In North America, how do you know who is a Registered Massage Therapist?

Massage Therapy Regulation
As of yet, there is no standardized federal legislation to regulate the practice of massage therapy in Canada or in the United States. Regulation is in the hands of the province or state; and province-to-province and state-to-state legislation differs widely. If you want to know the status of legislation in your province or state, you can do a quick google search about some massage therapy associations.

In Canada, Massage therapy is a regulated health profession in only three provinces - British Columbia, Ontario and Newfoundland/Labrador.

In British Columbia, Ontario and Newfoundland/Labrador, a Registered Massage Therapists (RMT) has exclusive rights to this professional title.

Other practitioners of massage can be identified by the type of massage they practice. For example, you might see these types of designations: Relaxation Massage, Acupressure Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, Shiatsu, Neuromuscular Therapy, Hot Stone Therapy, Tui Na Massage, etc. Most practitioners are certified in a particular modality, and should be licensed to practice in a particular town or city.

Who is a Registered Massage Therapist?

In Canada, the three provinces - British Columbia, Ontario and Newfoundland/Labrador, a Registered Massage Therapist and the title of Registered Massage Therapist is held only for those who meet the rigorous standards set out by the regulatory body, or college of massage therapists. In B.C., specifically, it is The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia.

In British Columbia, a Registered Massage Therapist has 3,000 hours or three years of professional massage training - the highest standard for massage therapy in North America. The West Coast College of Massage Therapy offers a comprehensive 3,000 hour program that includes topics in health sciences such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, neuroscience, and practical training and theory in therapeutic and remedial massage. Registered Massage Therapists are trained in the assessment and treatment of a wide variety of health conditions and injuries.

Looking for a Registered Massage Therapist?

If you are looking for a Registered Massage Therapist to treat a specific health condition, here are some questions you might ask before you book your next therapeutic massage:

  1. Are you licensed to practice therapeutic massage?
  2. Are you a member of a massage therapy association?
  3. Where did you receive your massage therapy training?
  4. Are you certified in massage therapy?
  5. Are you a Registered Massage Therapist?