The Benefits Of Massage Therapy
Education and Advocacy There’s a lot you may not know about massage therapy.
As a regulated health care professional, a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) is acutely aware of your inner-workings in a more diverse way then you might realize.
“Much of the public feel that it’s just for muscle aches and pains but there’s a variety of pathologies and conditions that a massage therapist can be effective in treating,” says Brent Rowland, a RMT who’s practices out of Naramata, B.C., adding that illness and pathologies like constipation or IBS can often be treated with massage therapy.
And more importantly, says Rowland, RMTs know when a massage just won’t cut it.
“We’re educated enough to know when we don’t know, and safely refer that patient,” he adds.
As of November 2013, it will be mandatory for RMTs to have both CPR and First Aid training – which Rowland says adds to an already impressive vernacular of training RMTs have in B.C.
Bodhi Haraldsson, Director of Research for the Massage Therapist’s Association, echoes Rowland’s sentiments about the scope of treatment massage therapists can give.
“Labour and delivery, palliative care, end of life cancer care, supporting cancer therapies – there’s a broad range,” says Bodhi.
“Much of the public feel that it’s just for muscle aches and pains but there’s a variety of pathologies and conditions that a massage therapist can be effective in treating."
Angela Renyard – who works on a busy switchboard at a police station in B.C. – says repetitive stress from her job is the latest in a series of aches and pains that have pushed her to see an RMT.
“I have used massage therapy throughout my life for many reasons,” she says adding that a painful episode of lockjaw from the habit she’s formed of holding the phone was the latest.
“I was in a great deal of pain and realized that I would require massage therapy to relax the muscles in my neck and shoulder and find some relief from the pain in my jaw,” adds Renyard. In the past, she’s seen a massage therapist to treat a back injury from a car accident, muscle aches from pregnancy and hip problems as a result of years of dance training.
Renyard used word of mouth and searching around online to find her massage therapist. “Choose the therapist that you want to go to based on the people around you and their experiences,” says Haraldsson.
In B.C. there are close to 3000 RMTs but that doesn’t mean the profession isn’t accepting new recruits.
“There’s a lot of opportunities – form sports to elderly assistance to women’s health,” adds Haraldsson. But Rowland recommends people interested in becoming massage therapists do it out of love for helping people.
“An unregistered massage therapist that doesn’t have a registration may have a lot of training but there’s no guarantee to the public,” adds Rowland who has seen both sides of the coin as member of the College of Massage Therapists B.C.’s Inquiry Committee – which handles complaints against RMTs.
“There’s a very thorough investigation process if you feel you’ve been wronged,” he adds. “The regulatory body is there to protect the public.”