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Poll Results for the following Question:

Do you think the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB) is a reliable tool to evaluate the knowledge and skill of a massage therapist?

Results:

Yes
7.5%
No
90.6%
I don't know
2.0%

Total Respondents: 4166

Comments:

Note: These comments are reproduced as written by visitors to this Web site.
They have not been edited for content, grammar, or spelling.



No I dont feel that Eastern Medicine should be included on this test. First of all, this type of medicine and or belief system takes years, and even sometimes a lifetime to master. It may stroke people's egos to feel that they "know" some form of oriental or energetic "healing" and there is a lack of honest respect for that medicine and way of life. Just look at all the traditional native mexican and native american sweatlodges that are popping up at day spas.

When NCETMB announced changes regarding testing only on massage skills, I considered taking the exam. But then I would clasiffied at "entry level". So if I didn't learn eastern medicine at a Massage School, where I enrolled to learn THERAPEUTIC MANIPULATION OF SOFT TISSUE, I would be classified as at entry level. HHmmm..... If the "energy work" is the issue, does the fact there are many native american, native mexican, traditional african and other educated massage therapists have been practicing traditional healing work since CHILDHOOD, still puts them at entry level?"

I do feel some form of RELEVANT testing is important. If you have an issue taking national, state, college driving, hands on or written tests, seek some help. Your license depends on it.

No I currently provide bodywork to a people that neither understand (in our language)or care to know what level of certification I currently hold. just as long as the education process has taken place! As a western modality practitioner working closely with eastern, the demand for a western modality has been exactly what the people wanted here for some time. I struggled through my education and training, and did successfully complete the program, but fail to see how those who were able to devote more time to study, that did receive a considerably higher gpa at graduation, match my level of hands on! I think the test is a great source of revenue! Thanks. Active duty military member still fighting!


No I think it is obsurd to consider someone skilled at massage if they only pass a written exam. How many people off the street do you think could use a study guide and pass this exam? I think many could. Without a required practical exam we are misleading the public to believe a therapist can tanslate the knowledge in their head to their hands. My goodness, this is a hands on profession!!!!


Yes Do you know where I could attend National Cert. Classes in Houston? I am having a hard time locating info on classes here.

Thanks,
Caryn Slawinski RMT

Anonymous
No I have absolutely no desire to be part of the national mis-managed care structure running our medical professionals today. Look what has happened to your average GP, MD and Physical Therapist. They used to actually make a decent living before HMO's and insurance companies started demanding assembly line care and supply side economics. All the red tape and arbitrary restrictions are pushing otherwise caring individuals out the health care community.

Anonymous
No The ability to take & pass tests does not always indicate knowledge of theory and good massage skills.


Anonymous
No A written test will never examine the skill and knowledge of a massage therapist. Since when was the last time a therapist used a computer, pen or pencil in their massage session with a client for the work which counts most? Who wants to take an exam for $200+ with subjective questions, no real right answers because there is not enough information provided, or modality questions which are out of line of the MASSAGE therapy industry altogether. Congratulations NCE for compiling an examination process which may be deemed the WORST POSSIBLE for the largest amount of industries.


No Keep in mind that the NCE is equivalent to passing the Bar Exam for attorneys; it test basic knowledge. Every licensed jerk attorney has passed the Bar Exam.
I would like to see an equivalent to the CPA exam, in our case both written and hands-on. If you pass that one, you've got bragging rights.

Anonymous
No I've taken, passed the test, and was extremely disapointed.

I don't feel that many of the questions are indicative of knowledge
necessary to be a competent, let alone, skilled therapist.


No I have spoken to several therapists that have taken the test and was upset to find many questions relating to Eastern bodywork forms which they were not familiar with. I suggest a division of tests with the person taking the test to decide if they want to test primariy on Eastern or Western type of bodywork, with obvious overlapping on tests, such as anatony and physiology, ethics and etc.

Anonymous
No I took the exam when it was first incepted. I didn't have to show ANY training or schooling. Like thousands, I was "grandfathered". Even though I passed, I found the test to be highly irrelevant to a MASSAGE THERAPIST. As a bodyworker of many modalities, I can see how the NCE would be truly unfair to a therapist who practices only massage and is employed by another (who performs their tax and business needs which is tested material). Some speak of NCE's desired "credentailing process". I'm here to attest the NCE is not what it seems. Their credential "review" process for those who pay extra because they don't meet the "credential minimum" shows NCE's larger desire for money INSTEAD of credentials. In my twenty years as a mature practitioner, I've recently seen several excellent therapists fail. It's frightening to think how much good could have been done with the amount of money NCE has wasted. It's scarier to think of the good people who were stamped failures for no good reason other than perhaps to collect another $225!

Anonymous
No The test is of Theoretical knowledge and is good in that perspective. The NCETMB test does not verify or evaluate therapist quality of 'touch' or client respect. The old AMTA testing of both book knowledge and touch was why I joined the AMTA.

Anonymous
No I am currently a massage therapy student. I do not think this test is very fair and just another way to get every dollar they can.

Anonymous
Yes But not necessarily. Sometimes people are afraid of tests.
Generally speaking, I'd say it gives you an idea of their quality.


No No, I think it is a bad option of detecting reliability of a therapist because it is unable to show the sincerity of the individual massage therapist or his/her desire to be fairly ascessed much less to raise the credibility of their level of manual therapy or to apply the various methods of education through bad testing strategies in an effort to achieve a positive outcome on human physiology through the art and science of touch and their own innate gift and ability to create "run on" sentences.

Yes Yes, I think it is one of many options of reliability
because it shows the sincerity of the individual massage therapist his/her desire to raise the credibility of their level of education to apply
the various methods of manual therapy for a positive outcome on human physiology through the art and science of touch.


No It is not only whether they can evaluate us, they set up guidelines to take your money and do not follow up with you. Unless you push, you do not get any results from them. I only got a response by threatening to contact a supervisor and putting an article in the magazine. This type of service is not professional and should be examined by the Board of Massage nationwide.


No NCE can judge the test taker's test taking ability, but not their skill at massage.

Anonymous
I don't know I wouldn't really know as I have just started doing a course at West Lakes College England. But my tutor on that course has never mentioned anything about this, so therefore I don't think there is any point in doing one.
I mean at the end of the day it's what you do with your hands and not with your mind!


No NO! I think if the NCETMB is goung to do something useful except take peoples money they might want to thinnk about getting the state laws somewhere close to the same in all the states, so people are not confused when they go to another state and the laws are different, but I guess that might be difficult since they can't even get traffic laws the same from state to state.

i personally would not look at a persons certificates
when i go for a massage. I would want a refferal or
a neck and shoulder massage first before i booked a whole hour


I don't know I am a licensed & certified massage therapist and I have not taken the National Certification Exam. I believe that I am very knowledgeble about massage thereapy and have been practicing in the state of Illinois with a Chiropractor for approximately one year. I don't believe that the National Exam could determine my skill. I have helped so many people in my practice with massage therapy. It may really be a hinderance to someone who has natural skill but are not good with taking test


No It appears that the legislation and schools are going towards more hour requiremnts for: 1-more income in their respective treasures, 2-creating a NCETMB to monitor the therapists in both body count and a central record keeping of that profession. I had only Texas training (250 hrs),took advanced training classes and had referals from other therapist (that had more hrs than 250) for the cases they could not obtain positive results with. My profession had me doing MT in Colorado, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.

