5 Commonly Asked Questions - Answered!
by Krista Power Wissink, RMT
What is a Registered Massage Therapist?
Better known for their acronym R.M.T., Registered Massage Therapists are health care professionals who have studied different theory and techniques extensively in order to provide hands on treatments to alleviate their patients pain, symptoms of injury, disease, or to promote wellness. RMT’s have been supervised, scrutinized and endured intensive training in order to facilitate their patients’ care and progression to better health. Massage Therapy is one of the earliest tools and interventions used to alleviate pain and promote wellness in both Eastern and Western cultures. It has become an integral component of medicine to aid in restoration of pain free movement of the body.
What does it take to be an RMT?
In order to become a Registered Massage Therapist, your RMT has studied medical terminology, body mechanics, massage ethics, anatomy, and physiology. They are required to have participated in communication and clinical assessment courses as well as more recognizable massage therapy modalities such as the study such as myofascial release, sports massage, types of petrissage and craniosacral therapy. They have spent most of two years in an intense level of specialized study that is specific to their field. They are not interchangeable with physiotherapists or kinesiologists or spa body workers. What the general public often misunderstands is that an RMT has had to complete courses such as medications, basic nutrition and research in addition to their assessment, pathology and anatomy courses in order to receive their diploma. They are not just masseuses or body workers. This means that at your appointment your RMT is screening you to rule out possible medical urgencies or emergencies. Such as: if uncontrolled high blood pressure is a factor and what massage techniques can negatively affect it or what position compromises the shoulder during treatment so as not to evoke higher level of injury. It also means that they have the tools to research your condition. This leads to having a better understanding and critical level of clinical thinking to decide what course of treatment is best for you. Before RMT’S can practice, they had to apply and be examined under their provincial college. In order to maintain their license with their provincial college, your RMT must continue to take education courses to advance and better understand the exciting and always changing medical field or areas of focus they’d like to develop.
What does your RMT know?
Your RMT is a medical expert on anatomy. They are relied on for their specific knowledge of muscles, bones, joints, connective tissue and nerves. With some programs they spent 6 months or more studying the central and peripheral nervous systems and how they control actions of the body. They can also identify enzymes and physiological function in your intestines. Everything the skin covers to deep within capillaries; the rods and cones of the eyes and to the Amygdala in your brain, your RMT has studied and been tested on. Outside of anatomy and physiology, your RMT has studied diseases, and red and yellow flags of medicine and conditions so that when you walk into their treatment room they can assess if you need a higher level of care. They have the skill to manipulate joints outside of the spine to aid in the effectiveness of your treatment. RMT’s generally spend the most time with you than any other health professional in our current medical system and, overtime, begin to know your health well. Trust them in your health disclosure even if it seems insignificant so that they can be some of your best advocates for your health.
Can an RMT specialize?
RMT’s are trained in all types of conditions and injury to all parts of the body. Their foundational knowledge is all the same. This is what ensures that there is an equal opportunity for standardized care for ANY patient that walks through ANY RMT’s door. However, just like all professions, your RMT will likely gravitate towards something that interests them, or that they understand well and enjoy treating. This is what makes your RMT great. However, they are not specialists, nor does the focused training they take make them experts. What it does do is allow them to fully and better comprehend whatever it is they are studying. For example, there are post concussion workshops being offered to RMT’s. If an RMT were to pursue more education into the training, rehab and screening process of concussions, they would have a better understanding of the latest and most recent advances of the medical field in this area. It doesn’t make them better than any other RMT, but it does mean that they may be a great resource for your recovery. They can’t specialize in concussions, but they can focus their practice here. As diverse as the human body is, and as most other health professionals are, there are RMT’s that can be specific and diverse in what their practice is and where they have spent their energy developing. Do some digging and ask some questions! Your RMT will be a great resource for you in getting you the care you need and if they don’t have the answers, they will likely know an RMT that does.
Do I need to have a disease or injury to see an RMT?
Massage originated from ancient cultures in Egypt, China and India. Some of the first texts about massage were discovered to be from 2700 B.C. It has been practiced, studied, critiqued, and evolved into the field of medicine it is today by many doctors and physiotherapists and neurologists to understand fully how it works. Massage is often sought out for comfort - no ailment needs to be present to justify or enjoy it. Many spas employ RMT’s as well as integrative clinics. Your RMT has picked their field of practice because they enjoy what they do and see the progression to wellness as a reward to their work. You do not need to be in pain, have a high amount of stress, an injury or physical condition to warrant working with an RMT. Your regular massage treatments can help maintain work achieved from other or previous therapies, as well as be preventative and aid in keeping you in your game injury free, pain free from work-inducing-posture faults, or just keep you independent and on your own two feet feeling well and strong and
living with vitality!
Some Conditions you didn’t know RMTs have training in to treat:
Brown Sequard Syndrome
Phantom Pain Symptoms
-Krista Power Wissink RMT, AFLCA CFT, Yoga and Group Fitness Exercise Specialist
Book an appointment with Krista Power Wissink at
or call us at 250 381-7318!