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Features Op-Ed
Unwavering

Throughout 2014, Massage Therapy Canada has been reporting on developments in the massage therapy profession across Canada through our Regional Focus series.


January 7, 2015
By Mari-Len De


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Throughout 2014, Massage Therapy Canada has been reporting on developments in the massage therapy profession across Canada through our Regional Focus series.

We began in Western Canada, highlighting the two provinces in different stages of maturity – British Columbia with its well-established professional regulatory system for massage therapists, in contrast with its next-door neighbor Alberta which has yet to enter the regulatory fold.

We then focused on Ontario where, like B.C., RMTs are governed as health professionals under its regulatory college. Despite having made such great strides, massage therapists in this province continue to strive – and gain momentum – for increased recognition in the bigger health-care realm.   

Then there are the Prairie Provinces – Saskatchewan and Manitoba – both unregulated but actively pushing for legislation. Both jurisdictions have very vigorous professional associations leading the efforts, not just to achieve professional regulation, but raise a positive public image for massage therapy and its health-care benefits.

This issue contains the last of the Regional Focus series, which looks at the eastern provinces and the state of the profession in these jurisdictions. New Brunswick just became regulated a year ago, while Newfoundland and Labrador has been regulated since 2002. The other unregulated provinces in the east, including Quebec, are in different stages of development (see page 14).

In all these stories, one thing that stood out is the unwavering desire of those in the leadership roles to advance the profession. Despite the hurdles they face, they continue to move forward not just in trying to achieve regulation for those that don’t, but in the overall quest to elevate the profession and earn its rightful place in health care.

From provincial regulation to national accreditation things are really looking up for massage therapists. As the subject of our cover story Cathy Ryan, chair of the board of directors of the College of Massage Therapists of B.C., notes these are very exciting times for the profession.

The work that’s being done across the country to strengthen the credibility of the profession and promote the health benefits of massage – with increased emphasis on research and evidence-based practice – will only serve to benefit the therapist’s business prospects.

Sometimes, it is so easy for massage therapists in a small community to feel alone and isolated, like the fate of their practice rests solely in their hands – but it does not have to be the case. Resources and peer networks are available. One simply needs to step outside the treatment room, from time to time, and open oneself up to new people and new knowledge.

Happy Holidays!


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