If you’re interested in becoming a professional massage therapist, or you’re looking at a career in another form of bodywork, or both, then it’s imperative that you take and pass either the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) exam, or the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM) exam.
The certification that comes as a result of passing one of these exams is the hallmark of a massage therapy or bodywork professional. Having one of these designations displayed on your office wall (or on your website), will let all your prospective clients know that they can relax, because they’re being treated by a person whose knowledge, skills and integrity are up to the highest and latest professional standards of the industry.
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There’s another powerful reason to earn these certifications. As you are probably well aware, there are unfortunately many “massage therapists” at work in this country whose jobs have nothing to do with legitimate therapeutic massage. Police and other law enforcement agencies regularly raid and shut down companies and individuals performing illegal services in the name of offering massage services.
This sort of thing has long been a thorn in the side of legitimate massage therapists, who often have to deal with snickering (or worse) after mentioning what they do for a living at a cocktail party or other social affair. Many legitimate therapists, even today, regularly receive phone calls and emails which assume that they’re offering the sleazy, illegitimate kind of “massage.”
Having a professional certification from NCBTMB is the best way of putting to rest any doubts, no matter how slight, any of your prospective clients might have about the legitimacy of your services. It’s comparable to a company having the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, or the Underwriter’s Laboratory Seal of Approval, for their products, or a firm having an “A” rating from the Better Business Bureau. When people see these hallmarks, they know they’re dealing with a solid, reputable company whose products and services are trustworthy and reliable.
On top of these factors, there’s also the fact that, generally speaking, when it comes to bodywork, a certified professional is able to charge higher fees than a person who isn’t certified, even if their skill levels are the same. Many people fancy themselves experts at bodywork and massage, and while some of them are good at it, it’s far too easy in many states to solicit clients for bodywork without any kind of certification. The way to set one’s self apart from these people, and be able to charge much higher fees, is to earn NCBTMB or NCETM certification.
NCBTMB Study Guide
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NCBTMB Self-Assessment Module:
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by Enoch Morrison | Last Updated: January 9, 2019