FAQ:  Frequently Asked Questions about Massage Therapy

Q  What can I  expect when I go for a massage  appointment?
A On your first  visit you will complete a confidential health history form. Your therapist will  assess and create a treatment plan for you. At this time it is important to  inform your therapist if you have any medical conditions or are taking any  medications. To fully understand your position your Massage Therapist listens to  your concerns and your individual needs as well as other factors that may be  contributing to your situation. With your health history information your  therapist will develop a treatment plan with you so you receive the appropriate  treatment that will help you a return, as much as possible, to your normal  activities.
Q  Do I have to disclose all my health conditions on the Health History form for  my Massage Therapist?
A  It is best if  you can give an accurate picture of your health and injuries on your health  history form. This enables your therapist to design the most appropriate and  effective treatment for you
Q  Should I eat  before I come for a massage?
A   It is best to not eat for at least 90 minutes before your massage treatment and  only a light meal at that time.
The body needs  time to digest your food. This is the same caution you would take when you go  swimming or exercising.  The digestion process directs the blood flow away from  your peripheral tissues and concentrates it on digestive tract.  Massage draws  the blood flow to the area tissues being worked on therefore draws the blood  away from the digestive tract causing poor digestion and possible discomfort.
Q  Are there any preparations I need to make before my appointment?
A  Make sure you have Epsom Salt (a 2 kilo gram container) at home for your  hydrotherapy home care following your treatment. If you don’t have it already at  home remember to pick some up. These are magnesium salts and they sooth the  muscles and nerves by drawing the lactic acids (metabolic wastes) out of your  body during a prescribed hot bath. This bath can enhance the benefits of your  massage. To enjoy the full effects of your massage you can plan for at least 30  minutes of quiet time or rest after your appointment. Again it is best not to  eat for at least 90 minutes before your massage treatment.
Q Do Massage Therapists have Cancellation Policies?
A Yes, always ask your therapist what their policy is. It should be posted in the  clinic. You should be informed of any policy when making an appointment. Many  clinics require a minimum of 24 hours prior notice of a cancellation.  You can  be responsible for partial or the full treatment fee.
Q  Do  I need a doctors’ referral?
A  There is no  requirement to have a referral to see a Registered Massage Therapist.  Extended  health care plans, and insurers may require a referral before you will be  covered. You need to check with your policy to see if you need one to be  reimbursed for the treatments.
Q  Do  Provincial Health plans (OHIP or BCMP) cover Massage Therapy?
A  Currently there are no Provincial Health plans that cover Therapeutic Massage  but many work place or private Extended Health Care Insurance programs have full  or partial coverage.  In many provinces Worker’s Compensation Insurance, Work Place Safety Insurance  and Auto Insurance cover the  cost of massage therapy for injury rehabilitation. Before you go for your  Therapeutic massage treatment your details of coverage should be arranged  with your insurance representative.
Q  What if I am uncomfortable with my body? Do I have to undress?
A  Let your therapist know your comfort level. It is possible to work on a client  who is dressed.  Direct skin contact is best with an application of oil or lotion. However you’re  Massage Therapist is required to cover/drape you so only to expose the area  which they are working on.  So opting wear your clothes is fine, bring clothes  that you can get oil on like a bathing suit or shorts and a tank top.
Q  Does the gender of the massage therapist make a difference?
A  This  is an issue of personal preference.
Q  I bruise easily, can I still get a massage?
A It is important  to let your massage therapist know (this will be one of the questions on the  health history form you will be asked to fill out on your first visit). Massage  therapy is not recommended for people who suffer from haemophilia.
Q  Am I  expected to talk during the massage?
A  If you wish to have silence, you should say so at the beginning of the treatment. The therapist may, however, require verbal information pertinent to  health findings during the treatment.
Q  After my appointment, is there anything I need to have on hand or anything  specific I should do?
A   Plan for 30 minutes of quiet time right after your treatment. An Epsom salt bath  is recommended to soothe and to calm muscles, and enhance the benefits of the  massage. It will help alleviate stiffness you may feel the next day, and it is  also recommended for use after workouts for the same reason.  Make sure to drink  water to keep your tissues hydrated.
Q  How long has  massage therapy been regulated in Canada?
A  In 1919, the Drugless Practitioners Act was passed and the Board of Regents was  established to regulate massage therapy and other drugless health professions in  Ontario. In 1994 the Regulated Health Profession Act was proclaimed and the  Drugless Practitioners Act is revoked.
See  Associations page for more information on Provincial Regulatory Colleges in  Canada.  And Association standards in Australia, New Zealand, UK and US.
Q   Are there any ailments or conditions Massage Therapy is not a recommended  treatment?
A  Yes,  see Contraindications and Cautions page for circumstances that require your Doctors consultation and other Cautions  to think about regarding massage therapy treatments.
Q How often should I have massage treatments?

A  A mutual consultation with your Massage Therapist can help you establish a  treatment program which fits your lifestyle and physical requirements. Your  massage therapist is on your team and is involved with your repair, rejuvenation  and in the maintenance of your health. Your choice of RMT assures you that your  recommendation for further treatment is being made by a qualified health  professional and is made with your preeminent care in mind.

Q Is one massage therapy treatment enough?

A Yes, if you just  want to experience massage therapy to relax. However, to have a longer term  therapeutic affect one treatment may not be enough.

Take note: massage therapy is most beneficial in both acute and chronic conditions, when  used over a series of treatments and then followed up with maintenance or  preventive treatments. (Acute conditions are recent, occurring within a week to  a month, and can be severe to mild but are sudden in onset. This could describe  anything from car accident to a muscular sprain. Chronic conditions are present  for several months or years.)