COVID-19 Updates

Advocacy and Advisories


Jump to: Advocacy with Integrity | Advocacy for Members - Updated | Application for GST exemption on massage therapy - Updated | Ongoing work with Health Benefit Providers | Preventing Insurance Benefit Fraud & Abuse | Green Shield CanadaNational work on Insurance Audits |  Partnerships |  Cases in the Media 

Advocacy with Integrity

The MTAM is a recognized leader in evidence-based advocacy. Our Association is regularly called upon to provide information and advice on behalf of our members and the profession. We use common-sense and facts in all of the work we do on behalf of members. We work with integrity to ensure massage therapists can help more Manitoban's be healthy and are seen with respect by the public and other health care professions.

Supporting Our Members

UPDATED - September 2020

The MTAM undertakes a variety of advice, mentorship and advocacy for our members:

  • We provide reliable and constant information for members in an ever-changing environment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Updates were delivered via email, newsletters and on the MTAM website. 
    • We delivered live webinars for members on key topics. These sessions also helped preserve our sense of community by allowing members to meet virtually.
    • We responded to member needs by providing free access to practice advisors, clinic tools and resources, and webinars.
    • We advocated on behalf of members to all levels of government, to public health, and to insurance companies. 
    • We quickly adapted to ensure all regular membership services and benefits were uninterrupted despite COVID-19-related closures. This meant that Board and committee members volunteered hundreds of extra hours. 
  • We give members step-by-step ways of managing legal challenges, we can help them to find affordable legal help, coach and assist in preparation when then need to testify or hand in their SOAP notes for a case.
  • We coach clinic owners and individual therapists how to report incidents when they have been propositioned, assaulted, or mistreated by a client.
  • The MTAM has been working with Clinic Owners and Spas to build better employment and independent contractor situations for RMTs and help the organizations manage human resource challenges.
  • We consult to help businesses improve work situations, treat RMTs more fairly, and to be sure that pay, work conditions and contracts are fair.
  • Our Associate Membership ($50) is our way of inviting Clinics, Spas, Wellness Centres and other organizations to be a part of this community. To attend events and take part in key discussions that affect the profession.
  • The MTAM offers practice advice and mentorship to help members with all of their practice-related questions, to review contracts, navigate starting their business, and to mediate challenging situations with co-workers or owners.

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Application for GST Exemption on Massage Therapy

UPDATED - December 2020

In the spring of 2019 the Prince Edward Island Massage Therapy Association (PEIMTA) acheived inclusion under the Prince Edward Island Regulated Health Professions Act. In doing so PEI has become the 5th province to achieve massage therapy regulation in Canada.

With this momentous announcement, it opened the door for an application to be made to Canada's Minister of Finance for tax exemption status for the massage therapy profession. MTAM would like to thank the Registered Massage Therapists' Association of Ontario (RMTAO) for initiating the process toward our application for tax exempt status and the Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance (CMTA) for taking on the next steps on behalf of RMTs across Canada. 

We have been advised by the CMTA that "obtaining tax exemption for massage therapy will require the support and cooperation of all massage therapists across Canada." They will be seeking information about massage therapists’ practices and encouraging participation in advocacy initiatives. The MTAM looks forward to working with our members, our partners in the CMTA, and massage therapists across the country towards the goal of tax exemption for massage therapy.

Read the CMTA Pre-Budget submission to the Federal Government.

Read the letter to MTAM Members.

The public and RMTs can show their support for GST/HST exemption by visiting

Share your story about how massage therapy has helped you!

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Ongoing work with Health Benefit Providers

The MTAM works closely with all major health insurance benefit providers, third party administrators and similar organizations. Each month we send an updated list of our members to all major benefit providers so they are able to quickly and efficiently process claims made by patients. The MTAM educates members and helps with individual cases of insurance fraud or suspected fraudulent practices within clinics where our members work.

