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CATCM - Canadian Association of Therapists in Complementary Medicine

ACDM - Association Canadienne des Massothérapeutes  et Autres thérapeutes en Médecines Alternatives

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Taking into account its many therapeutic virtues, the massage therapy is appropriate for the majority of people, the toddlers to the old people.   Its effect, at the same time alleviating and energizing, decreases nervous excitability, relieves the affections caused by the stress (back pain, migraine, exhaustion, insomnia), increases blood and lymphatic circulation and involves a state of general well-being.   It reinforces the immune system, but could not however cure serious illnesses.  

Several studies showed that the massage decreases the level of anxiety   associated with the pain, among others , at the patients diagnosed with cancer and the children suffering from mucoviscidosis   that it improves the respirator functions in the asthmatic children, the capacity of concentration at the teenagers suffering from the syndrome of deficit of the attention, that it reduces the symptoms connected to the fibromyalgia and that it promote the growth the premature ones.   The undertaken studies, in particular, in Touch Research Institute account for the multiple therapeutics applications as well as advantages of integrating the practice in medical context.  

The various forms of massage usually do not present any risk on a healthy subject.   However, it is advisable in certain cases to be careful and to obtain a medical opinion as soon as a doubt occurs.   In the event of allergy, it is contra-indicated to use an oil containing nut, of hazel nut or groundnut.   With regard to in-depth body work (structural integration), it goes much further than a relaxing massage and can have destabilizing effects for people who are emotively fragile.   The massage therapist must then have an adequate training in helping relationship.

The majority of the counter-indications to the massage concern the pure good sense.   Thus, it is contra-indicated to give a massage immediately after a meal, following a major surgical operation, at the time of a strong fever, on recent wounds or scars, in the event of contagious cutaneous infections, on fibromas or tumours, on a drunk person.

It is also contra-indicated to give an in-depth massage after the 3rd month of the pregnancy like to the beginning of the pregnancy, around the malleolus (ankle bone).   It is not recommended to practise an abdominal massage during the period of the menstruations and on the belly of the women carrying a intrauterine device.   Lastly, it is contra-indicated to give a massage to people suffering from circulatory troubles (phlebitis, thrombosis, varixes), cardiac (arteriosclerosis, hypertension, etc.)   and diabetic without medical opinion.  

In practice
Many studies show that the massage therapy occupies an increasingly significant place in the therapeutic circles.   In Canada, one estimates that there is more than 10 000 massage therapists and in the United States, nearly 50 000, whereas France counts more than 40 000 masseur-kinesitherapists.  

Massage therapy is practised in a variety of contexts:   in the centers of growth and relaxation, aesthetic centers, centers of rehabilitation and health, in work environment and a private cabinet.   One also uses it in preventive medicine, in sporting medicine, within the framework of helping relationship, in psychotherapy as well as in the hospitals and the private clinics.  

The duration of a massage is generally of an hour and costs from 35 to 70 $ the hour (25-50 euros).   According to the technique employed, the massage will be exerted on a naked dressed up person, in position lying or sat, with or without oil.  

Certain techniques of massage are complete in themselves and do not require a follow-up, while a structural technique for example, aiming at redeveloping the body by the massage and a rehabilitation of the posture and movement, will require a series of treatments.  

To be initiated with a technique of massage, weekend workshops are offered to general public at cost being equivalent to 10 $ the hour (7 euros).   There are also videos making it possible to learn the basic movements.  

In Canada, it is the model of formation adopted in Ontario, which makes authority in the majority of the provinces, except for the Colombia-British and Quebec.   The program, driving to the diploma for the occupation of massage therapist, thus comprises 2 200 hours of formation, whereas as a Colombia-British, where it was attached to physiotherapy, it is 3 000 hours.

In Quebec, the complete program is 1 000 hours and is structured in two levels.   The first level, driving to the diploma for the occupation of practitioner in massage therapy, requires approximately 435 hours of formation divided as follows:   30 % devoted to the training of a technique of massage   20 % with the anatomy and physiology, 25 % with the relation of assistance and the deontology, and 20 % with supervised stage. The second level, driving to the diploma for the occupation of massage therapist, is 565 hours and makes it possible to learn a second technique from massage and to specialize in a biomechanical approach (Kinesitherapy), Néo-Reichien, Californian or Esalem or energetic (shiatsu or polarity).   The training costs are 6,50 to 10 $ the hour (4,5 to 7 euros).

In the United States, the AMTA, the most significant trade association, approved 58 programs requiring a 500 hours minimum of formation, but certain states require some more.   In fact, there is a controversy between those which wish that the massage be integrated into the care of health, which implies to increase the duration of the formation at 3 000 hours, and those which wish to apply the massage only to personal care and fear that the public consults only the therapeutists having received an elaborate formation.  

In France, training in masso-kinesitherapy passed in 1982 from two to three years.   Since, in practically all the European countries, it is spread out over four years.   It is even possible to follow a university course going until the master's degree and the doctoral degree, as it is the case in Belgium.   The inequality, from one end to another of Europe, standards applying to the formation and the practice of masso-kinesitherapy raises the indignation of the kinesitherapists, in particular in Switzerland, who must follow four years of studies and then work two years under the responsibility for a fellow-member or an institution approved before being able to steal their own wings.   The World Confederation for Physical Therapy, an international organization gathering 82 professional associations specialized in body therapies, tries to find a solution in order to standardize the studies and the practice of kinesitherapy on an international scale.





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