Registered Massage Therapy versus Massage

Registered Massage Therapy versus Massage
February 2, 2013 No Comments » Massage Brian Fulton
Is there a difference between massage and massage therapy?

Even monkeys massage each other. Who knows how far back massage goes?


What does the word massage mean to you? Like any word, it can mean many different things to many different people. Touch therapy is documented as far back as 2000 B.C., but undoubtedly predates writing and maybe even language. The actual word massage has French origins and has been with us for about four hundred years. At that time a Frenchman named Ambrose Pare used massage as a post-surgical treatment to reduce joint stiffness, and speed up injury healing. In the last century the scientific method has been employed to substantiate and document the effects of massage, so that what we now know as massage therapy has become a blend of science and art.

Massage has progressed substantially from its early days, but not without setbacks along the way. One thing that often darkens the door of massage therapy is that the word massage exists in the public domain. This means that anyone can use the word massage, and charge for their services. Persons doing this are not accountable to any overseeing professional body, and do not operate under any public health acts. Registered Massage Therapy on the other hand, indicates something quite different.  Fortunately for all of us, Ontario has one of the highest standards for massage therapy in North America by requiring more than twice the schooling of any regulated U.S. state. Here, massage therapists are licensed by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario and operate within the parameters of the Massage Therapy Act, and the Regulated Health Professions Act.

Our first experience of massage is when we injure ourselves, or experience a sore muscle, we instinctively rub the area. At a medical level, it is known to calm the nervous system, increase local circulation, and it can break down internal adhesions. Other documented effects of massage include:

  • reduced headache frequency and intensity
  • reduction of trigger points (muscle knots) and spasms
  • decreased post-workout muscle soreness
  • strengthening of the immune system
  • reduced overall stress levels
  • reduced depression and anxiety
  • reduced fatigue and chronic pain
  • reduced constipation
  • reduced adhesions in muscle and fascia
  • reduced joint stiffness
  • reduced injury healing times


Massage Therapy is used to treat many conditions including:


About The Author
Brian Fulton Brian Fulton has been a Massage Therapist in Ontario Canada since 1999. His approach toward health and the human body is broad and holistic in nature. Brian is also the author of The Placebo Effect in Manual Therapy: Improving Clinical Outcomes (available on Amazon)