The MTAM places a priority on advocating on behalf of our members, the massage therapy profession and the public. We continue to educate health benefit providers on the benefits of massage therapy which has helped thousands of Canadians remain active, mobile and pain-free, recover from injuries and relieve debilitating symptoms of illnesses. 

As most insurance companies are national, we assist the Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance (CMTA) in advocating for the continued inclusion of massage therapy coverage in extended health benefits plans. The CMTA meets regularly with representatives from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CHLIA) to provide information and education about the role of massage therapists as health professionals across the country, and the evidence supporting the efficacy of massage therapy.

Health Benefit Providers and third party administrators across Canada attended two updates with the MTAM via webinar in January and March of 2018. Thanks to everyone who attended — we were delighted to host these events for so many representatives from the majority of organizations across Canada.

The first presentation was a Manitoba Regulation update and was well-received. The second presentation was a follow up to the insurers general questions and interests in

  1. Explanations for less-than-30 minute Massage Therapy treatments.
    The MTAM polled members on what type of massage therapy is being done in smaller/shorter treatments so we were able to define this for the health benefit providers. Children’s massage, seniors, infants, and a myriad of other very reasonable treatment types are of shorter duration and our clarifying list made sense to them once they understood the basis.
  2. Ideas and best practices to avoid inadvertent approval of student massage work.
    Many insurers prefer not to approve massage claims that were provided by anyone not appropriately qualified but some do not have the processes or resources to audit or follow up. MTAM is working with some of these insurers to help them simplify and update their processes.
  3. Confusion about Osteopathy / Osteopathic Manual Practitioners.
    This inspired more questions and so the MTAM is now working on gathering all the facts related to his health care to present this information to the public, insurers, and our members.

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MTAM Discussions with Green Shield Canada 

In addition to our ongoing advocacy with all national insurance companies through CHLIA, the MTAM has been in contact directly with Green Shield Canada to discuss their recent article The Elephant in the Waiting Room.

While Green Shield has indicated that they intend to continue coverage for massage therapy treatments, the MTAM has voiced our concern for the manner in which this and other posts have minimized the value of massage therapy and the benefits that treatments provide for the many Manitobans who make regular use of registered massage therapy.

The MTAM has made the offer to assist Green Shield in understanding the efficacy of massage therapy and how it can help decrease the need for expensive medications by putting them in contact with members of our research committee who are able to provide access to current, relevant massage therapy research.

The MTAM will continue to advocate on behalf of our members and the public they serve, who rely on high quality massage therapy for pain relief, to improve and maintain their mobility and overall quality of health. 

MTAM Letter to GSC

CMTA Letter to GSC

GSC Response to MTAM

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National work on Insurance Audits

On a national level the CMTA met with CHLIA to discuss a number of topics including finding ways to ensure audits are more consistent.

The hope is to bring all the information to the table to find solutions to the insurance audit process which currently seems arbitrary and dependant on the individual assessor rather than a coherent, concise, and transparent process.  CHLIA has been working to layout a national strategy/criteria for the collection of information, standard recording processes, and standardized practices. The CMTA will send information to assist in that process.

The CMTA also presented a number of other advocacy points to CHLIA — thanks to both of these important groups for their work in helping all RMTs.

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We are all stronger, when we work together. We are proud of the relationships and partnerships we have with other Massage Therapy Association's across Canada and are a proud member of the Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance. We work with other health care therapies in this province including the Manitoba Physiotherapy Association, the Manitoba Athletic Therapists' Association, and the Manitoba Chiropractor's Association.

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Cases in the Media

The MTAM keeps up-to-date on all court cases, incidents, and situations related to massage, massage parlours, body workers, and to cases that involve massage therapy health care practitioners in Manitoba.

When cases are being investigated or are in the court system, we will not comment specifically to respect the integrity of that case or investigation. The MTAM believes it is inappropriate to comment publicly on cases sub judice. Publicly discussing cases sub judice may constitute interference with the legal process.

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