Licensed Massage Therapists
Of the 50 states in America, 38 recognize Licensed Massage Therapists. These therapists are required to have a strong grasp of anatomy, kinesiology, and physiology. Further, they are to have a strong understanding of professional standards (particularly ethics). Finally, they are to understand the theory and techniques behind massage therapy (foot massage, deep tissue massage, chair massage, kneading, compression, vibration, etc.)
As of January 1, 2013, licensed massage therapists were given the ability to achieve a higher, more rigorous and prestigious credential for their profession.
The credential is that of a “Board Certification”. Many healthcare professions (Physician MD, Nurse, Dentist, Podiatrist, etc.) offer such a title, and it indicates that the practitioner in question has achieved a higher level of training and true mastery of their practice.
This marks an important step in the massage therapy profession, as it adds a further requirement for excellence in the field, and rejuvenates a system of standards that has been untouched for nearly twenty years.
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work (NCBTMB) made the decision to raise the standards due to “a deterioration of standards necessary to uphold quality programs” (1). The Board recognizes that many licensed massage therapists practice under the most stringent rules, but that a lack of update in quality of standards has led to some natural deterioration over time.
The solution: RAISE THE STANDARDS, and make getting board certified both an update in standards and a testament to a particular practitioner’s dedication to their practice and field.
The NCBTMB states, “Therapists achieving this credential will have the proper foundation to better serve their clients and demonstrate a commitment to raising the standards of the profession that have remained stagnant for the past 20 years” (1).
This credential will serve to be the highest in the field of massage therapy, and will be very likely to become the new standard to both practitioners and patients. This is why licensed massage therapists want to achieve this credential as soon as possible. It will serve to better both the practice of massage therapy and integrative medicine, and the patients that receive the care.