Extra training and hours will not hurt any practitioner, the supply and demand of the truly talented MT's and the public will give both segments what they want. But mandated regulations and certifications will only hinder the profession. Cream will always go to the top, you can not test or tax it to the top. Plaques on the wall may look great, but the true, sincere therapist will assist the clients body in its own healing.

Your paper magazine is great, Keep up the great work.

Sincerely, Gary K. Ebendorf.

Anonymous
 Bad questions, bad test, no donut massage cops!!!


Yes At this point,I believe it is the best we have that is reflective of an MT's basic fund of knowledge in their chosen field of study...I took the National Certification exam two years ago and felt it was rather basic in its scope of knowledge...if someone is having difficulty passing that exam, I would be suspect in their overall ability as a massage therapist.

I understand the issue of test taking difficulties, but if one cannot retain sufficient information to pass the written exam, I am also suspect of their capability to retain said information to treat a client's condition...book-learning is just as important as hands-on ability...this is what, in my opinion, separates a truly great massage therapist from the rest in this rapidly growing profession.

Anonymous
No The Massage field is turning into a money-making scheme for the regulators. In Florida, it is unbelievable.
I am not sure we are better off NOW than before all the "regulation"!
The earlier statements concerning test taking skills vs. massage skill are right on!


Yes The examination was one more tool to meassure my understanding, knowledge and skills that I have and continue to need as massage therapist.
The National Certification is just the begining of a excite long road of testing as we get more educated in the feel of massage and body work.

Anonymous
No It really is only a test and a bad one to boot. Some people can take written test well and retain book knowledge, frequently however their massage technique is sub par as they can't tell a knot from a bone.
It's an unreliable tool, not the only tool and not an okay one.
The test needs to be rewritten. It should specificly contain written questions on ethics, buisiness, western anatomy/physiology/pathology, swedish massage techniques and a practical demonstrating basic palpation skills and techniques. Off the top of my head I could rattle off 70 different massage modalities and that would only be scratching the surface. It is near sighted to assume very many therapist would have the time or money to train in each of these disiplines and realisticly demonstrate proficiency in each one. If someones wants to be nationally certified in one of these myriad of techniques there needs to be an adjunct test for that specific modality.

Anonymous
Yes It really only a test. There are some people that can take test well and have book knowledge. But there massage sucks and they never help people.
yes, It's reliable tool not the only tool but an okay one.


Yes Los terapeutas del Massage, son un vehiculo de transmision de energia, rehabilitacion y recuperacion del ser humano.
Solo con su calidad de conocimientos, de etica profesional y buenos principios podra ser evaluado, para ocupar tan prestigioso titulo, que obtendra solo con una buena calificacion de sus conocimientos.
Solo asi podra ejercer y llevar al mundo los conocimientos de otros seres que lucharon con mucho amor y esfuerzo por lograr que se mantubiese el Massage Universal.

Gracias :
Nohemy Domador Estudiante

THE PRAXIS INSTITUTE Miami-Florida

No I took this test recently (May 2003) and was shocked at the number of questions about chakras, nutritional advice and accupuncture points. Such highly specific questions are appropriate for practitioners of those particular modalities, but unless you are fully qualified and practicing those methods of treatment this knowledge is unnecessary and even dangerous. Knowing about alternate techniques is important, but it is equally important to know that intricate methods require intensive training. Merely having a passing acquaintance with the terms and theory is not enough to perform any modality safely. Keeping that in mind, too little emphasis was placed on anatomical knowledge, disease recognition or endangerment zones. These are essential areas for practitioners of every inclination and should be examined in detail. The national certification test should focus on the aspiring practitioner's knowledge of the human body and basic techniques that everyone who works in health care should know. The advanced knowledge necessary for such highly specific techniques as accupuncture, accupressure, Chinese medicine, Reiki, Tuina, Reflexology, Equissage, etc., should be certified seperately or left to the training facility/school to accredit.

Anonymous
No  ONE OF MY PROBLEMS IS THAT IN MY STATE YOU HAVE TO NOW BE CERTIFIED BY THE NCETM...THAT IS HOW WE GET OUR STATE LICENSE FOR PRACTICING MASSAGE. IT IS ALSO ODD THAT THEY HAVE NO REAL STANDARD CURRICULUM FOR THE TEST TO BEGIN WITH...SURE YOU HAVE A FEW THINGS LIKE BASIC/SWEDISH/ANATOMY/CPR...ETC....BUT AS FAR AS FURTHER MODALITIES THEY DO NOT SPECIFY THEREFOR IT STARTS OUT VERY CONFUSING...FOR EXAMPLE AT MY SCHOOL THEY TOUGHT VERY LITTLE IF ANY ABOUT CHAKRAS, ECT...YET IT WAS ON THE TEST...THERE ARE PLENTY OTHER EXAMPLES, BUT BEYOND THAT THEY TEST NOTHING ON ACTUAL TOUCH, AND I AM SORRY BUT TOUCH AND HANDS ON SKILL SHOULD COUNT FOR SOMETHING....ALSO WHY DON'T THEY DO MORE AS FAR AS EDUCATING THE PUBLIC OR DR'S ON OUR PROFESSION....TO ADVANCE THE OUT LOOK OF THE AVERAGE AMERICAN????? INSTAED OF JUST TAKING FEES UPON FEES AND DOING NOTHING TO ADAVNCE OUR FEILD THAT WE WORKED HARD TO GET?????? ALSO EVEN JUST SUPPLY US WITH MORE INSURANCE INFO, ETC.... DAMN MAYBE I SHOULD RUN FOR OFFICE....HAHAHAAAA....GET PAID FOR DOING NOTHING MUST BE NICE...BUT NEVERMIND I HAVE A CONSIENCE AND NEED TO SLEEP AT NIGHT........


No I received my certification in 1994 and have been disappointed with the organization since becoming a part of it. I cannot see that the NCETMB provides anything but a piece of paper for the wall to the therapists who are certified. The newsletter I receive from NCETMB is a who's who of people on the Board or people who want to be on the Board. I don't see how this information enhances my practice or my standing with the NCETMB.

My request is that the Board members take a long, hard look at why this organization exists and how it can better serve the massage therapy community. It appears there is a lot of expertise and knowledge on the Board; use it to enhance the profession not promote your individual agendas.

Thank you.

Anonymous
No I would like to say this about the NCETMB, not once since I successfully obtained the certificate did anyone noticed or even asked if I was Nationally Certified. People don't care where I live. What they care about is the healing touch that you provide and there is not a written exam that can judge you of that. It is also ludicrous the amount of money you have to pay to take the exam and if you fail having to pay the same amount. I know other professions also have expensive exams like lawyers, doctors etc... but look at what thay make as compared to what massage therapists make. I am a big believer in continuing education and have been learning wonderful things that have had remarkable results with my clients, that is what I need in my practice and not a meaningless certificate hanging on the wall. I will not renew my Certification when it comes time, I have better things to do with my time and money!

