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Why Should You Choose a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT?)

Getting a massage can be very helpful, especially if you see a Registered Massage Therapist who has the training to truly understand your condition and what you need. Many people do not know the difference between those massage therapists who are registered, and those who aren’t. However, it can make quite a difference in the services received during a massage. The following will help you understand what a Registered Massage Therapist is, and why they are so helpful.

What is a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT)?
A massage therapist has to meet certain requirements in order to earn the professional designation of a RMT. The first is that the he or she needs to have graduated from a program. The second is that they spent a minimum of 2 years at a school which is recognized. Recognized schools offer two year programs in Canada which include a minimum of 2200 instruction hours. The programs follow the competencies established nationally in Canada in 2012. Thirdly, therapists must be registered as a member of a Regulatory College, or association of Massage Therapists (in some cases).

Benefits of Paying for the Services of an RMT
The benefits to choosing a RMT over a massage therapist include the following. RMT’s have been trained in nutrition, human anatomy, human physiology, musculoskeletal anatomy, kinesiology, pathology, therapeutic exercise, massage theory, massage techniques, ethics, clinical assessment, clinical treatment planning and the treatment of various conditions. Due to this extensive training, RMT’s have a wide range of knowledge they can apply to the treatment of their clients. Patients, and other healthcare professionals, can trust that a RMT meets the practicing standards, therefore creating a sense of trust in their services.

Specialized Health Conditions
The education and training received by RMT’s, also enables them to handle specialized cases, specifically those that require special attention to a health condition. Note that the goal of massage therapy is to alleviate pain, cure a number of health issues and promote well-being. RMT’s have studied different subjects related to health, so have more knowledge to properly identify problems.

Injury and Ailment Rehabilitation
RMT’s are also trained in terms of identifying the root causes of injuries, so they can play a major role in treating and facilitating recovery from injuries and ailments. The fact that they have completed the number of clinical hours they have, as well as passed the exams required by the law, is an indication that they are capable of assessing their client’s needs and concerns.

Expert Treatment Plans
Additionally, they can perform a variety of muscle and motion tests as a means of identifying the best treatment plan for their clients. RMT’s are well-trained in terms of administering various massage procedures and curing damages to soft tissues and joints. They do all these through their expert knowledge on soft tissue manipulation, trigger point therapy, hydrotherapy, relaxation techniques, remedial exercise programs and lower grade and joint pain mobilization.

Posture Improvement
Registered massage therapists can also offer suggestions on how to improve posture. They can recommend the most effective rehabilitative, relaxation, strengthening and stretching exercises that work suitably for each unique case.

Is your Massage Therapist Registered?
With this in mind, you may be wondering how to find a RMT. There are about 22,000 massage therapists in Canada, and about 60% are RMT’s. They are typically found in the legislated provinces, where they are allowed to use the title “Registered Massage Therapist”, under the Massage Therapy Act. Section 9 of the Trademarks Act of Canada considers Registered Massage Therapist an “official mark”, so you can ask potential massage therapists if they have been registered and certified.

If you want to get the most effective treatment when undergoing massage therapy, then finding a Registered Massage Therapist is a must. Your chosen RMT will be fit to help you deal with concerns affecting your health, muscles, tissues and other problematic body parts from an expert’s point of view.


Article Author: Shelly Jackson is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Buena Vista Massage Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, BC. On a daily basis we deal with: resolving muscle and movement stiffness and pain; injuries from vehicles or sports; post breast cancer rehab; pregnancy related discomfort; repetitive strain and overuse injuries. We work with clients to reduce their anxiety and stress, improve joint movement, sleep and quality of life. Working with qualified massage therapists is necessary for your continued health. Contact us at 604-538-7166 and we would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Photo Source: courtesy of imagerymajestic / Free Digital Photos

How to Recover Faster After an Intense Run

You know that feeling you get after a nice, hard run or other workout. You feel great! You’ve accomplished something, you’re on the road to a better you. You lay down for a well-deserved night’s sleep, and the following morning…you can’t get up. Your body is screaming at you and you can barely make it down the stairs, let alone go on another run!

There’s good news for you, there is a way you can reduce these effects and the time it takes to recover and get back to normal. Massages are one of the oldest forms of popular alternative medicine and are used to treat everything from anxiety to digestive problems. It is also a great way to reduce your recovery time between intense runs.

