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I am a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT).

I massage people, for a living.

And, I love my job.

Becoming a Registered Massage Therapist

Before becoming a RMT, I did not really understand the full concept of Massage Therapy, or even what it completely entailed. I completed a kinesiology degree at Borck University. I loved learning about the body, the intricacies, the complexity, and the physiology. When Sutherland Chan came to Brock University they did an inspiring demonstration, leading me to pursue my post grad studies in massage therapy. I, like many others, believed that massage therapy was just something to book yourself as a treat. Maybe a celebration for a birthday or spa day with the girls. Shortly after my first few months at Sutherland Chan, I fell in love with the profession. I love the benefits it gives people, and the rewarding feeling of finishing the day knowing I improved someone else’s.

A lot of my clients ask; ‘Why does this muscle hurt?’,  ‘Why are you massaging this area, when the pain is in my lower back?’, and  ‘I didn’t realize massage therapy could be used in a rehab setting?’. The truth is, I used to ask the same questions a few years ago. Many are surprised that massage is more than relaxation, and a few have even been surprised we CAN massage more than just the back. I think it is important that the public is more educated on what an RMT is capable of, so clients are informed about what to expect, what can be treated, and what the benefits of massage therapy are.

How to become a Registered Massage Therapist

Let’s start with the basics! Massage Therapy is a two year diploma program. Students learn neurology, anatomy, functional anatomy, physiology, the systems of the body (overviews of common chronic and acute injuries, ailments, diseases, and progressive diseases), assessment (postural, gait, orthopaedic), low grade joint mobilizations, remedial exercises and…I could go on but there’s no need. We learn about the body, about injury, disease, chronic pain, alignment, and how to treat all these things to resolve pain, enhance healing, or prevent injury.

In addition to the massage techniques learned in school, every RMT has the opportunity to expand their skill set. For example, some may take extra sport massage courses to work with athletes, while some may want to expand their treatments to involve dry needling. Learning new skills such as shiatsu might interest one, while studying fascial stretch therapy may interest another. As a client, you might find that you gravitate towards one therapists style over the other, and that is perfectly fine! What works for you, might not work for someone else and vice versa. As a health care profession, we are always growing and learning. In order to stay registered, RMT’s must also keep up with recent research and news in health care. Massage therapy done by an RMT is covered under many extended health care benefit plans.

Registered Massage Therapy as a treatment

I like to refer to a massage as a ‘treatment’, because there is always something to treat when a client is on the table. This includes pain due to posture and muscle imbalance, tight muscle, stress, scar tissue and so on. There is no one size fits all, and every massage is different. Purpose and thought is put into each and every single treatment plan. Yes, even if you just want to relax. I am invested in my clients recovery, and work hard to help my clients reach their goals. The benefits of massage therapy are abundant and can significantly impact and support recovery, injury prevention, and quality of life.

Hilary MacLaughlin

ALPHA Health Services


Have more questions? Email info@alphahealthservices.ca

Book online at: www.alphahealthservices.ca