Anonymous
 Competing industries of the massage profession benefit from NCETMB (as well as NCETMB itself). It's a win win situation for competiting industries and NCETMB while it continually hurts the massage profession. They're all laughing at us. This is one more ridiculous hurdle to jump through. It establishes nothing and has costs us over $10 million to date. It even fails a significant number of qualified candidates to justify their existance (for all the wrong reasons). A written exam will NEVER truly test or determine the skill level, knowledge, application skills or competency of a massage therapist. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves. Where's the factual evidence showing NCETMB therapists are better? Surely for $10 million+ they would want to justify their purpose of "demonstrating competency"? Not in opinion (which support is obviously quite low) - but pointed fact? The fact is - they provide nothing - because there is nothing to provide. A NCETMB therapist is not any better, competent, skilled, etc. than a NON-NCETMB therapist. No organization should ever profit from such a failure. Shame on NCETMB and its supporters for allowing this to continue for so long. NCETMB should halt this exam immediately IF their interest is to provide asset to the massage profession and public. It's their own fault they would have to terminate without notice. They should have never been allowed to continue so long in the first place. The bad ride is over. Please do something and let everyone know this is not acceptable. No other industry would allow or accept this. Let's recall this thing like California's Govenor. Thank you Massage Today for allowing us to share our thoughts and comments. Hopefully someone will do something about this. It's great to vent - it would be best to take action!


Yes I HAVE BEEN NC FOR 10 YEARS, NOT A PROBLEM TO KEEP CEU'S UPDATED, HAVE SCHOOL AND MOSTLY TEACH OLD AND NEW TEQCHNIQUES. hAVE BEEN DOING MASSAGE 42 YEARS, SINCE 1961 WORKING FOR VIC TANNY GYMS AS AN APPRENTICE.
I TAKE WHAT I LIKE OF CE AND USE IT, SOME DOESN'T FIT MY LIKES OR CRITIERA


No MAGIC FINGERS MASSAGE: NO! IT MEASURES NO SKILL, SUPPOSEDLY TEST KNOWLEDGE IN FIELD UNRELATED TO OUR WORK. HAS POLITICAL ATTITUDE AND USE SIMULAR TO LAW AND MEDICAL BOARDS DO WE WANT TO BECOME THE BRUNT OF JOKES ABOUT OUR PROFESSION AS THE BAR ASSOCIATION AND THE AMA ARE? WE NEED A FOCUS ON THE CLIENT, NOT ON POLITICS. IT IS AN EXPENSIVE UNNECESSARY COST OF RULES AND REGULATIONS THAT DO NOT HELP THE CLIENT AT ALL. ONLY THE SITTING BOARD MEMBERS PROFIT FROM THIS TEST. THIS IS A HIERARCHY PROGRAM OF ELITEST ATTITUDE, REQUIRING TAXES BY MEMBERS TO BE PAID TO KEEP THEM IN BUSINESS.


No The Board has become a political tool with the board members. Tradional Chinese Medicine was introduced in the past year, which has nothing to do with massage. The NCETMB has become a business entity, instead of a tool to measure the competence of therepist.

Anonymous
No The current content of the NCETMB is much to broad, it covers to many modalities. I am a massage therapist trained mostly in swedish massage techniques and thats what I practice, so what does chinese medicine and other modalities have to do with the knowledge and skill I have to perform swedish massage. I had to take the test twice due to all the other stuff that was on the test and shell out $225 each time which is outrageous.

Anonymous
No It includes too many subjects that have nothing do do with the massage therapy. It tries to be all inclusive.

Anonymous
 I think it's an reliable tool to evaluate the book knowledge, but not the total skill of the massage therapist.


 I have seven years hands on exsperience and still have to obtain my licensec to practice in Missourri. It's an outrage I have six modaltiies under my belt plus all of the anatomy and physio. you can have with a degree in Bio. Why do I need a licence to practice massage I have a 200 hour certifcation . I also belong to a perfessional org. Would'nt I be an exception to the rule????


No First, there is no way a knowledge test can measure a manual skill competence. The only truly valid method of testing a massage therapist's competence and safety awareness is by a hands on experience.

Second, the NCE has been failing 27% of those taking the test, and all of those had to qualify to take the test by passing a school curriculum involving an expense of significant time, money and effort. I absolutely do not believe that more than a very few of the 27% of massage school graduates who fail the NCE are either unsafe or unethical or incompetent massage practitioners who should be kept out of the field.

Third, the NCE used to be advertised as a way to "join the upper echelon, to top 20%, of massage practitioners" but now the NCE has been misapplied as an "entry requirement" in some jurisdictions. There is no way that what used to identify the top echelon is also an appropriate "entry requirement" to the field of massage.

Fourth, at least in AL where the passing rate of the NCE is 78% which is 5% better than the national average, it is still virtually the same as the 77% passing rate for the BAR exam for lawyers. How can it make any sense that it should be as difficult to become a massage therapist at an entry level, as it is to become a lawyer? Don't we need lots more massage therapists than we need more lawyers?

Fifth, the NCBTMB is dilligently working to offer a Massage Only alternative exam to get around the content controversy of Bodyworkers and Eastern Modalities not being universally taught in all massage schools, and is also developing another "advanced credential" version of the NCE. While these tests may be a great optional and voluntary methods of identifying some form of academic upper level distinctions within the field of massage, it is currently an overused and misused tool for "entry level" massage therapist testing. It currently prevents people from entering the field who are safe, ethical and adequately competent, and at the same time can offer no evidence that it keeps out any book smart candidates who might otherwise be unsafe, unethical or incompetent. Just because a majority can pass it without difficulty does not excuse the NCE from being an overly expensive and misapplied tool and unnecessary restriction to entry into the field of massage practice.

Sixth, when the NCE is used "voluntarily" it can be appropriate. But when a jurisdiction uses it as a BOTH/AND requirement along with graduation from massage school to enter into the practice of massage it is NOT appropriate. It could serve as a fine EITHER/OR criterion to help qualify people moving between jurisdictions to keep their professional practice portable within our vast free country.

As a professional in the field of massage for 29 years and a teacher for 21 years, I see this as the Achilles Heel of our profession. In our haste to "professionalize and medicalize" the top levels of our specialized modalities, we are closing the "eye of the needle" for entry into the field way too narrowly. That just doesn't make sense. Most of the clients I work with want stress relief, comfort and yes, even PLEASURE. These are their reasons for getting a massage often, and they don't have to be in pain, need "specialized treatment" or have to have something wrong with them to choose to get a massage. I would rather have lots of help from lots of safe, ethical and competent new massage and bodywork practitioners to serve the increasing desires and needs of the growing population of people learning about the positive benefits and joys of massage and bodywork, the vast majority of potential clients who are "well and thriving" already. I don't want the field ultra professionalized so that every new therapist has to be almost a medical doctor able to handle the worst possible cases in order to rub someone the right way.

Be well, and when was the last time you had a massage or bodywork session?
Len Daley


No First, there is no way a knowledge test can measure a manual skill competence. The only truly valid method of testing a massage therapist's competence and safety awareness is by a hands on experience.

Second, the NCE has been failing 27% of those taking the test, and all of those had to qualify to take the test by passing a school curriculum involving an expense of significant time, money and effort. I absolutely do not believe that more than a very few of the 27% of massage school graduates who fail the NCE are either unsafe or unethical or incompetent massage practitioners who should be kept out of the field.

Third, the NCE used to be advertised as a way to "join the upper echelon, to top 20%, of massage practitioners" but now the NCE has been misapplied as an "entry requirement" in some jurisdictions. There is no way that what used to identify the top echelon is also an appropriate "entry requirement" to the field of massage.

Fourth, at least in AL where the passing rate of the NCE is 78% which is 5% better than the national average, it is still virtually the same as the 77% passing rate for the BAR exam for lawyers. How can it make any sense that it should be as difficult to become a massage therapist at an entry level, as it is to become a lawyer? Don't we need lots more massage therapists than we need more lawyers?

