Christina Baptista, RMT

Registered Massage Therapist

Relax. Release.​ Recover. Renew.

Why Did I Become a Massage Therapist?

I have always been drawn to massage therapy as a profession because it is a 

holistic, hands-on approach to health care.  


Since becoming registered in 2003, my massage practice has evolved significantly. I strive to address whole-person health through a biopsychosocial approach to treatment, which balances the physical, mental/emotional and social factors that contribute to wellness.


I enjoy working one-on-one with individuals in a peaceful environment that supports their well-being through active-listening, respectful communication, validation of their experience in their own bodies,  and empowering education, in addition to the hands-on massage techniques. 


Not only is massage therapy beneficial for many injuries and medical conditions, it is also a wonderful self-care practice for health maintenance/injury prevention. 

Benefits of Massage Therapy

• decreased perception of pain.

• decreased stress-induced sympathetic nervous system firing.

• increased parasympathetic (relaxation) nervous system response.

• improved sense of physical well-being.

• increased functional mobility.

• decreased perception of stiffness.

• improved joint range of motion.

• improvement in sleep quality.

• improved mood/mental well-being.

• improved circulation.

• decreased edema (swelling).


Why Choose a Registered Massage Therapist?

To become an RMT, I was required to successfully complete a comprehensive 3,000-hour program.

During this program, I obtained over 1,000 hours of hands-on training including:

• Swedish massage

• Neuromuscular techniques

• Myofascial release

• Trigger point release

• Muscle energy techniques

• Joint mobilizations

• Hydrotherapy

• Therapeutic exercise


As well as an introduction to:

• Visceral manipulation

• Manual lymphatic drainage

• Craniosacral techniques

• Breast massage


I also received an in-depth education in subjects such as:

• General anatomy/physiology

• Neurology

• General pathology

• Clinical assessment & management

• Professional development

• Orthopedic pathology

• Neurological assessment

• Regional orthopedic assessment

• Spinal orthopedic assessment

• Musculoskeletal anatomy

• Kinesiology

• Nutrition

• Medications


Massage therapy students have the opportunity to practice on the public, under supervision, in the student-intern clinic and in-reach programs at the West Coast College of Massage Therapy, as well as at the many organized out-reaches (e.g. sporting events, extended care facilities, etc.).

Upon completion of the three-year program, I obtained a Diploma in Massage Therapy


College graduates are required to complete board-certified examinations, administered by the College of Massage Therapists' of British Columbia, in accordance with the Health Professions Act of British Columbia. This process consisted of three written examinations and one oral-practical examination.

Once the board examinations have been successfully completed, only then may a graduate earn the title of "Registered Massage Therapist". 

This rigorous training and examination process ensures that RMTs are very highly educated health-care professionals.


Benefits of Seeing a Registered Massage Therapist

• Registered massage therapists (RMTs) are regulated health care professionals, who are governed by the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia, who set strict ethical and professional guidelines.

• RMTs must adhere to the Health Professions Act of British Columbia.

• RMTs have an assigned practitioner number, which is required by extended health care plans, MSP, ICBC and WorkSafe BC to provide coverage to individuals for their massage therapy treatments.

• RMTs are required to complete continuing education, to maintain their registration.

• RMTs have a thorough understanding of what is outside of their scope of practice and when to refer on to another health care practitioner.

• RMTs are trained to recognize when it is contraindicated to provide treatment and what precautions are needed to be taken with certain health conditions (e.g. semi-sitting position for respiratory conditions, modified massage techniques applied when hypertension is a concern).

• RMTs are qualified to take blood pressure readings.

• RMTs are required to be certified in Standard First Aid and CPR level C (with AED).


Massage Therapy Experience

I began practicing massage therapy in 2003. My first two and a half years of practice were spent treating patients in a clinical setting, improving my clinical reasoning skills, building confidence in supporting patients with their health goals and learning from the experience and expertise of other health care practitioners, such as other registered massage therapists, a kinesiologist, a Jin Shin Do acupressure practitioner and chiropractors, in local multidisciplinary clinics. 

As a result of working with these other practitioners, I gained valuable clinical knowledge and practical skills; I have been building on this knowledge and these skills ever since.


