According to the College of Massage Therapist of Ontario (CMTO), Massage Therapy consists primarily of hands on manipulation of the soft tissue of the body (specifically the muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints) for the purpose of optimizing health.
It's known that Massage Therapy Treatment has a therapeutic effect on the body , optimizing health and well-being by acting on the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems. As a result, physical function can be developed, maintained and improved; and physical dysfunction, pain, and the effects of stress, can be relieved or prevented through its application.
It's believed that modern massage techniques can be traced back to the 1700's when Swedish Massage was developed, becoming the first systematic method of therapeutic massage based on physiology. Today's Massage Therapists use their knowledge of anatomy and physiology to combine traditional Swedish and modern Massage Therapy techniques to treat their clients.
Various specialized movements of the hands, over the skin or clothes, make up the Massage Therapy treatment. All work will be done within your level of pain tolerance, and the treatment can be stopped at any time should the treatment become uncomfortable.
Before a treatment, your Massage Therapist will propose a personalized treatment plan based on an initial assessment (various tests aimed to determine the condition of your muscles and joints) and health history. Any personal and health information your provide is completely confidential and will be safeguarded in compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). Your health record cannot be released or transferred without your specific consent at any time.
Specific consent must also be obtained to work on any part of your body, regardless of weather you are fully clothed, or fully or partially covered with sheets or blankets. Your privacy will always be respected, and you may withdraw your consent for treatment at any time.
Massage Therapy is not covered by OHIP, but many private insurance companies cover treatment from a Massage Therapist as part of their extended healthcare plans.
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CMTO, "About Massage Therapy". http://www.cmto.com/about-the-profession/about-massage-therapy (November, 2016).
(*) RATTRAY, Fiona. "Clinical Massage Therapy" (Talus, Canada: 2000) Pag. 3