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Choose a Licensed Massage Therapist

Mar 10, 2008
When choosing a massage therapist it is important to check his or her credentials before you commit to a session. One of the most important things to realize is that every state has different requirements for the certification process. Some states may require that the massage therapist become licensed while others may simply require them to obtain a certificate by graduating a course. You should contact your state's licensing board to determine what credentials massage therapists need to obtain to practice legally within your state. If you have difficulty contacting the right agency, you may want to simply call a local massage therapy school and ask them what the laws are regarding the requirements needed to operate as a massage therapist. Chances are that the massage school will have all of the information that you need, and if they don't, they can point you in the right direction.

Once you determine the state's requirements, you must take the time to ask different therapists for their credentials before choosing one. If your state requires that the therapist receive a license you'll discover that this means the state is regulating their practice. This offers the most protection for the customer and ensures that you will have legal recourse should something go astray. For a massage therapist to become licensed means that he or she attended a school and successfully met all of the requirements needed to graduate. Some of these states will even have a state operated massage licensing board governing their practices.

If your state doesn't require the therapist to become licensed, they may require them to obtain a certificate. This would result in the massage therapist having the title, Certified Massage Technician. The certificate shows that the therapist attended some sort of training and their work has been completed satisfactorily, however the Certified Massage Technician would have typically undergone less training than a Licensed Massage Therapist normally would. Some states require a certain amount of schooling, as denoted by required training hours. In addition, the school may require an exit exam to be completed before a student may graduate. It's also important to realize that some states have absolutely no policies in effect governing the massage therapy industry. Whether through a license or a certificate, it is important to verify that the massage therapist has met the legal requirements necessary to practice within your local geographical region.

If you have selected a massage therapist but have discovered that your state does not license or certify massage practitioners, you may want to contact your local courthouse and ask if there are any laws or rules that apply to massage therapists. Many times there are certain laws that will apply to massage therapists, even if they do not expressly say so.

In addition to licensing and certification, it is important that massage therapists stay involved in their field. This can be accomplished through joining associations and staying current with industry trends. You should ask the therapist if they are involved with any outside affiliations.
About the Author
Jonathan Hook offers a free ecourse on Massage Therapy techniques. Go now to fullmassagetherapy.info to claim your copy.
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