As a registered massage therapist, the most important part of my job – in addition to treating patients – is educating people. I frequently meet people who respond to what I have to say with, "Really? I had no idea a massage therapist could help with that!"
So I'm going to try to pass on a few pieces of information that will better inform readers and help them to seek out the most appropriate massage therapist for them.
Registered massage therapists in Nova Scotia will have completed a two-year diploma program at a government-recognized massage therapy college. The program is comprised of courses in Anatomy/Physiology, Pathology, Orthopaedic Assessments, Massage Theory, Massage Treatments, Neurology, Professional Development, Kinesiology and Remedial Exercise.
Completion of the program requires the therapist to successfully pass a comprehensive examination and, depending on their choice of professional association, they may also have to complete additional professional examinations.
Once a therapist is registered with their professional association, they MUST complete professional continuing education credits/units on a regular basis. This ensures the therapist stays current with new advancements in terms of professional best practices.
Most professional development opportunities are created with particular conditions in mind (i.e. circulatory problems, lymphedema, arthritis, chronic pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, neck pain, stretching techniques, etc.)
As an example, I have completed post-graduate courses and workshops in post-surgical treatments, spinal biomechanics, advanced manual techniques for painful conditions, sport massage, connective tissue research and post-concussion syndrome management. I also teach biomechanics workshops for massage therapists.
The thing I ask people to remember, whether they come to see me or they choose another therapist, is that it's their body and they should not only go see someone with whom they're comfortable, but who is also continually developing professionally and is competent in treating the condition for which they're seeking treatment.
Never hesitate to inquire as to what a potential registered massage therapist has done for their professional development. After all, it's your body!
Ryan Young, BHSc, RMT, SMT(cc) practices at KD Physical Therapies Inc. – Medicine in Motion at 121 Ilsley Ave. in Burnside. He's happy to answer any and all questions pertaining to massage therapy. Feel free to call at 468-2774, ext 2 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.