Therapeutic massage has had a long history of practice throughout the world, but it became widely used particularly in the early 19th century. Physicians and surgeons would use it to treat sprain injuries and other issues to the joints and soft tissues. In 1946, British Columbia put the therapy treatment on the map with the founding of the Association of Physiotherapists and Massage Practitioners of British Columbia (APMP BC).
The diverse history of massage practitioners in BC demonstrates the diverse style of the treatment, with its ability to cross boundaries into a variety of health sectors. In 1937, massage practitioners were included within the realm of naturalistic physicians through the Naturopathic Physicians Act, while today, they are considered among the most highly trained healthcare professionals within their field. In BC, students must complete at least 3,000 hours of training at an accredited college, in contrast to a typical university bachelor's degree, which averages around 1,500 hours over the span of four years.
Massage therapy has evolved into a refined form of treatment that requires its practitioners to undergo continuing education throughout their careers. They also are encouraged to maintain a strong professional relationship with physicians, in order to align their recommended massage techniques with doctors' pharmaceutical prescriptions and other treatments.
Students who are interested in becoming a practitioner in the province of BC can enroll in courses at Vancouver Career College. For more information on the Registered Massage Therapy program, fill out the form on the right.