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Is massage therapy a worthwhile benefit?

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Marcel Poitras:

Clearly NO. Massage is most of the time a wellness benefit, not a therapy. When I see that you can get a massage at the Trudeau airport while you wait for your flight, and get receipt to claim from your insurer for it, it is clearly not medically necessary. Doing claims audit, I have seen claims from whole families getting massages on sunday mornings at fancy tourist resorts. And when you look at the web pages of massages therapists illustrated with healthy smiling babies, you can have serious doubts about the medical value of services provided. My bestimate is that close to 75% of costs can be saved if coverage is limited to the treatment of a duly diagnosed illness or injury.

Thursday, June 16 at 11:55 am | Reply

p serpell:

I believe that m/t should used to treat specific conditions and not for use as a recreational release just cause you can. all visits to m/t should be accompanied by a treatment plan.
Thank you

Saturday, June 18 at 10:33 am


Interestingly enough (state and trait) anxiety and depression are the two things that ARE backed by research related to Massage Therapy.

So, while a patient/benefits claimant may be citing ‘relaxation’ what they may actually be talking about is sub-clinical anxiety. Stepping outside of “Massage Therapy” and broadening to look at TOUCH there is a body of evidence regarding touch as an integral part of physical and mental and emotional well being.

Thursday, June 16 at 2:39 pm | Reply


Massage Therapy is a three year program in Ontario. At the school I went to, it was it required I take the same cpr certification as other health care providers such as nurses and paramedics (level HCP). We spent 3 semesters or 1.5 years learning pathology- the effects of diabetes on the peripheral nervous system, osteoporosis on the bones, physical manifestations of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and so on. We spent two semesters learning orthopedic tests- these are the ones that can indicate to me that your discs in your low back may be damaged if you come in complaining that your low back hurts when you strain to defecate, or that perhaps your chronic knee pain, knee clicking and pain both extending and fully bending the knee (such as when kneeling) could indicate your cartilage on the inside of the knee is wearing off because of a malfunction at the articulation. Yes, massage is frequently used for relaxation. That does not take away from the fact that we frequently treat and correct musculoskeletal and other types of pain, and provide the client with education needed to keep them pain free, healthy, and capable of performing in their role at their jobs. Also, paediatric massage has been shown to help relieve gas cramps/colick, enhance the bond between caregiver and infant (the rmt usually teaches mom or dad how to do this at home), and helps infants brain growth and weight gain. I would smile too.

Thursday, June 16 at 6:03 pm | Reply


Wasn’t a fan until I threw out my back and couldn’t walk or sit comfortably for months. Got a prescription from the doctor so why not include it the same way my muscle relaxants were covered? It was 100% therapy during this time. It helped immensely. It also helps those with chronic pain.

Thursday, June 16 at 9:14 pm | Reply

Marcel Poitras:

This is exactly what I mean: keep it for bona-fide medical reasons only and save 75%!

Friday, June 17 at 11:56 am


Amazing. Ihave used massage for upper and lower back pain with moderate to excellent results.I started using them after that study 15 years ago sponsored by Chiropractors hoping to prove they were the best.
The comparison was based on recovery times for treatment of low back pain between Physicians,Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, and Massage therapists. The results included the impact of with and without excercise . The surprise winner hands down so to speak was Massage Therapists and excercise (stretches)and taking substantially longer were Physiotherapists (athletic therapists) ,Chiropractors, and longest Physicians and meds.
The chropractors initially embarassed by the results quickly learned from them, adapted, and now you often see them practicing from the same office…
If my memory serves me correctly recovery times for therapeutic massage was 2 months, Physiotherapy and excercise 3 months. Chiropracter 4 months and Physicians and meds 6 months.
Convinced me as did treatment later for my own back injury.
Although it is an inconvenience I agree that requiring a diagnosed condition is the least requirement Even better referral by a doctor or professional not practicing in the same location.

Friday, June 17 at 12:42 am | Reply

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