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  1. What are the qualifications of a massage therapist?
    A massage therapist is a health care professional who has completed over 2200 hours of study that includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, hydrotherapy, remedial exercises, plus who must continue upgrading with yearly courses in their field.

    Upon graduation, a massage therapist must pass provincial examinations given by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO), the governing body set up by the provincial government to protect the public.

    Successful candidates then become licensed and registered under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), which also governs other health care professionals such as doctors, nurses, dentists, physiotherapist and others.

  2. How do I know if my therapist is a registered massage therapist?
    The therapist uses either the copyright initials of RMT or, more current form, MT, after their name. Only a registered massage therapist licensed by the CMTO will have a registration number that is recognized by extended health insurance coverage. The individual therapist can only use that number.

    All massage therapists also have photo ID cards, showing their registration numbers. The client has the right to see this ID card to ensure that their massage therapist is registered.

  3. What is massage therapy?
    Massage therapy is a hands-on treatment that works soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, tendons) and joints of the body. Using mainly Swedish massage techniques, massage can help improve circulation to tissue, flush out metabolites, and ease muscle congestion.

    Hydrotherapy can also be used. It is the use of heat and/or cold in a variety of forms. Hydrotherapy can be in the form of gel packs, thermafores (type of heating pads), whirlpool baths, saunas or simply baths.

    Some clients express a sense of relaxation, helping them to sleep better and handle stress better in the short term after a massage. Therefore, the emotional psyche is often enhanced by a massage, helping to relax and calm a client.

  4. I have never received a massage. What should I expect before and during a treatment?
    When you first enter the clinic, you are asked to complete a confidential questionnaire on your general health status. You may undergo a series of assessments, including range of motion movements, palpations and/or specific orthopaedic tests, depending on your reason for treatment.

    The therapist then discusses her course and aims of treatment. You will be asked for your permission to proceed. You do have the right at all times to change and/or refuse treatment, before or during the massage.

    You are then asked to prepare to receive the treatment. The therapist will then leave the room while you undress, get on the table and cover yourself with the sheets provided. The therapist will only return into the room as such time as you are ready to proceed with the massage.

  5. I have never had a massage and am unsure about receiving a treatment. Is this usual?
    Yes. Massage therapy should be conducted in an atmosphere of comfort and confidence. You will not be asked to expose yourself beyond your comfort zone. While you will be asked to undress for the treatment, you have the right to refuse.

    While it is possible to work through the clothing, this obviously will restrict the type of therapy you will receive. Proper draping procedures must be practised at all times by a massage therapist. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.

    Massage therapy is always done within your pain tolerance. If any technique or pressure is not comfortable for you, you have the right to stop or change the treatment.

  6. Can anyone receive a massage treatment?
    No. There are certain conditions for which massage is not recommended. A qualified massage therapist must only work within their scope of practice.

    People experiencing advanced kidney failure, respiratory failure, haemorrhage, acute pneumonia, post cerebrovascular accident, shock, unstable hypertension, highly metastatic cancers are among those who are recommended not to receive a massage.

    If you do call a massage clinic for an appointment and have a particular medical condition, it is recommend that you discuss your condition with the therapist directly to determine if massage is contraindicated (not allowed) for your condition.

  7. Will I experience any side effects from massage?
    You may feel light headed when getting up from the massage table. It is recommend that you drink a glass of water because your blood pressure may have been affected.

    Other times you may experience an achy feeling in your muscles several hours after a treatment, even the next day. This usually lasts about 24 hours.

    You may experience nausea or headaches. These are usual signals that metabolites are being flushed from the body.

    You may experience a sense of well being and release. When muscular tension is reduced, blood flow is improved to the muscle tissue. This allows the muscle tissue to perform more efficiently.

  8. Does massage hurt?
    Certain techniques necessary to release adhesions and break down scar tissue formation are painful. Usually the discomfort will diminish with repeat treatments. However, this is always discussed with you and permission is obtained to proceed with the course of treatment.

    At all times, you have the right to modify and even stop the treatment.

  9. How often should I receive a massage?
    If you require massage for a specific condition, such as repetitive strain injury or tendonitis, usual treatments are 2-3 times a week for about 2 - 4 weeks, depending on severity. Treatments are then reduced to once a week for about 2 to 3 weeks. Finally, treatments may continue every 2 - 4 weeks for about a period of time.

    If you are using massage as part of stress management program, it is recommend about 1- 2 times per week for about 2 weeks, followed by weekly treatments for another 2 - 4 weeks, depending on severity. Then, the client comes for a treatment whenever he/she wishes.

  10. What is reflexology?
    This is an ancient practice that focuses on the feet. There are reflexes on the feet that correlate to organs and glands throughout the body. By working these reflexes in the feet, blood flow is improved to the corresponding area. This enhances relaxation and improves lymphatic drainage of the area.

  11. What should I expect from a reflexology treatment?
    You will be asked to remove shoes and socks and expose the area from the knee to the foot. Then, sitting at the edge of a massage table, you'll enjoy a foot bath for about 5 minutes.

    Then, you lie on your back. Pillows under your legs are used to elevate your feet so the reflexologist can work on the soles of your feet. Each foot is treated about 15 minutes. At the end of the treatment, the reflexologist applies a moisturizing foot cream, massaging your foot and lower leg.

  12. Which conditions are helped by reflexology?
    Reflexology is a holistic treatment that helps with stress management, helping the body relax, improve blood circulation and stimulate lymphatic drainage.

  13. What is ear candling?
    Ear candling is a holistic treatment that helps remove excessive wax from the outer ear. The "candle" used is a piece of fabric, dipped in pure beeswax, and then rolled to form a hollow centre cone.

    For the treatment, you are asked to lie on one side, with your ear facing upwards. One end of the candle is gently inserted in the ear opening and the opposite end is lit. The flame forms a chimney-like effect drawing the excess wax up into the centre of the candle. Then the procedure is repeated on the other side.

    You may feel a warming sensation and hear wave-like sound effects. Otherwise, the experience is usually relaxing.

  14. What conditions are helped by ear candling?
    Mild allergies, sinus congestion, migraines, ear aches may be helped by ear candling. You may require 2 pairs of ear candles/ear per session.