Fifth, the NCBTMB is dilligently working to offer a Massage Only alternative exam to get around the content controversy of Bodyworkers and Eastern Modalities not being universally taught in all massage schools, and is also developing another "advanced credential" version of the NCE. While these tests may be a great optional and voluntary methods of identifying some form of academic upper level distinctions within the field of massage, it is currently an overused and misused tool for "entry level" massage therapist testing. It currently prevents people from entering the field who are safe, ethical and adequately competent, and at the same time can offer no evidence that it keeps out any book smart candidates who might otherwise be unsafe, unethical or incompetent. Just because a majority can pass it without difficulty does not excuse the NCE from being an overly expensive and misapplied tool and unnecessary restriction to entry into the field of massage practice.

Sixth, when the NCE is used "voluntarily" it can be appropriate. But when a jurisdiction uses it as a BOTH/AND requirement along with graduation from massage school to enter into the practice of massage it is NOT appropriate. It could serve a a fine EITHER/OR criterion to help qualify people moving between jurisdictions to keep their professional practice portable within our vast free country.

As a professional in the field of massage for 29 years and a teacher for 21 years, I see this as the Achilles Heel of our profession. In our haste to "professionalize and medicalize" the top levels of our specialized modalities, we are closing the "eye of the needle" for entry into the field way too narrowly. That just doesn't make sense. Most of the clients I work with want stress relief, comfort and yes, even PLEASURE. These are their reasons for getting a massage often, and they don't have to be in pain, need "specialized treatment" or have to have something wrong with them to choose to get a massage. I would rather have lots of help from lots of safe, ethical and competent new massage and bodywork practitioners to serve the increasing desires and needs of the growing population of people learning about the positive benefits and joys of massage and bodywork, the vast majority of potential clients who are "well and thriving" already. I don't want the field ultra professionalized so that every new therapist has to be almost a medical doctor able to handle the worst possible cases in order to rub someone the right way.

Be well, and when was the last time you had a massage or bodywork session?
Len Daley

Cheryl Bingham
 I thought it was ridiculous. As someone who recently passed the exam, I felt the whole test was not relevant to what I practice and studied in MASSAGE SCHOOL.

Anonymous
No Let's see... pay for more training, take the NCETMB, shell out more cash for expensive yearly NCE dues, work five days a week for a clinic doing deep tissue all day making $10-20 per hour or maintain my state credentials, take an occaisional workshop that I'm interested in and rake in $50-70 per hour doing a mix of relaxation and therapuetic massage at the day spa...hmmm.........

Anonymous
No Apparently the same people who wrote the test questions for the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork are writing poorly thought through questions for Massage Today. It's impossible evaluate a Massage Therapist hands on and palpation skills without observing and/or experiencing their work. A written test is only a small percent of the knowledge required to become a sucessful therapist.

Anonymous
No You can't evaluate a candiates skills using a written test.

Anonymous
Yes Yes, it is somewhat reliable if the therapist passes, but in addition, not all states have the same requirements for credit hours. New York is on the of the most thorough on credentials. I think in addition to the certified exams, I feel a National Standard Certification or Licensing Exam would be more valuable so all states would have require the same credentials. Perhaps have newly graduated therapists be licensed first to gain clientele experience then take certification. And I also think whether free or paid classes, that it should be mandatory for therapists to take some higher educational classes every 3 years to keep up to date on medical conditions. Massage is becoming more of a medical necessity in many illnesses so it would make sense for therapists to continue to learn.

Anonymous
No "Do you think the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB) is a reliable tool to evaluate the knowledge and skill of a massage therapist?"

As you're asking if NCETMB is a reliable tool to evaluate the knowledge "AND" skill of a massage therapist and given that there is not a practical portion to test palpatory and hands on technique, the answer is definitively no. Additionally the Asian modality questions should be removed.

Anonymous
No Too damn many questions about Oriential practices and massage, for those that haven't had the basics in years past. Its basically gotten out of reach for most that try to take test.

Anonymous
No National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork is a poor test of ones knowledge of massage and useless at testing said skills...

Anonymous
Yes Nationals is definitely a reliable tool to evaluate knowledge but not skill.


I don't know  I'm not sure of what's on the test, but I've heard it's very broad. Also it's very expensive! Not fair to those who are required to take it for their license.


No Just don't think that we need certification for each state, and you have to get another one when ever you move to a different state.

Anonymous
No it is not necessary to take the exam but it is useful if you want your credentials to stick out

Anonymous
Yes it is not necessary to take the exam but it is useful if you want your credentials to stick out

Anonymous
No AS AN INSTRUCTOR AND PROGRAM COORDINATOR FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS, I DO NOT BELIEVE THE NCBTMB IS A FAIR EXAM FOR AN ENTRY LEVEL THERAPIST NOR DO I BELIEVE NEW THERAPISTS HANDS ON ABLITIES CAN BE ASSESSED PROPERLY THROUGH A WRITTEN EXAM. CRITICAL THINKING SKILL DOES NOT NECESSARILY MAKE A DESIRABLE THERAPIST.


Yes I do believe it is a GREAT requirememt but I also think they also need a hands on test. I my self am a LMT an I wish they would have given me a test that was hands on.
Tammy Braud


Yes Hi I have Cereabral Palsy and I do not know how in the hell I would servive not having a massage weekly . I get so many parts of my body the get so saw that sometimes that IU cant move


No I have been a school owner involved in educating massage therapists in a 200, 500, and 1000 hour programs for the past 13 years. We live in a community that attracts the very wealthiest and sophisticated spa goers from around the world. Our graduates work in these spas without having taken the National Certigfication Exam, most have done no more than 300 hours of study and yet have gotten very high review. We also have regular clients from New York where the National Certification exam and New Yorks own Exams are required, that come to our student clinic, where who students are part way through their 200 hour training, are practicing and have been told that our students are every bit as good as professionals in New York. I have come to the conclusion that book knowledge and large amounts of study do not equate with an excellent massage. The skill of giving a good massage requires different skills that cannot be measured in a written exam.
Sincerely, Katie Mickey

Anonymous
No I would think it's good for knowledge,but you can't test on skill. Everyone is individualized and it really varies. Everyone is unique in their own way.

Anonymous
No I think some unscrupulous person or persons came up with
a big money idea and presents a professional image
(except for quite a few spelling errors on their website) while
behind the scenes they are laughing all the way to the bank.
Three hundred dollars to take the exam and another three
hundred if you don't pass and need to retake it. No refunds!
Can you imagine how much money they are making?!!

Anonymous
No I don't think ncetmb prove much except for someone that has taken and met the requirements.
I have gotten massages with someone with 3200 hrs of training, those with National certification and it doesn't prove much...except for they are just highly trained.
which is important but I have come across MT who has been this field longer than me and doesn't have much to show (touch and experience) except for a certificate and I find it sad that people discriminate those who are and aren't nationally certified because I hired someone based on that and though she boasted of its competancy she wasn't competant at all.


No As is the case with many so called aptitude or entry level test. Many people can easily regurgitate written questions rehearsed through repitition but have no grasp of tecnique / practical application.


Yes The NCE is a legally defensible testing vehicle for certifying MT's and bodyworkers as having achieved a
basic, entry-level competence in the textual material of their specific professional preparation. National certification is currently the highest available credential in our industry. That alone, however, is no guarantee of "hands-on" skill. The consuming public must still be aware. An old joke just goes along to illustrate this: "What do you call the person who graduates at the bottom of the class in medical school"?... "Doctor".