In a study performed by Simon Melov, PhD to discover the molecular benefits of massage therapy, several people were asked to partake in an intense cycling workout. Samples were taken of the muscle tissue before and after the workout. Each of the study participants were then given a 10 minute Swedish massage on only one of their legs following the workout. Their muscle tissue was then tested after the massage and compared to the other samples that were taken.

The study revealed that the legs that had received the massage had less of the protein NF-kB, which is the protein responsible for muscle inflammation after exercising. After intense exercise, the muscle fibers undergo small tears, activating this protein and causing inflammation. The massaged tissue also had more PGC-1alpha protein, which is responsible for triggering the production of mitochondria, which helps energize muscles and assists in conditioning muscles to endure different and more strenuous types of exercise. Mitochondria is what converts glucose into energy to power your muscles and assist in repair. This boost helps muscles recover quicker!

Why not just take an inflammatory reducing pill, then? It’s certainly easier to pop an aspirin after every run than to get a massage, but you won’t get the benefits that a massage offers. The aspirin will reduce inflammation, but has actually been proven to slow the recovery of the muscle, extending the time it takes your muscle to repair itself.

If you are an avid runner or are new to self-improvement, it is important that you understand the science behind your muscle recovery. Massages help reduce muscle inflammation and the pain associated with it by reducing the protein that is triggered by the small tissue tears caused by vigorous exercise. Not only does it help reduce pain, but it also helps you recover quicker by increasing the levels of the protein that triggers production of mitochondria, the little builders of your muscles.

Don’t settle for popping a pill that may actually keep you down longer. When you work a regular massage into your health regime, you will enjoy quicker recoveries and achieve your goals sooner!


Article Author: Shelly Jackson is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Buena Vista Massage Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, BC. On a daily basis we deal with: resolving muscle and movement stiffness and pain; injuries from vehicles or sports; post breast cancer rehab; pregnancy related discomfort; repetitive strain and overuse injuries. We work with clients to reduce their anxiety and stress, improve joint movement, sleep and quality of life. Working with qualified massage therapists is necessary for your continued health. Contact us at 604-538-7166 and we would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Photo Source: courtesy of tiverylucky / Free Digital Photos

Your Heart Health is in Good Hands with Massage Therapy

People choose to receive massages for a variety of different reasons. Whether you are feeling the stress of a busy work week or relaxing your mind and body before an important test, massage therapy can naturally relieve your mind and body of tension to help you relax and feel your best.

A good massage performed by your massage therapist can help you on your journey to a healthier heart by: reducing stress and tension in muscles, lowering blood pressure, decreasing your heart rate, and increasing the flow and efficiency of blood, nutrients, and oxygen throughout your body.

Massage can help reduce the risks associated with stress including arrhythmias and atherosclerosis, a process that is associated with causing a heart attack or stroke. There have been many long-term studies that have shown that massage therapy can lower stress levels, which decreases the chances of having consistent high blood pressure. With a healthy blood pressure, one significantly lowers the odds of a heart attack.

Blood Pressure
The normal blood pressure recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) is 120/80 mm Hg or less. This ratio is read 120 over 80 millimeters of mercury. The upper number is your systolic, which measures when your heart contracts. The lower number, diastolic, measures when the heart is resting and refilling with blood between beats. As the ratio increases beyond 120/80, one becomes at serious risk of hypertension. Massage therapy can benefit you and your cardiovascular system by lowering your blood pressure, hence reducing the risk for hypertension, or high blood pressure. The majority of people experience an increase in systolic blood pressure as they age, which is caused by stiffness of large arteries, long-term accumulation of plaque in arteries, and increased occurrences of cardiac disease. Receiving a massage is a great way to keep blood flowing throughout the body, and keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level.

Many studies have produced significant results that massage can lower heart rate and decrease blood pressure. A research study conducted in 2008 concluded that after a 45-60 minute massage of the 263 participants, systolic blood pressure was decreased by 10.4 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure was reduced by 5.3 mm Hg, and heart rate was decreased by an average of 10.8 beats per minute. With the results obtained in this study, an individual would be lucky to achieve these increases in health in a lifetime of prescribed blood pressure medication from a doctor.

Blood Flow
Stress caused by work, money, family troubles, and the economy can lead to increased worry and unnecessary fight-or-flight responses to situations. Long-term stress has been shown to contribute to high blood pressure and increases the likelihood of plaque build-up in arteries. Your masseuse has the capability to use slow gliding motions to relax muscles that encourage blood to flow more freely through your body. When blood is flowing more freely through our circulatory system, oxygen and nutrients are able to reach your cells, tissues, and organs faster and more efficiently.

