undressed for my treatment?
Direct skin contact is best and normally we will need to apply oil or lotion. If you would like, you can wear a sport short and top. However, it is possible to do a session with clothes on; whatever will make you feel most comfortable.