Yes As a Massage Therapist in Las Vegas, I find the National Certification to be a valuable tool in researching to find a Massage Therapist and to weed out the prostitutes that corrupt the integrity of our profession.


No I have not taken the national exam, and I think my clients really don't care. I provide them a quality massage that fits their needs. I take continuing education classes all the time. If I don't know what I'm doing by now, I really don't think that a test is going to change anything.


No I have not taken the national exam, and I think my clients really don't care. I provide them a quality massage that fits their needs. I take continuing education classes all the time. If I don't know what I'm doing by now, I really don't think that a test is going to change anything.


No I feel a test should not determined that you belong to a national member ship. Massage Therapist members should be based on your character, professional attitude and how you give massages. I do believe keeping your members updated on bodywork seminars. But how can you judge someone on taken a test and say that justifies your professional character.


No No client has ever asked me about my certification. The test is also tilted towards massage and since I'm not a massage therapist I didn't feel it represented other bodyworkers and that would be very difficult as there are so many different bodywork modalities - and I can't possibly know about all of them. The token questions about bodywork on the test, therefore, were hit and miss and I might or might not know what Trager or some other bodywork was - this is not reflect my skill or knowledge of MY work at all.

I don't know I just sat for this exam this past Saturday and luckily passed. Most schools encourage students to take the exam after completing their program, and unfortunately I don't think it's possible for most 500 hour programs to cover all the material needed to take it. Oriental and Energetic modalities are very complex sciences, and in most massage schools you are only going to get a basic understanding of what those methods and philosophies are all about. Also, the pathology presented was complex and confusing and again, knowledge that is best learned from experience and through continuing education. I just feel that they should either raise the educational requirements of those applying, or they should focus on the basics. I think the exam accurately tests the knowledge of a therapist, I'm just not sure I could have passed it right out of school, and I think it's unfortunate that so many of us have been led to believe that we could.

Anonymous
No Great massage therapists are more likely right brained and tests are for the left brained. Tests are good for people who test well and doesn't mean one can give a good massage.

Anonymous
No I think any written test, local or national is a great tool to evaluate knowledge. But the only way to evaluate skills is to feel them. Have the therapist give you a demo of what they do, from 10 minutes to a full hour, whatever you need to decide if they are right for what you're looking for.

Anonymous
No I believe that it can evaluate thierapists on their knowledge, and intellilect; However, it cannot evaluate the therapists skill, abilioty, and desire to be a "good" therapist.


No This exam is biased and extremely one-sided. As a Massage Therapist for 26 years, the "proof" is in the practice and practical hands-on experience. This profession weeds itself and the art of Palpation is a gift which cannot be taught, one either has it or they don't! Most clinicians wind up making up these exams while true "healers" are very busy practicing their art!

Anonymous
No I have experienced massage and bodywork from therapists that have the NCETBM license and those that do not. When the therapist is thoudghtfull, respectful, aware, done a variety of eclectic classes and consciensious it does not matter if they have this certification. By the way the ones that have it only got it because they were afraid some outside authority would try to take away their right to practice. That is the only reason they did it.


 As I understand it, the ones who have put the Certification exam together are not Massage Therapists, they are Chirpractors and others.We are expected to recieve continued education and do no harm. We also want to please our patient so as to have them want to return to us. I have professional friends who take this business very seriously "as I do" and they too want to wait to be grandfathered in "so to speak" We are in this sort of work to help improve our world because we care. Thankyou.


Yes There must,in all fields of the common workplace,be a base standard of the knowledge of the practictioner. Be it a carpenter, butcher or an individual working in the health field. As an individual coming from outside of the health field, how can my clients be assured that I possess the certain skills needed to assist them on their path to complete health. I chose the NCE as a definitive assurance to my clients that I am a professional with proper training and support.

Anonymous
No Head knowledge is only a fraction of a therapists overall effectiveness. The heart and hands are what bring back repeat business.
I am nationally certified but I did not take it to "look more professional". I took it as a defense in case our state ever becomes licensed and they use it as a requirement.

Anonymous
No National Certification
in Massage/Bodywork

The idea of having a national certification board was initiated by AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) in 1988. AMTA gave $150,000 and later another $75,000 from their general funds to create an exam that was initially an entrance exam for AMTA potential members. Sometime and somehow, in 1989, the intentions changed and it became a national exam.

In April of 1989, 60 massage therapists signed and sent a joint initiative to AMTA to stop the process until more information could be gathered regarding whether or not national certification was necessary for the profession. This was rejected by AMTA.

A steering committee was chosen by 4 AMTA officers. It consisted of 2 members of AMTA who initially proposed this action, Susan Rosen of Washington and Susanne Carlson of Oregon. Within the committee, 7 out of 9 members were AMTA members.

In May 1990, the steering committee declared that it was now separate from AMTA.

Massage Magazine in Jan/Feb 1991 reports that there were never any studies, surveys or reports done that established a need for certification. There was a survey of AMTA members asking whether or not they supported the action, but not not if the thought national certification was needed. 1,420 AMTA members responded of which 1,042 said they supported national certification. At the time there were approximately 60,000 therapists nationwide.

National Certification was developed in an attempt to bring credibility to the profession. It's intentions were to improve the status and image of the bodywork community. The exam would certify that certain educational and professional standard were met. The educational requirements were the bare minimum thought to be need to practice massage. The exam is based on a study done to find out what practitioners do and what they need to know.

The national certification board has created an entry level test. It does not mean that therapist who take it will be a good therapist. It has not eliminated prostitution or the idea the massage is often equated with prostitution. It does not mean that the therapist will know what to do when they work on your herniated disc or other injury. It does not eliminate having to be fingerprinted (in some cities) or get a massage parlor license to set up a massage business.

The test questions were supposedly made after doing a survey of what therapists do in their practices. It claims to have based the questions on what current therapists have been using in their practice. I would love to see how the survey was done and who it was sent to. How long have these people been in practice? What information did they learn after massage school?
The test itself is questionable as it includes topics such as meridians, chakras, other types of therapies such a Ayuvedic medicine, what color your organs are on a energetic level. I feel these do not have anything to do with doing basic massage.

What it does do, is protect the massage profession from being regulated by other professionals such as doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists. It does often give credibility to a therapist in a state that doesn't have any regulations and states where the legislative members are uneducated about massage. There are still some cities/towns that have zoning laws restricting the practice of massage in certain areas. There are also some places where massage is still equated with the practice of prostitution.

Here in Washington State, Massage in regulated by the Department of Health's board of Massage. 500 hours of education are required with specific hour requirements of certain topics. In the City of Seattle, I need a city business license. There is still a local newspaper, The Seattle Weekly that regularly advertises illegal massage services. Licensing in my opinion has not stopped massage being equated with prostitution. What is being done to stop this?

2000-2003 www.thebodyworker.com


Anonymous
No No. It's just some clunky organization originally started to provide malpractice liability insurance to Massage Therapist. It wasn't till later their marketers figured out they could make money by providing a certification through a poorly designed test.

Anonymous
No Do we really want massage to be standardized? One size fits all (or almost all?). I work at a school and I don't want to teach to a test. I want to teach to the students interests and those can be varied. I want to make massage training interesting and dynamic.

Anonymous
No Not really. Massage is a hands on technique. Only a hands-on exam will really test skill at that level.

Anonymous
Yes I believe it is a reliable tool for evaluating knowledge, but skill level can not be measured by a written exam.

Anonymous
No training and passing tests can only go so far, it can only say that the therapist is competent, not that he or she is beyond that.


