The following questions and answers have been developed in response to queries received by the Alberta Support Council for Massage Therapy. If you have a question that is not addressed here, please connect with us to ask - maybe your question and the answer to it will wind up here!

Why was the Alberta Support Council for Massage Therapy (ASCMT) formed?
The ASCMT was struck to advance the movement of Massage Therapy regulation in Alberta.
In recognition of the fact that there was no current option for joining a collective that was purely focused on regulating Massage Therapy; nor any group that invites Massage Therapists' patients and colleagues to actively support the pursuit of regulation for Massage Therapy. The ASCMT fills that gap.

Why should I join the Alberta Support Council for Massage Therapy (ASCMT)?
Regulating Massage Therapy in Alberta means protection of the public best interest while placing Massage Therapy into the realm of being a health profession.  
A recent survey conducted by some of the member service Massage Therapy associations operating in the province reported that the majority of respondents, who are practising Massage Therapy in Alberta, support Massage Therapy regulation. 
So if you:

  • believe that Massage Therapy should be a regulated health profession in Alberta; or 
  • want to support another Canadian jurisdiction in achieving provincial regulation; or
  • have had great and even not so great experiences in receiving massage therapy in Alberta; and
  • you’ve been seeking a “Registered Massage Therapist” that is recognized by your health benefits plan, believing that massage therapy was already provincially regulated in Alberta…..

...join us in moving Massage Therapy regulation in Alberta forward.

Will the ASCMT hinder, not help efforts for regulation in Alberta? Are there too many cooks in the kitchen?
Establishing Massage Therapy as a regulated health profession in Alberta is so important that the more people driving the process and showing support for regulation here in Alberta the better! The ASCMT is not designed to be in competition with any member service associations.  A letter expressing our interest in working cooperatively with each of the five (5) member service associations operating in Alberta was sent upon ASCMT's incorporation.

Who can join the Alberta Support Council for Massage Therapy?
Essentially everyone!  We welcome the support of anyone who believes that massage therapy should be a regulated health profession in Alberta.  Specifically, the ASCMT is structured in such a way as to accept:
Canadian Massage Therapists practising in Alberta or elsewhere 
Students enrolled in Massage Therapy programmes in Alberta
Health Care Professionals
General Public
Health Care Organizations

Why does the ASCMT want members who aren't Massage Therapists?
Having open membership allows anyone to show their support for the regulatory process for Massage Therapy in Alberta.  Regulation affects more than just the Massage Therapists in the province. It affects people who receive Massage Therapy care. The profession across the country is impacted by how we undertake regulating Massage Therapy here in Alberta, in consideration of the obligation to national uniformity in entry to practice and registration requirements.

Seeking public members also heightens awareness of what Massage Therapy is about and provides a way for people who want Massage Therapy to be regulated to support the process in their own small way.

Are you working with the existing associations?
Upon forming in early April 2016, we extended invitations to all 5 member service associations operating in Alberta to initiate a conversation about how our groups can work cooperatively. The ASCMT is understands and is encouraged that 3 of the 5 associations are now working together. We look forward to collaborating with all the Massage Therapy organizations in the province to  achieve regulation consistent with the existing national standards.

What are the benefits of massage therapy being regulated?
People receiving Massage Therapy care can have assurance that their Massage Therapist is capable of delivering safe care and in the event of inappropriate conduct, a standardized complaints and disciplinary process is in place.  Massage Therapy will become a claimable medical expense for Income Tax purposes for people paying out of pocket care.  

Massage Therapists practising in Alberta will experience increased legitimacy as healthcare providers rather than service providers, and will have inter-jurisdictional mobility to other regulated provinces.  With clear entry-to-practice standards, educators will be able to design curriculum that develops adequately prepares students to competently meet standards and enter practice.  

Health benefits providers and insurers will be more confident massage therapy care will meet minimum practice standards.

Nationally, the massage therapy profession can move closer to standard practice requirements making advocacy efforts more solid and labour mobility between jurisdictions possible.  With one more regulated jurisdiction, the profession will eligible to apply to become GST/HST exempt, or zero rated as it will officially be considered a health profession at the federal level.

What’s the difference between the ASCMT and the association that I am already a member of?
The Alberta Support Council for Massage Therapy is not an association and does not provide member services such as access to professional or general liability insurance policies.  It was established and is governed by members of the public and Massage Therapists.

The ASCMT provides a neutral, non-partisan advocate, whose sole purpose is to move Massage Therapy regulation forward in Alberta.

How much do I have to pay to join the Alberta Support Council for Massage Therapy?
The intent is to build upon the power of numbers and to do so, financial barriers to joining are addressed by the low fee of $20 for a membership that expires on December 31, 2017.

What does the Alberta Support Council for Massage Therapy spend funding on?
In short, realizing Massage Therapy regulation in Alberta. The organization has low to no operational overhead and is run by volunteers who fully believe in the mission, vision, objects and values that the Alberta Support Council for Massage Therapy was founded upon.  

Funding to facilitate online presence, development of regulatory framework, consultation and the impartial advocacy required to succeed in regulating Massage Therapy in Alberta is needed.

Who does the Alberta Support Council for Massage Therapy represent?
Like any registered non-profit organization, the ASCMT represents its members, many of whom are also members of professional associations and regulatory bodies, both inside and outside of Alberta, and part of or external to the Massage Therapy profession.

It is advantageous that every member of the Alberta Support Council for Massage Therapy supports the objects of the organization, which speak directly and singularly to the matter of regulating massage therapy in Alberta.  

What will the Alberta Support Council for Massage Therapy do for ME?
There are a healthy variety of options for member services and benefits being offered to Massage Therapists in Alberta by five member service associations operating in the province.

The ASCMT is only focusing on achieving the objects of the organization with authenticity, impartiality, innovative practicality and thoughtful stewardship.  

As a member, you can expect the ASCMT to go about the process of regulating Massage Therapy in Alberta in alignment with the mission, vision, objects and values upon which it was founded, all the while keeping you apprised of developments in a timely and open manner.