What to expect at your Massage Appointment
Scope of Practice
You have chosen your Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) and are really enjoying the massage. Perhaps this RMT is doing something slightly different to what you have experienced in the past or maybe you are lying there and even though you feel like you are in safe hands, you are thinking about the differences between one therapist and another.
One of the answers to this question can come down to Scope of Practice. Scope of Practice refers to the extent and limits in the types of techniques, treatment approaches and conditions that determine the boundaries that a health professional is required to follow. A therapist must practice within the terms of their professional registration and code of ethics.
What this means is that the RMT is working within the parameters dependent on the level of qualification that they have received from their education provider. These parameters are used to identify the level of registration with Massage New Zealand (MNZ).
Take a look on the clinic wall of your RMT. They will have their qualification displayed and next to that their MNZ Annual Practicing Certificate (APC). The APC will have your RMT's name and level written in bold letters. You remember seeing this certificate on the wall, as you took your seat in the treatment room. And you could clearly see Level 5 written in bold letters. You now know that your RMT is a Level 5 registered therapist and their Scope of Practice reflects this.
MNZ has 4 levels of RMT from Level 4 - 7. You can learn more about these Levels and Scope of Practice on the MNZ website.
Knowing your therapist's Scope of Practice is important.
A level 4 or 5 therapist has the scope of practice that includes a wellness assessment and will provide a general wellness or relaxation massage session.
A level 6 or 7 therapist has a scope of practice that includes a physical assessment such as postural analysis and special muscle tests. They will provide a remedial or clinical type massage yet may also provide a relaxation massage session for you, if that is considered the most suitable and safest treatment for you at that time.
Knowing what to expect during the massage session may help you choose your RMT. For instance, an RMT that is Level 6 or higher is eligible to become a Southern Cross Health Society Easy-claim provider. Therefore, you may be able to claim your massage treatment. It may be worth checking with your Health Insurance Provider to see if you are eligible to claim for your massage therapy treatments.
All MNZ RMTs must adhere to their Scope of Practice as outlined in the MNZ Code of Ethics.
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