You ask questions about the competency and training of your doctor, your car mechanic, your children’s teachers–shouldn’t you ask questions about the qualifications of your Massage Therapist (MT)? One of the easiest ways to determine if they’re qualified is to ask about their education and their certification.
Like any profession, you’ll have those who take the fast-track to practice and others who take the time to attend a quality education program and become truly prepared. For the truly qualified, professional MT, preparation includes:
- learning and practicing a combination of massage skill and technique development
- gaining full knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the body
- building a solid understanding of the way muscles move and work (kinesiology)
- knowing medical conditions that could effect the bones, muscles and skin (pathology)
- understanding how to manage customers (business and customer service)
- understanding laws and professional ethics surrounding massage therapy treatments
The school your MT attended should teach all the above fundamentals, but that’s still not enough for a truly competent therapist. The school should also give opportunities for practice in student clinics and externships with real, professional businesses. The student therapist should be carefully mentored and be able to pass both written and practical tests to show what they’ve learned.
Importantly, the school MUST also be accredited by an agency recognized by the US Dept. of Education.
Once you’ve asked about education, inquiries about licensing and certification are next. Licensing grants the right to practice massage in the city, county, and state where the business is located. Certifications are offered by both state and national certification organizations and the end result is the therapists’s ability to use the official title “Certified Massage Therapist” (CMT).
A qualified therapist should hold a license valid in your state and be fully certified. In California, certification is granted by the CA Massage Therapy Council, who carefully checks credentials, requests transcripts, and performs background checks before issuing a certificate.
Therapists who have decided to demonstrate their knowledge of anatomy, kinesiology, pathology, ethics and business practice also take and pass the MBLEX (Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination)–the defacto licensing exam for most states in the US. The exam is also required for state certification in many states.
Finally, since your therapist is working very closely with you, they should be able to readily answer questions you ask before and after your session and those questions should be answered promptly and correctly in a professional manner. It’s ok to speak up during the session, too, if you have a question or something isn’t to your liking. A qualified professional has the answers, or at least knows where to find them and get back to you, and they should feel comfortable having a discussion with you about their care.
Great training and a love for the profession helps lead to a caring, qualified therapist. At the Silicon Valley Massage Therapy Group, every MT holds the highest level of state certification (CMT) and has at least 720 hours of training (well above state requirements). Every MT attended the National Holistic Institute (7 campuses statewide), a fully accredited institution widely viewed as one of the nation’s best. We’re fully licensed and every MT is state or nationally certified. We also provide all MTs with opportunities for ongoing professional development as well as encourage membership in professional organizations like the AMTA and ABMP.
Want to see the difference when you have a high qualified massage therapist conduct your session? Book an appointment with us now and you’ll see how high we set the bar and how much we value listening to clients, sharing our knowledge, and ensuring real and positive change in your body, mind and spirit.
Want to find out more about becoming a therapist yourself? Request free info from an accredited school.