Updated: Recently Updated June 3, 2024
Date Approved: May 28, 2024

Social Media Guidelines for Registered Massage Therapists

This document provides guidance to Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs/MTs) about how to use social media while continuing to meet relevant professional obligations.


Social media has enriched the way we communicate and carries many benefits, including the ability to share information and network. However, there are also risks to using social media. The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) developed these guidelines to help Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs/MTs) maintain appropriate professional boundaries, safeguard their clients’ information and privacy on social media, and help RMTs conduct themselves with professional integrity.

General Guidelines

When using social media, RMTs must conduct themselves ethically and professionally both on and offline and are accountable for their behaviour even on personal social media accounts. Additionally, RMTs should keep separate professional and personal accounts. Activity or communication relating to an RMT’s Massage Therapy practice should be done on the professional account. However, it is best to assume that all content on social media can be seen by the public and clients, regardless of which account is being used.

Advertising, Reviews and Testimonials

If RMTs use social media to advertise their business, they must follow CMTO’s Guide to Advertising Requirements (“the Guide”).

  • A review is an assessment or description of a product or service that provides feedback (positive or negative). Reviews cannot be easily removed or controlled by RMTs because they are usually managed by an independent party (e.g. Google, Yelp, etc.) and written by individuals.
  • A testimonial is a written statement endorsing the value or quality of a service or product. Generally, the content and appearance of testimonials can be controlled by RMTs (e.g. by actively pursuing feedback from clients, friends, or relatives that is exclusively positive).

When a client leaves a review for an RMT on a social media platform, RMTs do not have control over its content or rating, and a review that clients leave cannot be incorporated as a testimonial into an RMT’s advertising (on social media, website or elsewhere).  RMTs should not actively seek out positive reviews from clients.

According to the General Regulation of the Massage Therapy Act, 1991, RMTs cannot solicit testimonials from clients, friends, or relatives, and are not permitted to use testimonials online or offline to advertise their services. Additionally, RMTs must take all reasonable steps to disable social media functions that allow for testimonials, as per the Guide.

Professional Boundaries, Client Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest

To ensure that client confidentiality and professional boundaries are maintained when using social media, and that social media activity does not create a conflict of interest, RMTs should:

Be Professional

  1. Consider professional boundaries when “friending” or “following” a client on social media.
  2. Consider if “friending” or “following” a client online will blur professional boundaries. It is advisable to use separate professional and personal social media accounts.
  3. Respond to social media messages in a professional and courteous manner as they would over email or telephone.

Consider Privacy, Confidentiality, and Conflicts of Interest

  1. Maintain privacy and confidentiality by not posting or revealing any client information. Even a small amount of seemingly anonymous information may be identifiable. RMTs have a legal obligation to safeguard their clients’ privacy and confidentiality.
  2. Avoid conflicts of interest. For example, a conflict of interest can occur if an RMT is endorsing a product relating to Massage Therapy from which the RMT might derive a benefit (e.g., a product that is also sold in their clinic.)

Follow the Applicable Standards of Practice

  1. Follow the same professional obligations outlined in legislation, regulations and CMTO’s Standards of Practice online as they would in-person.
  2. If an RMT is a registrant at another regulator (a dual registrant), they are responsible for reviewing and adhering to CMTO’s and the other regulator’s standards of practice, code of conduct and professional guidance.

Interacting and Sharing Information

To ensure that interactions and information sharing on social media is appropriate, RMTs should:

  1. Ensure that information is factual and verifiable and that any sources used are properly cited. Posting false or misleading information may be considered professional misconduct.
  2. Consider whether the content being shared is harmful to others. Harassment and discrimination against others are unacceptable and may be considered professional misconduct.
  3. If posting about Massage Therapy, MT Care and Services, ensure that content is within the Scope of Practice of the profession.

If you have further questions about social media after reviewing this guide, please contact CMTO’s Practice Specialist at practicespecialist@cmto.com or by phone at 416-489-2626/1-800-465-1933 extension 4124.

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