Life / Careers

You can do this: Registered massage therapy

"I enjoy seeing the immediate effect of relaxation in my clients. There is a feeling of satisfaction in bringing back good, positive energy to people."

Chen Weinberg is a Registered Massage Therapist and Acupuncturist at Neshama Therapy in Toronto.

Contributed

Chen Weinberg is a Registered Massage Therapist and Acupuncturist at Neshama Therapy in Toronto.

Chen Weinberg, Registered Massage Therapist and Acupuncturist at Neshama Therapy in Toronto.

The basics

$40,237: Median annual salary for a registered massage therapist. Experienced RMTs can earn upwards of $66,000 per year.

+12%: Projected job growth rate over the next eight years.

Why I like my job

I’ve always had a passion for helping people. From a young age I felt connected with alternative health care, and I decided to take this one step further by learning traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture to better address the various health issues a person may experience. After becoming a Shiatsu Master, I moved to Toronto from Tel Aviv to complete my Western medicine studies and to incorporate medical massage therapy into my practice.

I’m now a graduate of the prestigious Sutherland-Chan School & Teaching Clinic, as well as the Shiatsu School of Canada Acupuncture Institute. In 2007, I opened a home-based practice, where I treat and educate my patients to help enhance their body-mind-spirit connection and integrate their physical, mental and emotional selves into a cohesive whole.

I’m a mechanic of the body; a detective tasked with assessing, diagnosing and treating patients to help reduce pain dysfunction and emotional stress while also improving their quality of life. I enjoy seeing the immediate effect of relaxation in my clients. There is a feeling of satisfaction in bringing back good, positive energy to people. After all, we’re all connected – so healing one person can truly help heal the world. 

How to start

Standards and practices governing massage therapists vary from province to province. RMTs are currently regulated in B.C., Newfoundland, Ontario and New Brunswick, requiring practitioners to complete competency-based education and exams in addition to registering with the provincial College of Massage Therapists.

Formal college programs provide both theoretical and hands-on training in human anatomy, body awareness, neurology, pathology and therapeutic exercise. Student RMTs can expect to receive nearly 3,000 hours of hands-on training in the treatment of various injuries and illnesses (e.g. chronic headaches, back pain and muscle strains).

Where you can go

People are increasingly turning to holistic health practices to relieve stress or pain and to treat body imbalances. The widespread endorsement of massage therapy by health-care practitioners has opened several opportunities for RMTs in health clinics, nursing homes, spas, resorts and hotels, gyms and rehabilitation centres. Additionally, many professionals choose to launch and operate their own business.

Required skills

Working in this field demands a high degree of functionality in social perceptiveness, clinical knowledge and judgment, physical stamina, manual dexterity, professionalism and trustworthiness.

Data for this feature was provided by payscale.com, trade-schools.net, servicecanada.gc.ca and onetonline.org 

More on Metronews.ca