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Can a licensed massage therapist do acupuncture?

the Traditional Chinese Medicine Act was proclaimed into law in Ontario. Current practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in Ontario must apply for registration with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO), and become accountable to CTCMPAO. CTCMPAO will oversee and regulate the profession to ensure the public receives safe, high quality Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture services.

RMTs practicing acupuncture as a modality within the scope of practice of Massage Therapy are not directly affected by this change. To further clarify what the acupuncture competencies are for Massage Therapists, please review the CMTO Acupuncture Practice Competencies and Performance Indicators adopted by Council in February 2013.

You may also wish to review Additional Technique Standard 2: Perform an Acupuncture Treatment.

While acupuncture techniques may be performed within the scope of practice of massage therapy, it is advisable that RMTs providing acupuncture techniques obtain additional professional liability insurance. Please contact your insurer for more information.

Some Massage Therapists may wish to remain a member of CMTO, but join the CTCMPAO as well. CMTO wishes to emphasize that if an RMT plans to continue to provide acupuncture as a Massage Therapist, acupuncture techniques can ONLY be provided within the Massage Therapy scope of practice. CMTO has a policy regarding dual registration, which provides additional guidance for those RMTs seeking to become members of both Colleges. To review the policy, please go here.

Those members found to be practicing either Traditional Chinese Medicine or acupuncture techniques beyond the scope of practice of massage therapy, and/or using any of the CTCMPAO’s protected titles, risk being charged with holding themselves out as a member of CTCMPAO and/or unlawfully using the protected titles of CTCMPAO. The fine for being found guilty of such an offence is $25,000.