In March 2006, I opened my own massage therapy practice in my home; however, life circumstances changed in October 2009, at which time I joined another RMT at "Energia Massage Therapy", a peaceful home-based clinic in the Gordon Head area of Victoria, B.C.


In January 2018, I relocated my massage therapy practice to the Westshore (Langford). I enjoy being a part of the "Station Wellness Collective", a group of holistic, alternative healthcare practitioners, focusing on whole-body health and wellness.


Over the years, I have had experience providing treatment for:

• Acute & chronic conditions

• Adhesive capsulitis (“frozen shoulder”)

• Arthritis (Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoariatic arthritis)

• Back/neck pain

• Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue

• Headaches/migraines

• Motor vehicle incident (MVI) related whiplash/trauma

• Neurological conditions (Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, disc herniation & cerebral palsy, sciatica)

• Post-surgical joint/muscle rehabilitation

• Pregnancy related discomfort

• Repetitive strain injuries (carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis)

• Sports injuries (strains/sprains)

• Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction

• Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)


Teaching Experience

I have over five years of experience teaching at the "West Coast College of Massage Therapy" (September 2008 - April 2011, as well as January 2017-June 2019), both as a clinical supervisor in the student intern clinic and as a teaching assistant in a classroom setting.

 I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my knowledge and skills with the Massage Therapy students. I found teaching in an adult education environment to be both challenging and rewarding.

Birth Doula Experience

Definition of "Doula": a woman who assists women during labour and after childbirth.


What is a birth doula's role?

A birth doula provides support for a pregnant mother and her partner (e.g. husband, life partner, friend, family member) before, during and after the labour and delivery of the baby. As a doula, I assisted with creating an empowering birth experience for both the mother and her partner.


What does a birth doula do?

• provides emotional support for the birthing mother and her partner.

• assists with physical comfort measures (e.g. massage, labour positions, breathing techniques and relaxation/visualization exercises).

• provides continuous care throughout the labour and birth (no shift changes).

• provides perspective and reassurance to the mother/partner through her training and knowledge of the birth process.

• works for the client, not the hospital or caregiver.

• gives information about medical procedures, examinations, and medications (but does not prescribe or recommend medications).

• provides the mother with information to help her make informed decisions about the birth of her baby.

• suggests questions the mother may like to ask her caregiver to help the mother achieve an empowering birth experience.


Why did I pursue doula training?

In October 2006, my son was born. We opted to have a birth doula at his birth. She provided the emotional support that we needed to get us through an intense labour and delivery. Her knowledge of the birth process helped to keep both myself and my partner calm and well-informed.


Our doula was able to provide physical comforts to help me manage the pain and intensity of each contraction. Her constant presence offered reassurance and she brought a sense of peace to a very hectic hospital delivery room.


I have always been interested in providing support to women throughout pregnancy with massage therapy; however, after this experience I decided that I would like to take this one step further, by providing childbirth support. The experience of childbirth is a miraculous one. I have had the honour of being a part of this life-changing experience for many expectant mothers and their birth partners.


As a mother, I realize the importance of having support at home in the weeks and months following the birth of a new baby. I didn't feel that I had enough support after my partner had gone back to work following the birth of our son. As I researched becoming a birth doula, I came across information about postpartum doula support. What a brilliant concept!


In June 2008, I completed my DONA International training to become a certified birth and postpartum doula. These workshops were incredibly insightful and empowering! I learned an extensive amount of information that I was able to share with the expectant parents who chose to have me as their birth doula. I felt very well prepared to support the intensity, emotions and long duration of  labour and childbirth. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed the miraculous birth experiences that I have had the honour of being a part of.


Please note: Due to family commitments of my own, I am no longer providing doula support in the delivery room; however, I still thoroughly enjoy providing pregnancy and postpartum care in my massage therapy practice.


Doula support is invaluable to everyone involved; doulas are an integral part of the care-giving team for the mother, father and/or birth partner. Every mother deserves the choice to have a doula. For more information about doulas in the Victoria area, please visit the 

Greater Victoria Doula Directory.

LEARN MORE ABOUT DOULA SUPPORT

Bringing support to birth and beyond...


I have especially enjoyed my experience with prenatal and postnatal massage, as well as infant massage. Since completing my DONA training as a birth/postpartum doula in 2008, I have been able to provide more comprehensive support to expectant parents within my massage practice. 


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