The practice of Massage Therapy is the assessment of the soft tissue and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissue and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, or relieve pain (Massage Therapy Act, 1991).
The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) has published Standards of Practice for registrants which establish the expectations for all Massage Therapists regardless of their role, job description or area of practice. These Standards guide RMTs’ practice in order to protect the public. Contravening or failing to maintain either published Standards of the College or unpublished Standards of Practice of the profession is an act of Professional Misconduct under the CMTO’s Professional Misconduct Regulation.
The Standards of Practice form a live and dynamic document that will evolve as changes in practice occur. It is an MT’s obligation to ensure they are complying with the Standards of Practice of the profession and the published Standards of the College that are in force at the time.
The Standards of Practice outline key expectations and describe the minimum requirement for performance. Within each Standard you will find items which outline behaviours that may or may not apply to every situation (client population, environment, etc.). It is up to the MT to use their clinical judgement and decision-making skills to determine if an item applies within the current context, considering all factors. However, even if an item does not apply in a situation, the MT is still expected to be able to demonstrate all items should he / she be requested or required. In situations where the MT uses their clinical judgement and determines an item is not applicable, the MT must be able to provide a reasonable rationale for the variation from the Standard.
These published Standards of Practice are also used in the following ways:
In addition to being accountable to meet the published Standards of Practice of the College, Massage Therapists are accountable under the legislation that includes the following: