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Choosing your massage therapy academic institution

Choosing an academic institution is an important step if you want to become a professional massage therapist. Your path can be significantly influenced. This is why you should take the time to learn about the different options that are available to you.

Consult the websites of the different academic institutions and compare what they offer. Formal academic institutions have a wealth of information relevant to your decision-making process, such as a complete description of curricula. Of course, taking into consideration geographical proximity and the cost of training is inevitable. However, with dozens of academic institutions located throughout Quebec, and the recent addition of partial distance education, you now more than ever have the opportunity to base your decision on criteria of equal importance.

Different Approaches

Since massage therapy is not a legally regulated profession in Quebec, there is not a single unique definition of what massage therapy is. As such, there is not a specific job description for a professional massage therapist. The different schools of thought generally fall under three main approaches:

  • Biomechanical, which examines the mechanical dimension of the body and movements;
  • Energetic, which derives from Eastern traditions and focuses on energy points ;
  • Psycho-corporal, which focuses on mind-body duality.

You will need to determine which approach corresponds the most to your understanding of the role of a therapist, and which approach offers you the best career opportunities.

Choisir sa maison d’enseignement en massothérapie RÉSEAU

Professional Associations

Not all academic institutions receive the same recognition from professional associations. Like in the case of institutions, your choice of association can be crucial to your career. Therefore, it is in your best interest to learn about the associations that recognize the training programs that interest you. From there, you will be able to verify which institutions will allow you to join the most important associations. Moreover, you may realize that some establishments can limit your choice of associations.

What’s Being Said…

References are a very important source when it comes to evaluating the quality of a product or service. Each year, numerous therapists are trained in all academic institutions. These new graduates are a very interesting source of information. Survey your acquaintances. Ask questions on your social media and visit focus groups that are specialized in the subject. You will certainly find people who are willing to share their personal experiences with you.

Options for Specialization

Some academic institutions offer a more limited variety of training than others. There are some institutions that only offer you the opportunity to follow basic training of about 400 hours, while there are others that offer speciality programs. These can include advanced training in kinesitherapy or orthotherapy, the possibility of learning a second basic massage technique, or even an offer to improve your knowledge through continuing education. It is up to you to judge and decide based on your academic background and your career plan!

Massage Therapy Management

For many years now, there have been projects to improve the management of the massage therapy profession in Quebec. These projects include the creation of a professional corporation for massage therapy, with the main objective of ensuring that professionals provide services that meet the quality standards and integrity of the profession.

Although the latest developments presented by the Minister of Justice informed us that there is currently no justification for the creation of a professional corporation, the subject is still present in massage therapy news. Therefore, it is important to know that if a professional corporation is created, all of the qualification criteria should be defined, as they do not currently exist.

Under these circumstances, no academic institution can legitimately claim that the training they offer will allow direct or easier access to a possible professional corporation.

To help you in your research, you can consult the list of academic institutions recognized by the Réseau. You can also contact us at 1-800-461-1312, ext. 1428 for any questions regarding the academic institutions and training programs we recognize.

The number of training hours

To be a member of the Réseau, you must have successfully completed a minimum 400 hour training course in massage therapy. With 400 hours of training, you can issue insurance receipts to your clients. However, by April 1, 2020, the Canada Life insurance company will have established new criteria for massage therapists who wish to be recognized as an accredited service provider. To find out about the new requirements and the status of your situation with this insurance company, we invite you to consult the content of our informative page.

With their requirement of 1000 hours of training, Canada Life joins Medavie Blue Cross, which requires 1000 hours of training to be able to issue an insurance receipt to veterans only, and Co-operators, which requires 1000 hours of training for some of its insurance plans only. Regarding the Co-operators, the Réseau is awaiting further details.

It’s important to read all of the information. If you still have questions, you can contact us at

Please note that these new requirements are not criteria for being a member of the Réseau and are applicable only for Canada Life insurance company who covers less than 10% of insureds in Quebec.

Consult the information