I don't know I believe it is a start. My ability to pass the NCETMB exam (just last Saturday) with High scores was due mostly in part to my additional study beyond the information acquired in my school. I believe there needs to be a "standardized curriculum" with highly competent skilled professionals teaching the class. These "for profit" educational providers is not my idea of a solid educational experience. I would like to see massage taught in colleges with trained educators who know how to lecture, administer reliable and valid tests and demonstrate the proper and acceptable methods and modalities for providing therapeutic massage services. Additionally, a solid business training course with solid GAP accounting requirements and marketing/sales content is a necessity. We need to elevate the profession and in my mind as a former Radiologic Tech at U of PA Educator and Business Professional, the Cert exam is just the beginning to separate the shaft from the wheat!


No This is massage not brain surgery. A minimum number of hours training (500) from a state approved school is all that is necessary.....if that.

If you want more become a PT or a DC....

Let's get real as to what massage is really all about.

Anonymous
No It is impossible to test this skill through a written
test. We have many people who have passed this test
and have been let go because of incompetenc


Yes I personally over studied for the national exam, however now that I am working on a regular basis with clients I am so glad for the knowledge I gained. I am able to carry on inteligent conversations, understand doctor requests to clients, and comprehend the full scope of my work. I know that not all therapists do this, and the reason why is the comments that my clients make in appreciation of my 'know-how'. Knowledge is never a waste of time. For the professionalism and quality of the therapy, I am grateful for a standard set by an exam.


Yes I think the NCETMB is a great idea. I live in PA, which has no requirements for a massage therapist. I have gone to school for CMT training and am preparing to take the boards. It's so unfair for the professional massage therapist to have to compete with the so called massage therapist that have no training. Of course the clients see the difference, but the general public thinks anyone can do this job and balks when the difference in the per hour rate is more than the uncertified therapist. I am hoping the Commonwealth of Pa. will make it a licensure for massage therapist. I am also a Physical therapist assistant, which has a licensure and an exam and extensive training. The sad thing is I can do more as a Massage therapist than as a PTA. The PTA requires the supervision of a Physical Therapist, when a Massage therapist requires no supervision what so ever.
Thanks for letting me voice my opinion....and once again I think the National certification is a great idea!
Martha Long, CMT, PTA

Anonymous
No The national certification exam only proves that you can pass yet another test.


Yes I am delighted with the requirements of NCETMB, not only does it weed out the unknowledgeable it also gives therapist a more reputable name.
Denise Huchet

Anonymous
Yes the test is not fair - it needs to be rewritten and for those who have NO interest in eastern therapies, why does the test include this? the test is a realiable tool, but the test does need to be revamped.

Anonymous
I don't know The NCE allows ENTRY into the Profession. The NCE allows movement across the country. It does provide a standard of ENTRY into the Profession. I dont notice the politicos who use their Masters Degrees to keep the dialetic of discussion moving, openly speaking about political sturctures without placing their own agendas in our faces. Why not instead share the reasons why more women in this profession should be interested in learning about and paying attention to the construction of social structures? What is the motivation? Perhaps this allows more men -dont I notice that as a woman- and a few silent smart women to consolidate a economic base for themselves while the Massage Therapist masses are busy consuming the Ephmera of the Industry.......If we dont acknowledge Globalization then it doesnt exist right? Dont ask dont tell. No your jobs arent going overseas and No, the third world isnt being imported to take your place or immigrating here because debt slavery is a fringe idea that only the ignorant still think of who are lost in time, and by the way real methods of science dont matter, as you believe so it is. So advertise crystal massage in Spas and salons and even Professional Magazines because the potential of science is more important than what we can prove concretely-give us your money and find out for yourself! See Margaret Wertheims Pythagoras Trousers- God Physics and the Gender Wars-Is this what is being said? What about the sideshows of eras gone by? People love to see the unexplained as much today as ever. I am not intending to be pointing fingers or judging. Ok, but I am questioning the Integrity of the Industry. I also question myself. I am also just wondering aloud while the internet is still allows some privacy and discretion. Have a Nice Day-I have practiced massage and enjoyed it for 5.5 years. I am also preparing to return to college for a degree in a medical field of Nursing and Science at the present time. Am I wealthy and can I afford it? Am I married with a spouse to support me? NO. and NO. I will return to my parents who will allow me at 28 to come home to help me pay for what grants and loans wont cover. My white family are FARMERS-Chicken Farmers who sweat for their labor. But we dont talk about class in Massage do we? No wonder social structure isnt addressed. Trash is supposed to whore with the third world to move up right?


No I went to massage school many years ago. These days I work
almost exclusively on an intuitive basis. Even though I am told
that my session are effective. Am I to believe that since I never
use technical terms and don't think that way, that they are not?
Absurd.

No I have been certified for over ten years. I found it to be usefull only once. Not many people really care if your certified or not. What matters is the work you do.

No My biggest issue with the NCETMB, is that it doesn't do a qualitative practical evaluation of its candidates. Any form of bodywork is experienced on a physical level, skill can not be measured by assessing candidates purely on theoretical knowledge. Having said this, I would not look at potential employees with NCETMB certification with any higher regard, because it simply does not assure the skill of the therapist, furthermore the broadbased, multi-faceted, multi-modal content of the exam doesn't test a level of expertise let alone competency in any specific modality. Your want to include so many forms of bodywork under your umbrella seems self-serving at best. The phrase Jack of all trades and master of none comes to mind.
I strongly feel a need for a National standardization for Massage, because of the sheer amount of poorly trained or under trained therapists out there, however the NCETMB needs to restructure the way in which they certify the competency and quality of therapists under your designation. Only then will validity of quality be associated with your members.


No Th epurpose of the national certificatn examination is to make money for the organization that gives that exam.


No The NCTMB exam is a reliable tool to show how well someone takes that type of test. I find it pointless. Arguments that it sets some kind of standard completely disregard the important aspects of bodywork.


No Emphatically, NO!!

Testing students on such things as Meridians and Chakras is inappropriate. Learing meridians is only the beginning of a lifetime of study and experience. I have been a massage therapist for 15 years and still don't know the meridians or care much about working with chakras.

Testing in general does nothing to eliminate prostitution or inadequate therapists. It only tells who can take a test well.

What will make for a great therapist and eliminate the need to use testing as a measure of a therapist??? Requiring Supervision from day one in the schools is the first step.

No We are in a career of touch. When multiple guess questions can evaluate the skills of the therapist then it may be effective. But that will be never!!

I don't know I am just under taking the studying process and have not yet formed an opinion.

No just because you pass a exam, and have a lot of knowledge about the anatomy don't mean you have good hands??... or that you are a good listner?..

Anonymous
I don't know I know they recently made some changes to the test but I have not investigated further.
Before the changes it gave employers something to ask for and therapists something to buy but in no way gauged massage compentency.


No I have been a massage therapist for about 12 years. Just recently, the City of Scottsdale voted to make national certification their only criteria for licensing.. this is an added cost for me and denies all the other credentials, work and education that support my professionalism. I moved to Scottsdale from a neighboring city, but can't work here until I jump through this new hoop. I am a member of AMTA.. shouldn't that count also? Laurie


No How about the National exam implementing a practical (hands on) part of the test as well as the written portion. This would ensure the Therapist had both the knowledge and the ability to execute the work as well.

