Massage Therapy has long been recognized in the ancient healing practices of China, Greece and Rome. Today’s common Swedish Massage techniques were first developed by a physical education teacher in 19th century Sweden. It was formally introduced in North America during the First World War as rehab for wounded soldiers. Over the years, it has branched into pampered Spa settings, however, research continues to prove the vast health benefits of massage. It is now a Regulated Health Profession in Ontario, requiring 2200 hours of formal training and membership in the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario.
Massage continues to be a safe and effective approach to alternative health care. Its many benefits are increased blood circulation, glucose metabolism and joint range of motion; decreased pain, swelling and muscle tension. Commonly treated conditions are Sciatica, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendonitis, Migraine headache, Depression, muscle spasm or strain, athletic or injury healing/rehabilitation and many more. Certain conditions such as blood clots are contraindicated for massage, therefore it is important to fully disclose your health history to your RMT.
Massage treatment incorporates many stroking techniques with hypoallergenic carrier and essential oils, at various depth and pressure. Body tapping and rocking may also be used as well as facilitated stretching, joint play and tractioning. Hydrotherapy (the application of hot or cold packs) and Hot Stones may also be used.
During your first treatment, you will receive a full health history and assessment to be sure massage is safe for you. You will then be given privacy to undress at your comfort level and be fully draped throughout the treatment. You should feel comfortable in a fully relaxing atmosphere and be able to communicate your wants and needs.
Everyone feels a little uneasy at their first massage. Remember—you are in complete control of how much you undress and what body parts you have treated. You have the right to ask for your preferred pressure and to stop the treatment at any time. Don’t hesitate to ask questions!
For more information on the practice and benefits of Massage Therapy, go to:
College of Massage Therapists of Ontario
Registered Massage Therapists of Ontario