Massage Therapy - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does OHIP cover Massage Therapy treatments? A: No, massage therapy is not covered by OHIP, although many extended health care insurance companies cover it. Check with your employer or insurance company to see if you have coverage.

Q: How do I find out if I have coverage? A: You can find out a few different ways. If you have an employee handbook, it may indicate whether or not you have coverage. You can also ask your employer. Another way is to phone the insurance company directly. Be sure to have your Group and ID numbers handy. Ask them: ~ How much coverage do you have, if any? ~ Is there any deductible? Is it per calendar year (ie: January-December)? ~ Do they cover a certain amount per visit or up to a maximum per year? ~ Is a medical doctor’s note required? ~ Do they allow the clinic to bill directly? You could also call our clinic. We may have treated someone who works at your company, and know how much coverage they have.

Q: Do I need a referral from my doctor? A: This depends on your insurance provider. If you will be using your insurance coverage you generally require a doctor’s note. To be sure, ask your employer or phone your insurance company to determine if they require one. If you are paying for the massage yourself, you do not need a doctor’s note.

Q: I was recently in a car accident, will my car insurance pay for massage treatments? A: Your car insurance will pay for accident related injuries upon approval of a treatment plan filled out by a Registered Massage Therapist. You may have received a treatment plan form (OCF-18/59) with your paperwork from the insurance company. On your initial visit you will need to bring the following information: ~ Adjuster's name, address, phone, fax number ~ Policy and Claim numbers ~ The treatment plan form, if you have it (OCF-18/59) ~ Names of medications you are taking ~ Extended health insurance information (if you have coverage) After your initial assessment visit (usually one to one and a half hours), the treatment plan form will be filled out by your therapist and submitted to your insurance adjuster for approval. It will contain information regarding goals of treatment, frequency, time frame and estimated cost. The insurance company will be invoiced directly for treatments so you do not have to pay out of pocket. If you also have extended health insurance coverage, the auto legislation requires you to use up that coverage first. Once your primary benefits have been used, then your car insurance will pay for your treatments. A treatment plan will still need to be completed, regardless.

Q: How do I pay for massage therapy treatments? A: You may pay by cash, personal cheque, Debit, Visa, MasterCard or through direct billing to your insurance company (if applicable).

Q: How often do I need to go, and how long will I have to keep going for massage? A: This is a difficult question to answer because it really depends on the individual and their particular condition. If you were in a serious car accident, you may need to go three times per week. If you are just going for relaxation, you may only need once per month. After treating you, your therapist can give you a guideline as to how often they think you should come. It ultimately depends on you. Factors such as pain levels, time commitment, finances, insurance coverage and your healing time will affect your decision. Some clients will determine frequency by the amount of insurance coverage they have. For example, if you had $500 per year, you could come for approximately eight, one hour visits per year, which amounts to once every six weeks. Or, you may choose to come for roughly thirteen half hour visits, which amounts to once every four weeks. You can continue going for massage as long as you need to. Some will stop once their pain or condition is resolved, some will continue to go for preventative maintenance. It is really up to you. Your therapist will make recommendations of how long they think you’ll need to go.

Q: Should I go for an hour or half an hour? A: For your first appointment, we usually recommend one hour. This will give your therapist time to go through any assessment or testing while still allowing time for hands on treatment. It will also give them a chance to see what areas require more focused work, and help you to determine which areas you prefer treated. If you think you would like a full body massage, it usually takes one hour. If you would like us to concentrate on a specific area (ie: neck and shoulders or lower back), then a half hour is usually sufficient. Again, it is ultimately your decision.

Q: What areas are worked on during a typical full body massage treatment? A: A full body massage generally includes your back, the back of your legs and feet, front of your legs, arms and hands, neck, shoulders, face and scalp. It can also include your buttock muscles and abdomen if you wish. Your genitals and breasts will never be touched. Women can request breast massage to treat specific pathologic conditions. Please e-mail or call if you have questions regarding this.

Q: What do I wear? A: You can wear as much or as little clothing as you wish. Whatever makes you feel the most comfortable. You will be covered by a sheet and blanket at all times, uncovering only the area being worked on. Most people just wear their underpants, some prefer to wear nothing, some women leave their bra on, some people bring shorts, others are fully clothed. It is really up to you. We would rather have you fully clothed and comfortable than totally unclothed and nervous. It is difficult to relax someone who is nervous about what they are (or are not) wearing during their massage. Generally, an oil is applied to the skin to allow the therapists hands to glide smoothly over the area being treated. This is why removal of clothing is usually suggested.

Q: What does R.M.T. stand for? R.M.T. stands for Registered Massage Therapist. Some therapists use the designation M.T. for Massage Therapist. This is the same as an R.M.T. although these therapists may have become registered with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) after 1998.

Q: What is the difference between a masseuse, and an R.M.T.? A: Masseuse and masseur are names that were used by some people before we became regulated by a government body. The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) started assigning the R.M.T. designation in 1995. Those who were members of the College at that time then became R.M.T.’s. If someone does massage and calls themselves a masseuse, then they are not registered and may not be providing therapeutic massage treatments. Top

Q: What is the difference between someone who is “licensed”, “certified” or “registered”? A: Someone who says they are “licensed” or “certified” are not the same as someone who is “registered”. They generally do not possess liability insurance and may have trained for only 500 hours. They are not covered by extended health or car accident insurance and are not regulated by the CMTO. It is illegal for some who is not registered to use the name or designations R.M.T. or M.T. Recently, some people trained in "myomassology" have adapted the designation Registered Myomassology Practitioner or R.M.P. They have also referred to themselves as Registered Aroma-Massage Therapists (R.A.M.T.) in the past. Please note that they are not registered by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) and are not the same as an R.M.T. An R.M.T. is bound by the Regulated Health Professions Act and the Massage Therapy Act. All R.M.T.'s have a photo I.D. card with their registration number on it (ie: C 189). Always ask to see it if you are uncertain of the person's credentials.

Q: Do I have to see the same therapist each time I go for massage? A: You can stay with the same therapist or switch therapists at any time. It really depends on which therapist(s) you prefer, or one therapist may have a schedule which is more compatible with your own. You will not offend a therapist if you switch to another within the clinic.