What to look for in an Vancouver RMT for massage therapy

Learn how to find an RMT best suited for your needs in Vancouver

Are you searching for a new (or your first) Vancouver RMT (Registered Massage Therapist)? As this form of therapy has become more prevalent in recent years, you now have many RMTs to choose from.


The question is: how do you choose the right RMT in Vancouver for you?


Keep reading to learn the 7 things to look for when selecting a massage therapist for you or a family member:


1. Why do you need a massage?

Before you begin looking for an RMT, it’s important to understand your reasons for doing so. Maybe you:

  • received a doctor’s note or recommendation to see an RMT to help with healing from an injury.
  • are training for an athletic event and want to minimize your chances of injury
  • recognize that you work an extremely physical/active or overly sedentary job and want regular massages to avoid aches, pains, or injuries.
  • are looking for a form of stress relief or self-care support.
  • need help to improve your range of motion to handle everyday tasks more easily.


Your reason or end goal will be important in choosing the right RMT. RMTs often have areas of specialty, so you should ensure that if you need something specific, you find a practitioner with those skills.

2. Are they qualified/registered/experienced?

In BC, RMTS must be registered with the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC). This certified that they have completed a compulsory 18-36 month program from an accredited school and had a period of supervised practical training.


This provincially regulated career is under the BC Health Professions Act, and RMTs are subject to a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. They must maintain their professional standing and standards of professional conduct.


You can check the current list of active or non-practicing RMTs registered in BC on the CMTBC website.

3. Does their schedule work for you?

Some registered massage therapists have flexible schedules that may not align with typical 9-5  working hours. Some are independent contractors who rent out space in larger salons. These RMTS often set their hours based on the room rental availability and may be more sporadic throughout the week. Others are employed by a clinic and usually hold more regular hours.


If your availability for treatments is limited due to other scheduling conflicts, be sure you choose an RMT that is typically available on the days you need. This will help ensure you’re not bouncing between practitioners (based on whoever is available), and they can provide you with consistent care each visit.

4. Is their treatment room tidy and clean?

Check the practitioner’s treatment room to ensure it’s clean and sanitary. Make sure there are no curious smells (like mould, mildew, or the fast food place next door) that can be unhealthy and uncomfortable to breathe during your sessions. Check the temperature of the room too. Ensure the room has proper ventilation, heating, and cooling. Your RMT can often use a heated blanket if you feel cold.

5. Do they accept coverage under your medical plan?

If you want to claim your RMT appointments under a health or medical plan, check your plan limits to be sure you know what percentage is covered and your annual maximums. Most will accept direct billing for insurance or health plans, but check before you start if you don’t or can’t pay out-of-pocket for your treatments.


If they accept your plan, ask if they can do direct billing or if you need to pay for the visits out-of-pocket and claim it as an expense through your insurer on your own to be reimbursed.

6. Do you prefer a certain gender of therapist?

Massage can be a personal experience as the practitioner will massage your skin directly with their hands. Some patients have a preference for who they want to be massaging their body. This is a personal choice, and some prefer male or female RMTs. Professional RMTS will massage any patient, but if you have a preference, it’s acceptable to ask your clinic.


As an added note, you never have to fully disrobe during a massage therapy session. Most treatments can be done over your clothes if you prefer. For those getting upper body massages, you may wish to keep your pants on. You will be covered by a blanket during your session for the utmost modesty.

7. Do you feel comfortable with them?

As we mentioned, having a massage can be a profoundly personal experience, and to get the maximum benefits, you need to be completely comfortable with your RMT. When you can be comfortable, your body is given permission to relax, which is when the maximum healing benefits of a massage can begin to take effect. Go with your gut and ensure it’s someone you feel comfortable with.

Where to find available Vancouver RMTs

At Oceana Massage, we aim to create a calm, healing atmosphere in our clinic where your body feels free to rejuvenate, relax, and heal. Each practitioner has different specialties, but most offer registered massage therapy for stress relief, prenatal wellness, and detoxification.


Our registered massage therapists are available from 8am to 8pm most days of the week. You can start by booking a 75-minute “Initial Assessment” session. During this session, we can discuss your medical history, reasons and goals for massage, develop a treatment plan, and you can get your first massage.


When you’re ready, you can book 30-, 60-, 75-, 90-, or 120-minute sessions. Each session usually begins and ends with a brief consultation and health chat, so your actual massage time will be slightly less than your full appointment time.


Are you ready to find relief with massage therapy? Book your next session today with one of the registered massage therapists at Oceana!