Anonymous
No The exam appears to be a random mixture of elements, most of which are not applicable to entry level massage therapists. Any of the information required might be of interest to massage practitioners as they grow in a practice and develop their own style, but even the anatomy has no relevance to being able to deliver a beginning massage.


Yes I'm Curious. How many of the 524 respondents have taken and passed the test. My guess is the 19.5%(102) that believe the test has value. The lastest stats indicate that almost 30% of the people taking the test fail to pass. Yet all the schools I've talked to indicate vitually all their graduates successfully complete the exam. Curious, very curious.

I'm not sure what all the stats mean. However, the legislatures of the vast majority of states regulating massage therapy believe the exam has value and have utilized the test results as part of their regulatory process. Michigan does not currently regulate the practice of massage and we have successfully challenged/changed draconian ordinances by local authorities with laws that recognize massage professionals who have passed the NCTMB.

Remember, this measures a base knowledge level only.






No Certifications and licensing in most fields aim to promote the legitimacy, competency and ethical viability of the professional to whom it is issued. Certification or licensing notwithstanding, there always exists a certain percentage whose skills and/or intentions, in performing their services are less than adequate. As in most service related fields, a written examination may reflect nothing more than the examinee's ability as a test-taker. That is not to say that education is unimportant. Our clients deserve our best and we as professionals owe it to them to keep up with the latest news regarding the maintanance and promotion of their well being.
I believe most of us do keep up with the latest news and techniques anyway because facilitating healing and contributing to our neighbors' wellness is our calling, if not our passion. That's why we are massage therapists.
What I'm saying is that massage is not just about learned classroom lessons from which you receive a piece of paper that lends validity to a service. There is an applicable science to massage, but it is also very much an art.
Those who sincerely follow the path of healing to become a massage therapist are already aware of their abilities to facilitate well being. They are sensitive to the subtle energies that surround the physical palpations of muscle and flesh and the rotations and flexions of joints. Application of a genuine, nurturing mein has to come from the heart and that is something that cannot be taught so readily in a classroom.
In my opinion, this National Certification stuff is nothing more than:
1) a means of revenue generation for an already bloated beaurocratic system.
2) A means for justifying the existance of yet another governmental division.
But the public needs regulations and rules from which they can feel safe and be assured that they are receiving the best their time and money can buy.
Massage is a gift of compassion, touch and heart. A natural biological and chemical transferance of care from one person to another. To me, hearing from people you trust about an experience they've had with Mr/s. So-and-So massage therapist is one of the best ways to assure yourself of a healing, restorative massage experience from a genuine massage therapist. No piece of paper can come close to such assurance.


No The NCBTMB National Certification Examination cannot accurately evaluate ethical characteristics or the interpersonal and tactile skills of a Massage Therapist. These three ingredients are the most important factors in producing a fantastic Massage Therapist.


Yes I do not think it can evaluate the skill of the therapist nut the continuing education courses can. The knowledge can be evaluated by this test. Many therapist will not learn beyond the basics and I believe it is necessary to go further if we are to be accepted by the medical community.


No It may determine some knowledge but is not a measure of skill, understanding, character structure,or intention and focus.

Anonymous
No I received a very high score on my National Certification test. The results of the test show that I am able to regurgitate information and I am a good test taker. It is not a tool to measure my massage skill or my ability to interact with people.


No I'm a therapist here in Simi Valley CA and the Police department is trying to proposed draconian measures against those in our profession. They are treating us as though we are prostitutes in the making. If you would like to know more I would love to inform you. As to the NCE, there is no proof out there anywhere that shows that this test adequately measures a therapist's skill. On a psychometric level it is a decent test but when placed in the context of our lives it has absolutely no value whatsoever. Thankyou for putting this question out there. I can be reached at 805.526.4770. I think your editorial staff would have one heck of an article to write regarding the proposed ordinances of my town and those surrounding me.

Sincerely,
Grace Getzen
L.M.T., Reiki M/T


No The NCE only tests the ability of a therapists to memorize facts. It does not test for any other ability.

Anonymous
Yes  I believe that it's a start! I think in the years to come in retrospect,it will be viewed as the basic entry-level of a therapist's knowledge.

Neda Lunde LMT

Anonymous
Yes Yes, I believe that it's a start! I think in the years to come in retrospect,it will be viewed as the basic entry-level of a therapist's knowledge.

Neda Lunde LMT

Anonymous
Yes I think it is a standardized baseline. It tests your book knowledge but does not address your physical skills as a practicianer. We need some sort of standardization. Especially when we still have states out there without regulation. (Michigan).

Anonymous
No I think to evaluate the "skill" level you must have a practical test - actually give a session to an instructor. Some people memorize facts easily but have no practical application for them.


I don't know I sure have heard a lot of info against "IT"....I'm a RN just 2 months into the program & I have FMS so I am only taking classes "part-time"....I'm in a state that requires licensing & 500 hrs of schooling....I'm learning alot, but I think as an RN there should be a waiver or a test out of the info that an RN already knows, and shouldn't have to waste the time of the Instructor, School, or self...thus getting on to what is needed to be learned.....But I must say I do enjoy using the knowledge that I already have to be able to say I have "Aced" every test so far.....


No Demonstrates academic knowledge and ability to take that kind of a test. Does not measure actual massage skills, and is slanted toward medical massage in my opinion. Discriminates against kinesthetic learners and people with disabilities such as dyslexia. Requires an arbitrary number of hours of training in applicants; there is no evidence that the amount of training required (an arbitrary round number) is necessary to prevent public harm or that any lesser amount of training is harmful.

Anonymous
No I feel this exam does not demonstrate effectiveness towards the massage profession in the least. As someone who has already passed this test, I was disappointed to find zero practical experience facilitated my passing score - nor did much of the test examine one in the massage industry at all. It seems those who only know massage may even fail due to the multiple modalities most therapists may never learn with the exception of having to pass such a benign exercise.


I don't know I sure have heard a lot of info against "IT"....I'm a RN just 2 months into the program & I have FMS so I am only taking classes "part-time"....I'm in a state that requires licensing & 500 hrs of schooling....I'm learning alot, but I think as an RN there should be a waiver or a test out of the info that an RN already knows, and shouldn't have to waste the time of the Instructor, School, or self...thus getting on to what is needed to be learned.....But I must say I do enjoy using the knowledge that I already have to be able to say I have "Aced" every test so far.....


No The NCE is only a measure of an individuals ability to memorize information for the prurpose of passing the test. It cannot measure the ability of an individual to apply the knowledge required for the test.


No I believe the real knowledge about bodywork comes from years of experience by touching the human body and recognizing irregularities in the tissues. Anybody can study and pass an exam.

Anonymous
No The NCE doesn't evaluate a person's ability to practice, only their ability to memorize stuff for taking a test.

Anonymous
Yes So long as the applicant went to a nationally certified massage school, the Nat Cert test is more than adequate for knowledge eval. The skills would have been evaluated by the school which had to graduate the student. I do think it is important to have continuing education requirements for MT's. Attendence at those courses helps keep skills up tograde.

Anonymous
I don't know Knowledge about the body, how it works, and other vital information that is needed to know to pass the exam does not neccessarily make someone a skilled therapist. Some go by feeling and from an inner sense while others are more "technical" and go by the book. I do not believe there is such a thing as a good therapist and a bad therapist, every client has a different need and desire in what they want in a massage and no two therapists are alike. What I look for in a massage is not neccessarily what someone else is looking for. I think it is important to take the exam, but by passing it, that doesn't mean you are a good therapist.

