Complementary Modalities

The College has determined that there are some modalities which, while not fitting the definition of the scope of practice, may be complementary to Massage Therapy treatments.

Scope Statement

Section 3. of the Massage Therapy Act, 1991 states:

“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 tissues and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, or relieve pain.”


There are a number of modalities that can be integrated into a treatment plan by a Massage Therapist, and may even be accepted and taught in recognized massage educational institutions, that, if used exclusively in and of themselves, would not fall within the generally accepted practice of the profession.

Therapists ought to be given a reasonable and responsible latitude with respect to the use of complementary modalities, recognizing that they are accountable to ensure that the modality is integrated into a treatment plan that largely consists of modalities in scope.

Massage therapists who provide complementary modalities must understand their professional accountability and that they are responsible for:

  1. following the Code of Ethics, the Standards of Practice, and the Regulations;
  2. determining the appropriateness of the complementary modality;
  3. ensuring that they have the knowledge, skill, and judgment to perform the modality competently;
  4. performing an assessment of clients before providing the treatment;
  5. explaining to the client the anticipated effects, the potential benefits, and the potential risks of the proposed modality so the client can make an informed choice;
  6. obtaining valid consent before beginning treatment; and
  7. evaluating the ongoing status of the client and the effects of the modality on the client’s condition and overall health.

Members teaching a complementary modality should note that teaching a course on a complementary modality is not considered practising Massage Therapy.

Members are reminded that the complementary modalities therapists engage in under this policy are not considered Massage Therapy and that they may not be billed as Massage Therapy as such if performed on their own. However, they may be billed as Massage Therapy if they are integrated into a treatment plan. Activities carried out by a therapist or a health profession corporation beyond the strict practice of Massage Therapy may not be covered under the member’s professional liability insurance and it may be necessary to make arrangements for separate insurance coverage for these activities.

The attached list is a schedule of modalities that the College considers to be outside the scope of practice for the profession but which may be used as complementary modalities.

Adopted: September 22, 2003

Schedule A

  1. Alexander Technique
  2. Aromatherapy
  3. Feldenkrais
  4. Electrical therapy techniques including:  a. IFC  b. TENS  c. Therapeutic Ultrasound  d. Pulsed High Frequency  e. Low Intensity Laser Therapy
  5. Guided Imagery
  6. Inhalation Therapy
  7. Kinesiology
  8. Meditation
  9. Pilates
  10. Reiki – first degree reiki only (involves touching the client; second degree reiki is delivered at a distance and is outside the scope of practice for Massage Therapists)
  11. Therapeutic Touch
  12. Touch for Health
  13. Trager
  14. Yoga


Adopted: September 22, 2003 Revised: February 18, 2005