What’s the first thing you do when you need some relaxation? Hop in the bath? Put on some jazz? Set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” mode? (Talk about tranquil).
Having a toolkit of go-to strategies is essential for everyone. But there’s one thing you might not have thought of: booking a massage.
It needn’t be a spa day with all the bells and whistles. A 60-minute session with an RMT is all it takes! And when you visit an experienced professional like Melinda Baldwin, our RMT, you'll feel like you just hit the “reset” button on your mind and body. Score!
Keep reading to learn about the benefits of massage therapy and hear what Melinda had to say.
What is Massage Therapy?
Let’s start off with the basics: what is massage therapy? Put simply, it's a type of hands-on manual treatment that focuses on manipulating the soft tissues of the body.
In order to practice as a massage therapist in Ontario, an RMT must complete an 18 to 36-month long program from an accredited massage therapy school. This provides them with the foundational knowledge and hands-on skills required to work with patients and improve their overall health.
RMT’s use standard techniques including Swedish massage, deep tissue, and trigger point release. Many of them can also provide specialized techniques such as lymphatic massage, sports massage, and craniosacral therapy. It’s important to seek out an RMT that can provide the type of treatment you’re looking for. Each one is unique and brings something different to the massage table!
“I always ask them what their reason for coming in is,” says Melinda. This way, she can target her treatment based on what the patient is trying to accomplish. If they’re just coming in to promote overall relaxation, her approach will be more general, for example. On the other hand, if the patient has a sore neck from working at home, she‘ll pay extra attention to that particular area and the surrounding body parts.
“The #1 priority is client care,” Melinda shares. “I always make sure the patient is totally comfortable. It’s their body and their decision, so I always cater my treatment to what they’re looking for.” By the end of their session, her patients report feeling relaxed, more at ease, and oh-so rejuvenated.
Sounds pretty wonderful, doesn’t it? We’re only getting started! Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that a massage therapy session can bring.
Massage Therapy Benefits
- It decreases stress in the body. Did you know that your nervous system has two sides? Melinda explains the differences and how her treatment can affect them: “Massage is great because it can really calm down the sympathetic nervous system, which is your fight or flight, and promotes the parasympathetic nervous system, which is your rest and digest." These days, a lot of us are spending more time in “fight or flight” mode than we should be. Our stress levels have skyrocketed over the last couple of years. And the unfortunate reality is that long-term exposure to high levels of stress can take a hefty toll on our health – for instance, did you know that it can negatively impact hormone regulation and our ability to recover? The bottom line is that one of the most notable benefits of massage is a reduction of stress in the body.
- It gives your mind a break. Something that sets massage therapy apart from other Rehab treatments is that it can greatly benefit your mind. While other forms of care are largely focused on fixing your body, attending a massage appointment essentially allows you to unplug your brain for once! The room is dimly lit, there are zero distractions, and the soothing touch of an RMT just might be enough to make you fall asleep. Considering how long your to-do list has probably gotten these days, your mind will definitely thank you after you attend a massage therapy session.
- It reduces pain. Stop asking your partner for a massage and let the professionals do it for you! When you visit a trained RMT, they’ll alleviate your symptoms and finally work out those knots in your back. Patients who experience all types of pain can benefit from massage therapy – that includes those recovering from an injury and people who have general aches and pains from daily living. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of elbow grease!
- It improves mobility. If you’re a Weekend Warrior, you’ll definitely want to add massage therapy appointments into your routine. Massages can be a game-changer if you want to improve your mobility. Everything in our bodies is connected including our muscles, joints, and ligaments — and just like cars require tune-ups to run smoothly, your body needs frequent TLC as well.
- It increases circulation. “A lot of my clients deal with tightness,” Melissa shares. “Hip flexors can get pretty tight from sitting, as well as the legs... everything tightens up because of the lack of movement, especially if you just sit in one place all day. Massage therapy can really help by promoting that circulation to flush everything out and promote good nutrition in the body.”
- It encourages self-care. When’s the last time you carved out a night to truly unwind, relax, and take care of yourself? A lot of people find self-care slipping to the bottom of their priority list these days. Booking a massage is an excellent form of self-care because you have to actually block off time in your schedule for it. This makes it more difficult to brush off or promise yourself you’ll “get around to it later”. If you’re someone who has trouble committing to a daily, weekly, or monthly self-care practice, adding massages to your routine is a great place to start.
Do You Need a Doctor's Note for Massage Therapy?
So, you’ve learned about the wonderful benefits of massage therapy – and maybe now you’re ready to try it for yourself! But do you need a professional referral in order to visit an RMT?
Luckily, the answer is no – anyone is welcome to book a massage therapy appointment. “I say massage therapy is good for everybody of all ages,” Melissa says. “I’ve even treated children and seniors.” This is the case for people who plan on paying the cost out of pocket. If you have insurance coverage and want to claim your massage, you may require a referral from a doctor.
We recommend that you check in with your insurance provider beforehand if you have any questions about your unique requirements.
If you have a serious health condition, especially if it’s related to your heart or cancer treatment, Melinda also suggests that you check in with your family doctor before booking a massage. Once they give you the go-ahead, you can book your first appointment!
How Much Does Massage Therapy Cost?
The cost of a massage therapy appointment will depend on a few factors: which clinic you visit, who you visit, and the length of your treatment.
Here are the costs* of massage therapy at HealthOne:
- 30-minute session: $70
- 45-minute session: $90
- 60-minute session: $110
We also accept all major insurance providers and offer direct billing! If your insurance plan covers massage, don’t wait – take advantage and experience the magic of massage therapy for yourself.
*Costs are subject to change. Please check with our Rehab team for the most up-to-date pricing.
Massage Therapy Toronto
By now, you’ve learned the ins and outs of massage therapy from Melinda Baldwin, our RMT at HealthOne. She’s one of the many practitioners on our Rehab team who provide massage therapy in Toronto!
If you’re looking for a great way to relax your mind and body while optimizing your health, consider booking an appointment! To recap, some of the main benefits you can look forward to include:
- Lower stress levels in the body.
- A more relaxed mind.
- Reduced pain.
- Improved mobility.
- Increased circulation.
- 60+ minutes of self-care.
Click here to book an appointment with a massage therapist in Toronto!
One Life. Live Inspired.