What should I expect at my first appointment?
Your appointment time includes the following:
- An interview to determine your medical history and present complaint
- A posture assessment or other physical assessments, depending on your complaint
- Massage therapy treatment
- Reassessment and suggestions for home care, such as stretches, strengthening exercises, hydrotherapy or changes to daily activities
Your massage therapist will ask you about your medical history, in order to plan a safe and effective treatment. The proposed treatment plan will be explained to you, and you will be asked to consent to the treatment plan. Your therapist will explain how much to undress, and where to lie on the massage table, under the sheets. She will then leave the room while you get ready. During the treatment, you will be draped (covered) by sheets, except for the body part that is being treated. If at any time you would like to stop or modify the treatment, it is your right to do so.
Do I have to take my clothes off?
It is up to you and your comfort level. Your massage therapist can work around any clothes you choose to keep on, although some clothing may impede the flow of the massage or prevent the use of certain techniques. Your massage therapist will explain the treatment plan, and suggest which items of clothing to remove in order to perform an effective treatment. Please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
What conditions can Massage Therapy help with?
Massage therapy can help with a variety of conditions, including tension headaches, stress, low back pain, whiplash, jaw clenching and TMJ pain, scoliosis, prenatal aches and pains, tendonitis, arthritis, sprains, numbness and tingling in the hands (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome), post-surgery rehabilitation, and many other conditions. For a more complete list, please visit the website of the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of BC.
What kind of massage or techniques do you use?
Registered massage therapists are trained in many different manual therapy techniques, as well as hydrotherapy and actinotherapy (infrared and UV light), and can pursue further training after school in specific areas. For a full list of techniques and their descriptions, visit the Techniques page.
What if the pressure being used is uncomfortable?
Communication between you and your massage therapist is very important. Massage treatments for the purpose of relieving stress should generally not be uncomfortable. Your massage therapist will check in with you about the pressure, and you can ask for less pressure at any time. You can also ask for more pressure. Treatment for some conditions, such as tendonitis, may involve some discomfort, but this should be thoroughly explained to you before the treatment begins. You always have the right to ask for modifications in the pressure being used, or to ask your therapist to stop using a particular technique that you find uncomfortable.
How much training do RMTs have?
Registered Massage Therapists trained in British Columbia have one of the most rigorous training programs in North America. It is a competency-based program, which includes in-depth study of anatomy, physiology, pathology and practical treatment techniques, as well as 500 hours of supervised clinical experience. Hours are shared between an onsite school clinic and diverse outreach locations with exposure to a variety of clinical presentations. For more details on the education and training that RMTs receive, please visit the website of our regulating body, the College of Massage Therapists of BC.
Why do you need to know my medical history?
In order to provide a safe and effective treatment, it is necessary to discuss your medical history. High blood pressure, pregnancy, diabetes, and heart conditions are just a few examples of medical conditions that would require modifications to a treatment.
Is massage therapy covered by my health plan? Do you do direct billing?
Many extended health plans provide excellent coverage for treatment from a Registered Massage Therapist. To determine your coverage, contact your insurance provider or your Human Resources department. Dependent on the therapist you see at our clinic, direct billing may be an option. If not, the therapist can always provide a receipt for you to submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement purposes.
Do I tip?
Registered Massage Therapists are healthcare professionals listed in the Health Professions Act of British Columbia, as are other health care practitioners such as physiotherapists, doctors and dentists. Therefore, tipping is neither expected nor necessary. However, return visits and your referrals are appreciated!
Do I need a doctor’s referral?
No, in general you don’t need a referral. You might receive a referral from a doctor or another health care practitioner, but it is not usually required. A referral may be required by some extended health plans, ICBC, or WorkSafe BC (formerly WCB). With your consent, we are always happy to keep your doctor apprised of your treatment progress.
Is your clinic wheelchair accessible?
Yes, there is an elevator to the second floor of our building.