Registered Massage Therapists

Registered Massage Therapists

LMTs and RMTs sometimes help clients alleviate stress and relieve pain.LMTs and RMTs sometimes help clients alleviate stress and relieve pain.

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Massage therapists are subject to licensing and registration laws like many other allied health professionals. The three commonly recognized titles for massage therapists are Registered Massage Therapist; Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Massage Therapist. The CMT designation indicates that the therapist has completed a program or graduated from a particular massage school, but does not confer any sort of state-recognized legal status or right to practice. LMTs and RMTs can also be CMTs, but CMTs are not always registered or licensed. The difference between an RMT and LMT, however, is not quite as simple, as some states recognize only one or the other.

Registered Massage Therapists

Becoming a registered massage therapist is generally less restrictive than obtaining licensing in states where both RMTs and LMTs are recognized. In Maryland, they are not considered health care practitioners and have correspondingly fewer requirements than LMTs, and are referred to as Registered Massage Practitioners instead. In other states, no official recognition of RMTs exists and only LMTs are legally able to practice massage in the state. Registration can be part of licensing or a separate function entirely. In New York, for example, a licensed massage therapist earns that license for life, but they still must register every three years for the right to practice in the state. In rare cases, a state uses RMTs only and does not recognize a licensed massage therapist title. Colorado is one example; RMTs are registered with the Department of Regulatory Agencies and must complete 500 hours or more of training, pass a national exam, obtain practitioner insurance and have a criminal background check.

Licensed Massage Therapists

In places with both LMTs and RMTs, becoming an LMT is typically the more difficult and restrictive option. Many states only acknowledge LMTs, such as New York and Missouri. Sometimes these requirements are steeper than even those in states that only use RMTs. Compared to Colorado, for example, New York massage therapists require 500 more hours of training in addition to other similar requirements. State-issued licenses are mandatory in places that regulate massage therapy; they prove that the therapist has met state-determined requirements for knowledge and safety.

Source: work.chron.com
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