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Massage Therapy Scope of Practice

Scope of practice refers to the range of allowable practices that a person must follow in a given profession.

Generally speaking, massage therapy involves manipulation of a person's soft tissue and this manipulation of soft tissues should be performed for a therapeutic purpose: maintaining, rehabilitating, and augmenting physical function, or by relieving pain and promoting health. 

Massage Therapy Scope of Practice in Canada is generally defined in Acts that exist in the regulated provinces which include Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick,  and Newfoundland & Labrador and most recently, Prince Edward Island.

In other jursidictions, like Manitoba, without regulation, associations like the MTAM, who belong to the Canadian Massage Therapy Alliance (CMTA) respectfully follow the scope of practice that is based on the Federation of Massage Therapy Regulatory Authorities (FOMTRAC) practice competencies.

These competencies were established by the profession in 2012 and updated in 2016:

Specific modalities that fall within scope are defined by these practice standards.

MTAM members will use a number of in-scope modalities to help their clients. Some of the most commonly used modalities in 2019 were:

  • Swedish massage techniques
  • Deep tissue techniques
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Myofascial release
  • Instrument assisted techniques (suction cupping, instrument assisted soft-tissue mobilization/scraping, etc.)