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I'm aggravated about the Massage therapist regulations of each state. It would really be nice if all states were regulated and that state to state certifications/licenses were a bit easier to transfer. I originally graduated and practiced in a state that had no regulations (PA). Even though I have a certificate in Massage Therapy, CEUS, and my NCTMB, I still find it difficult to practice in several states due to the inability to qualify for state licensure. I am just curious to see what other people have gone through and their thoughts about this problem that I'm sure many therapists have gone through or are in the process of going through. Thanks :)

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I was just on the Federation website myself, and while Ohio is listed as a member board, it is not listed as a state that accepts the MBLEx. That isn't a prerequisite for joining the FSMTB. I didn't see that on Ohio's website, either, so if they're doing it, maybe they just haven't updated the site yet.

Amy J Smith said:
There isn't anything on their website about OH or on OH's website that is why I am asking how you heard that they are changing.

Hillary Kate Arrieta said:
Here is the Federations website- for anyone who is interested.
The issue may become more clear after Chip Hines and the MTBOK Committee release their findings at the event you see advertised on the right of this page. With standards set, by the industry and therapists, the path should become open for success. Therapists are really going to need to get involved, for this issue not to get a lot of "push back" from other therapists and individual state governments.

I would not dream of telling therapists to ignore regulations and practice illegally without whatever is required of them in their jurisdiction. In most states that regulate, any licensed therapist who has knowledge of someone who is unlicensed practicing massage is obligated to report that person.

Hopefully, no therapist sets out with the intent to hurt anyone. However, I have been called as an expert witness in a trial where someone was trying to prove that a therapist broke her clavicle. Whether it is required of you or not, I would not practice without liability insurance. There is a lawsuit mentality in this country and your life could be in financial ruin in the blink of an eye if you are practicing without it.

I also must disagree that organizations cannot find common ground. The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards is in fact all about that, and they are working to make licensure more portable from place to place. I have been an observor of that organization ever since it was formed and am now the NC delegate to it. Although ABMP and AMTA are competing organizations, they in fact have a very civil and respectful relationship with each other, and I am speaking as someone who is a member of both, and who makes it my personal business to track legislation and political goings-on in our profession. Both AMTA and ABMP provide plenty of services to MTs for the money they charge. They're both a deal.

Perhaps those therapists who don't have any desire for being thought of as a member of the health care profession don't care, but to those who do want to be thought of as members of the health care team, obtaining education, licensure and/or certification, and professional affiliations, all exist for the advancement of the profession.

I don't know about police departments, other than to say that I personally appreciate them busting the "massage parlors" and the "adult entertainers" masquerading as massage therapists that still exist in my state and elsewhere.

Nickie Scott said:
I find it interesting that no one is aggravated that there are any laws at all governing massage. Laws are meant to protect the citizens from harm. There is no proof that massage therapists have a history of hurting people. If we were free to practice without interference from the government there would be no regulations to worry about and you could practice anywhere you like. We have been around for thousands of years without regulation by governments. It is generally massage schools, massage organizations and police departments who are pushing for regulation so you can thank them for your aggravation. None of these special interest groups can find any common ground and push their own agenda on the public and therapists. When I graduated from massage school I had 1250 hours of training and Florida and New York both asked me to go back to school to get more hours of training in subjects that they felt I needed more hours in. Both these states at the time only had a 500 hour requirement. I ended up taking a 100 more hours in Florida and passed the state exam effortlessly but it cost me money and time. I have lived in several states since then a didn't get certified because I saw no need to give the government any more of my money and time. I have been in the field full time for 23 years and my clients have never asked me for certification. My clients are the only ones I am concerned about pleasing. Unless you are working for a massage establishment who requires a state certificate or advertising in the phone book I see no reason for you to get certified anywhere. I know some would disagree with this but they don't pay your bills or do the work for you. The only other reason you might want to get certified is if you have a history of hurting your clients. If that is the case you would want to get certified and insured so that you protect yourself and your clients if one of them got injured by you.
States that accept MBLEx for licensure:

* Arkansas
* Colorado
* District of Columbia
* Georgia
* Indiana
* Iowa
* Louisiana
* Maine
* Mississippi
* Missouri
* North Carolina
* Oregon
* South Carolina
* Tennessee
* Texas
* Utah
* Washington
* West Virginia

OH is not on the list- there for they have not adopted the MBLEx test for the time being.

Amy J Smith said:
There isn't anything on their website about OH or on OH's website that is why I am asking how you heard that they are changing.

Hillary Kate Arrieta said:
Here is the Federations website- for anyone who is interested.

While I Believe some states/people/organizations are working on creating a standard for all the states, I agree with Laura that it is not going to happen very soon. Over 20 years of experience has shown me that unfortunately even in our "compassionate, loving career", even therapists amongst them selfes are constantly fighting each other on who and what should be regulated or licensed. If we can't even get along , I ask how in the world can we move forward and work with a huge mass of individuals? I was on a committee many years ago - it was sad how every "modality" fought each other about this issue. When I spoke up to them all about their own lack of cohesiveness - they took a step back and realized ...hmm? Maybe this is why states don't get any where. Unfortunately it still took 5 more years for any kind of regulation and it is still not licensing.

I thought it had been the intent of the NCBTMB to work on this many years ago upon it's inception. It seems that has not proven well. There are states that don't even except it.

I have moved many times and so I understand your frustration. I also started in a state (NJ) that didn't have any licensing or state approved schools over 20 years ago. Moving to a licensed states was VERY challenging. Even though I had my national certification, they still required me to take their state exam. At first they wanted me to go back to school for an education, even after 18 years of experience and 10 years of owning a massage school and teaching. Can you imagine?
It took alot of effort and speaking out to finally succeed.

I agree with Mike Hinkle, we need to get more involved. We need to speak up and work towards this cohesive reciprocity between states.

I am curious what state(s) is not allowing you to qualify?
FYI, PA now has regulations (it did when you posted this in July). License applications will probably be sent out soon. Usually there is a grandfather clause. Look for it. I am in Philly, and eventually will need to figure out how to transfer my credits/associations to Toronto (international)...which I am finding to be even more difficult. Ask either insurance company you have and they can tell you the new law passed on October 10th, 2008.
Lord yes. I have been licensed in FL, VA, AL and am currently trying for MA. The hoops I have had to jump through are tedious and long. I was originally licensed in FL when they recognized and combined the national and state exam. 1994. My school closed in 2003 and trying to get the required federal accreditations left me to a dead end. I am having my National exam results sent to MA board in hopes to get through from that angle. Hoping this arrives promply so I can be reviewed b4 the board meeting on the 16th. This has been going on since July. Yikkkkes.

Check with Lisa. She may be able to help. Good luck!

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