23 February 2015

RITMA recommends a framework for practices

RITMA recommends a framework for practices and the implementation of training standards for massage therapists 

Saint-Sauveur, December 20, 2012, 

In light of recent reports by certain media outlets on issues that impact the massage therapy sector, the Regroupement des intervenants et thérapeutes en médecine alternative (RITMA) recommends that a rigorous framework be introduced for massage therapy training standards and professional practices. 

Our association of some 1,350 members, almost half of whom are massage therapists, has long been recognized for its strict controls, which protect clients and guarantee them high-quality, professional services. It also protects insurers by helping to prevent the reimbursement of claims for non-therapeutic, unmonitored services. 

Professional training 

In order to join the RITMA Massage Therapists Association, members must hold a valid diploma and have followed a minimum of 1,000 hours of training at an institution accredited by our association or meeting our criteria. A list of accredited schools can be found on our Web site at ritma.ca. 

Proven knowledge 

RITMA massage therapists have received professional training in no less than 10 massage techniques, including Swedish, Shiatsu, Trager, California, Jin Shin Do, Esalen©, Océüm, Momentum, and Reflexology. Their training has also provided them with in-depth knowledge on subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, and the circulatory and lymphatic systems, to name just a few. In addition, they are trained in such administrative areas as professional conduct, ethics and business management. 

A serious undertaking 

The full cost of training can be as high as $12,000. This is a clear indication of the seriousness with which professional massage therapists undertake their studies, and it eliminates anyone wishing to become a specialist overnight or falsely claim to be a massage therapist. Our members are credible experts who are dedicated to the health and wellbeing of their clients. 

Methodical verifications 

RITMA requires that all of its members provide the association with a detailed curriculum vitae, which we verify. Members must also hold professional liability insurance. With respect to monitoring and control measures, our association also reserves the right, at its discretion, to verify the methods, facilities and instruments used by our members in order to assure the public that the care they are receiving fully meets our quality standards. 

Tight controls 

RITMA eliminates billing and financial irregularities by requiring members to issue individually numbered receipts, preventing misuse. RITMA also assigns staff to the ongoing verification of the advertisements and Web sites of our members. In doing so, we ensure that only therapeutic, professional services are offered. 

These examples demonstrate that our professionals, the general public and the insurance industry in Quebec are better served with a universal framework than the imposition of a professional order, with all of the administrative weight and high costs that this entails. This type of authority is needed if the public is at risk; however, such is not the case in this instance. In fact, the some 30 massage therapy associations and groups in Quebec are very much in favour of a framework for practices and the implementation of standards. Because those adopted and used by RITMA have been proven for many years, they could well serve as a model for the stakeholders in the massage therapy community. 

Edith Larose 
Regroupement des intervenants et thérapeutes en médecine alternative (RITMA)



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