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CMTBC issues Notice to the Profession advising that use of an RMT’s feet for the delivery of treatment is not within the scope of practice for massage therapy

CMTBC has issued a Notice to the Profession advising registrants that the use of an RMT’s feet for the delivery of treatment to a patient is not within the scope of practice for massage therapy in BC. Effective immediately, registrants who currently provide and bill for massage using the RMT’s feet as part of the provision of massage therapy services are advised to cease doing so.

CMTBC also advises registrants to amend their advertising materials and marketing activities immediately if they contravene Part F.1 of the CMTBC Bylaws. The College acknowledges that it is not possible to correct all advertising and marketing activities instantaneously. For this reason, Part F.1 of the Bylaws will be enforced in relation to massage using the RMT’s feet from February 1, 2022 onward.

Read the Notice to the Profession.

Why has CMTBC issued a Notice to the Profession on the use of an RMT’s feet for the delivery of treatment?

CMTBC is aware that there are various techniques and modalities that involve use of the practitioner’s feet to apply pressure to a patient’s body. CMTBC has recently received a number of questions from RMTs regarding these techniques/modalities. Therefore, the College issued the Notice to the Profession to advise all registrants that all forms of treatment delivered through the use of an RMT’s feet fall outside the scope of practice for massage therapy as established by section 1 of the Massage Therapists Regulation.

What are the factors CMTBC considers when determining whether a modality is within the scope of practice for massage therapy in BC?

Some of the factors considered include:

  • Whether the modality is experimental;
  • Whether the modality is taught in recognized massage therapy schools;
  • The extent of the education and/or training, if any, provided in relation to the proposed modality in massage therapy schools;
  • The relationship, if any, of the proposed modality to the College’s entry-to-practice requirements;
  • Whether there would be challenges in establishing standards to support safe delivery of the modality;
  • Whether the modality is recognized as within scope in other regulated jurisdictions;
  • Whether there is any academic research on the efficacy and risks of the proposed modality;
  • The nature and severity of the potential risks posed by the proposed modality;
  • Whether the proposed modality is invasive;
  • The public’s right to access treatments and choice; and
  • Whether the proposed modality furthers the public interest in safe and effective treatment for the preservation or promotion of health.

Is there a way to still provide treatment that involves the use of feet?

Registrants may still provide services that fall outside the scope of practice of an RMT if they do so in a way that is separate from their massage therapy practice and complies with section 78.91 of Part F.1 of the College’s Bylaws: advertising of services that fall outside the scope of practice.

For more information, read the Notice to the Profession.

If you have any questions, please contact CMTBC’s Practice Advisor at 604.736.3404 (ext. 301) or at [email protected].

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