You deserve to be healthy. You deserve to have a break in your busy, fruitful life. The less stress you experience, the healthier your heart will be. Massage therapy can help you on your journey towards a healthier heart, by lowering your blood pressure, releasing tension in muscles, causing blood to flow more freely throughout your body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to every cell more efficiently, and by taking pressure off of your heart by lowering your heart rate. If you want to feel rejuvenated and free your heart, massage therapy may be exactly what you need.


Article Author: Shelly Jackson is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Buena Vista Massage Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, BC. On a daily basis we deal with: resolving muscle and movement stiffness and pain; injuries from vehicles or sports; post breast cancer rehab; pregnancy related discomfort; repetitive strain and overuse injuries. We work with clients to reduce their anxiety and stress, improve joint movement, sleep and quality of life. Working with qualified massage therapists is necessary for your continued health. Contact us at 604-538-7166 and we would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Photo Source: courtesy of Idea go / Free Digital Photos

Caution: Bad Night’s Sleep – Have You Tried a Massage?

Insomnia is a condition in which a person has trouble falling or staying asleep. In North America, 30 percent of adults suffer from insomnia, and 10 percent suffer from chronic (long-term) insomnia. Insomnia can be caused by a number of conditions including: mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, stress, chronic pain, difficulty breathing, a change in your normal schedule, poor sleep habits, and medications. Insomnia can cause a person to become extremely fatigued, have poor concentration, and can dampen your mood. If you are having trouble falling or staying asleep at night, or even have normal sleep habits, a professional relaxing massage performed by your massage therapist could benefit you.

Chemicals in the Brain
Massage therapy has been proven to increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the body. Researchers in a 2005 article of a review of studies showed that cortisol levels decreased, while dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain increased after massage therapy. In the research reviewed, it was found that there was an average decrease of 31 percent in cortisol levels in participants. In studies where dopamine and serotonin levels were assessed, average increases were recorded, 31 and 28 percent respectively.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter produced by the pineal gland in the brain to make melatonin, the hormone directly related to sleep. Serotonin plays an important role in mood, behavior, body temperature, coordination, appetite, and sleep. When serotonin levels are low, the body can experience sleep disruptions and disorders, including insomnia. Stress has been shown to cause low serotonin levels.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced in your brain that plays an important role in movement, memory, pleasurable reward, behavior and cognition, attention, mood, learning, and sleep. When your massage therapist provides you with a professional massage, the pleasure center of your brain is activated, increasing levels of dopamine produced, therefore helping to reduce stress.

Cortisol is commonly known as the “stress-hormone”, because it is activated in the body’s fight-of-flight response when faced with a stressful stimuli or situation. When levels of cortisol are high, there can be negative effects on the body including but not limited to: weakened cognitive performance, high blood pressure, imbalances in blood sugar, and increased abdominal fat. Cortisol need to remain within normal levels, in order for your body to return to a relaxed state after the fight-or-flight reaction is activated. Massage therapy can help you relax, and when your body and mind are relaxed, stress is reduced, which decreases the risk that sleep problems or disorders will develop. When your body and mind are at ease, you may notice that the quality of your sleep increases.

Relieving Stress
Massage therapy can also be a helpful aid in treating sleeping problems that stem from stress, migraines, pain, and muscle or joint stiffness. With the tranquility and soothing nature of a massage by your professional massage therapist, feelings of stress are reduced and muscles become much more relaxed. The calming effects of a good massage have the potential to aid in restoring your best sleep.

Your massage therapist can provide you with a soothing massage that can aid in reducing stress and relaxing muscles. Not only will you feel rejuvenated after your massage, you may notice that you will feel less stressed and tense, and also get a better night’s sleep. This may be due to lower levels of cortisol, and increased levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, released by the gentle and comforting touch your massage therapist uses while performing your relaxing massage.


Article Author: Shelly Jackson is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Buena Vista Massage Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, BC.  On a daily basis we deal with: resolving muscle and movement stiffness and pain; injuries from vehicles or sports; post breast cancer rehab; pregnancy related discomfort; repetitive strain and overuse injuries.  We work with clients to reduce their anxiety and stress, improve joint movement, sleep and quality of life.  Working with qualified massage therapists is necessary for your continued health.  Contact us at 604-538-7166 and we would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Photo Source: courtesy of imagerymajestic / Free Digital Photos