What does a
massage therapist's license or certification mean?
Background: I have been trained in massage therapy to include Deep
Tissue, Sports, Swedish, Pressure Point Theory, Hot Stone Therapy and
Reflexology massage. I’ve have been a full time massage therapist
for more than 10 years with reoccurring training. I'll
leave it to each person to draw their own conclusion as to what a
license or certification means about any massage therapist. The bottom
line is that a good recommendation from a therapist's clients actually
says more than any piece of paper.
According to <http://www.massageregister.com/StateRequirements.asp>,
there are no state requirements and regulations in effect in Oklahoma. However,
this does NOT necessarily imply that there are no laws in effect at
A license means that a massage therapist has met the requirements and
paid the fee to legally practice massage in that area. In some places
the massage is regulated by the state, others are regulated by the town
or municipality. Many places have no licensing requirements. To get a
license, a massage therapist will usually have to have a minimum amount
of hours of training at an accredited or accepted school or training
center. This varies widely, from 100 hours in some places to over 1000
hours in others.
It means that the therapist has successfully passed a specific course
or test and been granted a certificate to bear out that fact. This may
range from courses in pregnancy and neo-natal massage, to different
modalities like Rolfing or Heller work. There is also a written
national certification test for massage therapists.
a group of massage therapists about licensing and certification, and
you'll get a never ending argument among them. Some are insistent that
licensing and certification are a necessary protection for the public
to ensure that every massage therapist has the correct training in
massage methods, ethics, contraindications of massage, and understands
all the local laws pertaining to massage in their area. Others are just
as vociferous that licensing and certification are tools of those who
would attempt to control the industry so that they can maximize their
profit from it, driving up the prices for everyone, driving therapists
out of business, and providing no real protection for consumers.
Learning facts and passing a written test says nothing about a massage
therapist's palpitation skills, interpersonal skills, personal ethics,
or anything else that can't be measured on a written test. Some states
that license do insist on an actual evaluation massage before granting