Brittany Seibert is a Registered Massage Therapist who practices at the Cariboo Chiropractic Centre.

Massage Therapy vs spa massage

I am often asked by my friends and family why massage therapy would be beneficial to them.

  • Dec. 2, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Brittany Seibert, RMT

Special to The Tirbune

Since moving back to my hometown of Williams Lake as a recent graduate of the 3000 hr massage therapy program, I am often asked by my friends and family why massage therapy would be beneficial to them.

Massage therapy has been proven by modern science to effectively treat several different conditions that plague our everyday life. Conditions such as strains/sprains, headaches, fibromyalgia, arthritis, TMJ dysfunctions and many more can all be effectively treated. Massage therapy can benefit more than just disorders and dysfunctions of the human body. It has also been proven to reduce stress levels, reduce chronic pain, increase circulation, improve lymphatic drainage and manage depression.

I often find many are confused on the difference between a treatment with a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) and a spa practitioner.

It basically can be broken down into three categories: training, skill and techniques. In British Columbia, RMTs are required to have completed 3,000 hours of training (the highest in North America) at an accredited school and pass the exams set out by the College of Massage Therapists of B.C.

They are also required to carry on their education post-graduation with continuing education programs. Spa practitioners can have anywhere from 300-1,000 hours of training and are not required to take further education.

They also cannot under any circumstances state that they offer massage therapy or call themselves massage therapists/practitioners.

A spa practitioner’s focus during a massage revolves around relaxation and self-pampering. The techniques used can include Swedish, aromatherapy and hot stone, depending on what the school offered for courses. Massage therapy does focus on the benefits of relaxation, but its main focus is on the treatment of conditions (listed prior).

RMTs also use more advance techniques to treat such as myofascial release, joint mobilization, neuromuscular techniques, cranial sacral, and lymphatic drainage.

During a massage therapy treatment there are certain things that you can expect to happen. During your initial visit, the RMT will conduct a medical consultation and thorough examination of the current condition or injury. These are vital steps to ensure the RMT is able to make an educated decision about the most effective treatment. The goal of massage therapy is to administer hands-on treatment (manual therapy). During the entire treatment you will be draped appropriately with exposure being limited to the area being treated at the time. Massage therapy is a recognized health care provider. It is covered by most extended benefits packages, MSP, ICBC and WCB. Check with your plan administrator. It could be the start to your path of self-wellness and recovery.

If you would like more information on massage therapy you can always visit the Massage Therapist’s Association of British Columbia website.

Brittany Seibert practices at Cariboo Chiropractic Centre in the Sandman Suites. She can be reached at 250-392-7717.

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