Each state has its own licensing requirements for massage therapists, so the first thing to consider when seeking the services of a massage therapist is license & credentials. In order to practice massage therapy in most states, the massage therapist must have a license obtained from the state’s massage therapy board. In other states, such as Wyoming, there are no state requirements, but license requirements exist within the different municipalities.
Before booking your first appointment, all you have to do is check your state licensing board website to verify a license. To verify the validity of a massage therapist’s license, you will need the therapist’s certificate number, city of residence, and first and last name. To locate your state board of massage therapy website, visit The Massage Register. The Massage Register lists massage therapy requirements by state and direct links to state boards.
If you have made it to the license verification point in the selection process, chances are you are already pretty sure of the type of massage you are interested in, whether you prefer a male or female, and how much you want to spend. If not, the information to follow will be very useful. Besides choosing whether you prefer a male or females, knowing what type of massage you’re interested in will help narrow your choices.
There are a number of specialty areas in the massage therapy industry. Some massage therapists may be certified in several specialty areas, while others may be certified in just one. Just a few of the most popular specialty areas include:
·Deep Tissue Massage
·Hot Stone Massage
If you’re interested in both Swedish and hot stone massage, choose a massage therapist that’s licensed in your state and certified in both areas. If you’re interested in sports massage only, choose a massage therapist that’s licensed in your state and certified in sports massage. To verify certification, ask the therapist for the name of the school or program that awarded the certificate to make sure the program it is accredited. If the massage therapist works in a professional setting, you might not have to ask. The therapist will likely have a license and certificate(s) on displat, in plain view.
Next, contact the school or program to verify accreditation and certification. Most programs are more than willing to verify credentials and accreditation status. The accrediting agencies for massage therapy schools and programs are as follows:
Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET)
Accrediting Commission for Career Schools & Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT)