Paving the Way for Massage Therapy Regulation in Canada



Massage Therapy Becomes Regulated in New Brunswick!

The “Act to Incorporate the College of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick” passed on December 13 bringing the regulation of the profession one step closer to a majority in Canada.

Here are some of the the benefits to regulating the Massage Therapy Profession:

For the profession:

Massage is becoming more widely accepted in our country as part of the healthcare system. Provincial regulation helps raise the standards of the profession.

The more provinces that become regulated, the more hands there are on the table to provide education to the public about the therapeutic effects of massage, and will enable a more widespread promotion of the profession.

Regulation of the profession can only add to the credibility and legitimization of our profession within the eyes of insurance companies allowing for continued coverage for massage therapy services.

Additional regulation of massage therapy in Canada will help to differentiate between therapeutic massage and ‘cosmetic massage’ across the country.

For the consumer:

The more provinces that are regulated in Canada, the more you will be protected from unsafe practices and maltreatment.

The Regulation of a profession promotes accountability of the professionals by implementing minimum standards, procedures, regulations, and a code of ethics for safe and effective treatment of the public, and it imposes disciplinary actions for misconduct.
Regulation of Massage Therapy practices in another province brings you one step closer to not having to pay HST for massage therapy services.  Once five provinces are regulated in Canada, clients will no longer be required to pay HST for massage therapy.  New Brunswick marks the fourth province that has regulated massage therapy in Canada.  The other provinces that are currently regulated include British Columbia, Ontario, and Newfoundland.  Manitoba is not far behind!
Although fees are set by the Massage Therapists individually, the regulatory body can prohibit the setting of “unreasonable fees” and implement mandatory policies ensuring that the public is safeguarded from unfair fee practices.
The regulation of massage therapy improves the standards of education that Massage Therapists must undergo so that when you book an appointment with a massage therapist, you feel safe to know that they have an extensive knowledge of the structure, function, and pathology of the human body in addition to the massage modalities and techniques they can provide.  Massage Therapists in a regulated profession are also required to take a course in research literacy.  This will help therapists educate you on what practices are supported by evidence and what practices are based on anecdotal information.

For Registered Massage Therapists:

In addition to the benefits listed above, regulation enhances your credibility within Healthcare, among other healthcare practitioners, and opens doors to more opportunities for Massage Therapists to work in hospital settings.
Regulated professionals have an opportunity to be recognized for their qualification and education in all provinces whether that province is regulated or not.
The more provinces become regulated, the larger the network of Regulated Massage Therapists becomes.  This enables peer collaboration across provinces on best practices, support, and discussions about modalities, techniques, business practices, and research.

Below are some reference materials on registration of the massage therapy profession in general and how it can protect you as a consumer, and as a therapist, as well as information on the new law just passed in New Brunswick and status updates on the registration for Manitoba:

  • Links
  • College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO)


    Registered Massage Therapists Association of Ontario (RMTAO)


    Massage Therapy Canada Magazine Article


    Massage Therapy Canada Magazine Article