Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body including, muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage Therapy is a clinically-oriented healthcare option that helps alleviate the discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions.
In Canada, in 1999 it was estimated that between 17-23% of the population, has used massage therapy. In 2003, 35% of the population in Ontario had used massage therapy in the past two years, and that number has likely increased in the past decade. Several research studies have illustrated that massage therapy is accepted as a useful addition to conventional medical treatments, and by a mixture of populations.
Massage therapy should be provided by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) An RMT is an individual who is registered with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, in accordance with the Regulated Health Professionals Act and the Massage Therapy Act. Only registrants with the CMTO are permitted to use the title Massage Therapists (MT), Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) and the equivalents in other languages. To determine whether someone is an RMT, you can search for them on the CMTO website.
A Registered Massage Therapist is a primary healthcare provider in Ontario and anyone may visit an RMT of their choice. A referral or prescription is not required to visit an RMT, although some insurance companies may require this.
Massage Therapy can be used to treat both acute and chronic conditions. RMTs can work with a variety of patient in the treatment of illness, injury rehabilitation and disability . Massage therapy can be beneficial to a wide variety of conditions.
Content is based on a Literature Review conducted by Amanda Baskwill, RMT and Trish Dryden, M.Ed., RMT from Centennial College, Center for Applied Research in Health, Technology and Education. All material is copyrighted to the Registered Massage Therapist's Association of Ontario and Centennial College, Center for Applied Research in Health and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the RMTAO and Centennial College.
Use a Registered Massage Therapist, it's in your best interest!
It's in your best interest to seek massage therapy from a Registered Massage Therapist. An RMT:
- has completed a 2-3 year program at a recognized school of massage therapy;
- has passed an entry-to-practice examination that ensures they have the competencies necessary to safely and effectively offer massage therapy services;
- must participate in a Quality Assurance program with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, a program that assist in the maintenance of professional standards and quality care;
- is accountable to the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, through the complaints and discipline processes, in the event that the services they provide to not meet the standards of practice;
- provides a receipt that will be accepted by your extended health benefits plan for reimbursement (provided you plan covers massage therapy).
Reflexology is a focused pressure technique, usually directed at the feet or hands. It is based on the premise that there are zones and reflexes on different parts of the body which corresponds to and are relative to all parts, glands and organs of the entire body.
How Does It Work?
Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet, hands and ears. Reflexology is generally relaxing and may be an effective way to alleviate stress.
When the reflexes are stimulated, the body's natural electrical energy works along the nervous system to clear any blockages in the corresponding zones. A reflexology session seems to break up deposits (felt as a sandy or gritty area under the skin) which may interfere with this natural flow of the body's energy.
Manipulating specific reflexes removes stress, activating a parasympathetic response in the body to enable the disharmonies to be released by a physiological change in the body. With stress removed and circulation improved, the body is allowed to return to a state of homeostasis.
Homeostasis is the "automatic" process that the body incorporates to bring it back to the "normal" state. For example, if the blood pressure is abnormal, the kidneys will secrete the enzyme renin which is involved with blood pressure, and the hormone, erythropoietin that increases the rate of red blood cell production.
The theory behind reflexology is that these areas correspond to organs and systems of the body. Proponents believe that pressure applied to these areas affects the organs and benefits the person's health.
Reflexologists use foot charts to guide them as they apply pressure to specific areas. Reflexology is generally considered safe, although very vigorous pressure may cause discomfort for some peopleInformation was gathered from the Ontario College of Reflexology and an article by the Mayo clinic