Massage therapy association downplays COVID-19 risks

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A massage therapist says the Commission des Praticiens en Médecine Douce du Québec (CPMDQ), an association licensing hundreds of naturopaths, kinesiologists, and other therapists, has not provided members with much-needed information about how to protect themselves, or their clients, from COVID-19.

"The association hasn't sent their members any protocols or guidelines. I question every member's safe reopening," said CPMDQ member and massage therapist Julia Turcotte.

Turcotte says she has been reaching out to the CPMDQ for months, trying to get information about how the pandemic would impact her as an independent therapist and small business owner.

In response, the CPMDQ’s point of contact has downplayed the virus in email correspondence  and failed to provide information on public health guidelines related to therapy practictioners.

"I wrote to the association asking if they had any information for me, and she responded saying that COVID-19 doesn't exist, I'm on my own, and to go to a government website," said Turcotte.

Turcotte says she's looking to find a new association, but her options are limited.

"They're all independently-owned associations, so they can do whatever they want. For physios, osteos, athletic therapists they have one governing board. For massage therapists, it's not regulated like that," she said.

She says her experience underscores the lack of oversight governing Quebec massage therapy associations.

In the meantime, Turcotte says she's worried that hundreds of other therapists who reopened their businesses this week have not been properly informed about public health guidelines.

The CPMDQ did not return requests for comment.

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