Anonymous
No No, the NCE isn't a reliable tool to evaluate the knowledge and skill of a massage therapist. What the NCE proves is whether a person can answer more questions correctly than not, especially if they've taken a three day seminar or computer course which teaches them the material they are going to be tested on.

Just because someone tests well doesn't make them a good massage therapist. Skills such as intuition, depth of touch and the ability to listen to the client are an important aspect of a competent massage therapist...how does this exam address these necessary and essential skillsets? It doesn't.

The NCETMB was developed as a support structure to increase portability for massage therapists. For those moving from one state to another -- being nationally certified was supposed to ease the process of getting one's permit to work in the new state. For people who travel across the nation or even internationally (with athletes, sports teams, medical teams) -- being nationally certified was supposed to allow these people portability of their talents. When used in this capacity the exam works quite well.

Currently, the NCE is being sold to state legislatures as "The Tool" to assure competency of massage therapists and prevent prostitution -- neither of which has been proven.

Anyone who thinks a savvy prostitute isn't able to attend one of these seminars and then pass the exam is kidding themselves! You say applicants must have credentials? Computer programs forge US currency with incredibe ease...massage certificates offer little resistance to such fraud.

Instead of helping massage therapists it has become yet one more obstruction to being treated fairly and equitably in the work place. The exam is rapidly becoming a "requirement" for massage therapists to fulfill and pay into in order to get a license to practice.

The exam should remain an option for massage therapists who wish to use it for what it was designed for -- to ease portability.

Suggesting the NCETMB qualifies competent massage therapists is similar to saying only massage therapists who are members of the AMTA are capable of giving a good massage. Something we all know is untrue.


Yes I do not feel that this is a viable tool to measure, and I also feel that it is more of an advertising money making tool rather than something that will really benefit MT's in the long run.

Dawn Peters


Yes I believe the NCETMB is a reliable tool used to evaluate the knowledge base of a therapist.
I also believe it is up to therapists iin general to keep striving towards and maintaining excellence in our devoted field(s) and specialities.Encouragement is always welcome!

Anonymous
Yes Knowledge, yes, skill, no. It is not perfect, but it is the ONLY standard based on any objective measure of knowledge.
I still prefer it to the likes of ABMP that grant "certified" or "professional" status based on number of hours of study/training. I see NO validity in "certifying" someone for attending school when a "certification" is offered based on a test of the knowledge obtained.


I don't know My first thought is that perhaps this question may have been crafted to prompt a specific response. My personal frame of reference for this examination is over ten years old. I feel that the exam I sat for, given by the NCTMB was a good test of a therapist knowledge level. The exam may differ from year to year; its the board scope of knowledge that a therapist must master before they sit for this exam that remains a constant.
As for Skill, I dont see how any written examination can be a true indicator of a persons skill level in massage therapy. It seems that in the real world sometimes knowledge and skill dont go hand in hand. I would have liked to see this be two questions rather than one. I would have answered yes to knowledge and no to skill but the way this question is presented I must answer, I don't know!

No While the NCE is a reliable tool to evaluate a therapist's knowledge, it cannot evaluate a therapist's skill.


No I think it is a tool created by the AMTA to further their agenda of
increasing the entry requirements to the profession.

mnm92191earthlink.net
I don't know ALthough this test is incredibly hard and can be passed by those who are mostly left-brained and able to take tests well, it will most assuredly leave out those with 500-700 hrs. of training as many of the questions are from education of 1000 hrs.

As in our city, they are requiring us to take the exam to be RELICENSED, which will force us all to go back to school to study for the exam properly. This may also keep excellent therapists out of our city as they are requiring us to retake the test every four years thereafter. They feel this will see to it that the prostitutes stay out of the field of massage in our city. I agree but with some hesitation as to the sacrifice it will cause those of us who are above-board and honest in the field.


No Some of the best therapists I know was trained by an Indian Medicine Man and can't relate to book learning.

The 500 hours, all the exams don't make you a better LMT, only test ability of head knowledge. Far excessive than needed to protect the public. There should only be about a 200 hour requirement and then let the market decide instead of fancy high priced required education that keeps some of the best potential LMT's out of the business. Great to limit competition by those that are so fixated on forcing a type of high cost high education medical model in massage, but it is totally unneeded to protect the public and do good basic massage.

Obviously if one specialized in say sports massage or working with elderly whatever, the more education the better for those that enjoy education. But totally unneeded as a minimun requirement to protect the public and do good basic masssage.

The risks of massage are vitrually nil absent easy to identify contraindications.

For example Canada licenses adult body rub parlors with no education requirement and I don't think there has ever been an injury to a client. In Canada there is no issue related to sexual massage of adult body rubs vs RMT's which actually are required to have 5000 hours of study! You have your choice of adult body rub which is sexual also vs non-sexual highly trained RMT's. Separate phone book listings etc and no confusion as in the U.S.

The point is the high level of education pushed for all massage is totally unneeded and elitist.

Anonymous
No To the best of my understanding, the NCE does NO testing of skill, only knowledge.

Anonymous
No Well, I live in the states of Penna, where there is nolicensing in place for Professional Massage. In my opinion, I think it is worthless to take the National test until Penna becomes a license state. Why pay $225.00 for the test. In all honesty some people are claiming that they are nationally certified, but yet have not taken the test.


No I have a huge problem with the so called national boards! I want the eastern medicine out of the test!!!
A lot of the medical questions are geared for R.N's and we are Massage therapists with a lot less training.
Also, I'm trying to run workshops on massage right now and there is a lot of hoops to jump over.

No While it can test some of the knowledge, there is no way it can test the skill of the therapist. I took the test 9 years ago, and personally thought it was a joke. Also, for an "entry level therapist", there was too much on the test about TCM, and other things that I felt didn't pertain to becoming a massage therapist. Those are things that can be studied further later, but not necessary to start out in business, or to become a good massage therapist.


No The NCETMB is a farce perpetrated by our colleagues at the top heavy AMTA. COMTA is the other side of their unholy triange. The NCE is a sad legacy of the NEW AMTA. AMTA should not be propagandizing they are a 60 year old association of folk furthering massage but celebrating their success of closing the association to those not in compliance with their banner standard of 500 hours. The new AMTA is a mere 10 years old on January 1, 2004 when the NCE replaced their own MEE (massage entrance exam)as the only way of admission into their "club".

No 90% of what I find helpful from massage therapy I receive from other professionals and that I do myself is not captured by the NCETMB. The person with great interpersonal, palpation, and tissue interaction skills may still fail the NCETMB while those that pass may be great at test taking yet have terrible hands on skills.

The NCETMB is a hurdle to overcome. For lawyers passing the bar, or for accountants passing the CPA exam, a written test is likely a far better indicator of the intellectual skill of accountanting and law than the NCETMB could ever be for the very different career of massage therapist.

cuddles8828@charter. net
Yes  I think massage therpy is a very good way to ease pain from any part of the body.


Yes Since licensing and certification exams do not include a practical portion of testing (to my knowledge), I think the NCTMB Exam is fine for assessing basic massage/bodywork knowledge of the testee. No written exam can ever inform about a person's practical skills. Therefore, YES-it's fine for assessing knowledge, NO-it can't assess skill. NO LICENSING OR CERTIFICATION EXAM ASSESSES "SKILL".

Anonymous
Yes It is a measure of theory that hopefully complements the practical mastery of theraputic massage that can only be measure by one's instructors and clients. I believe it gives substance and credibility to the practice.

Anonymous
No The NCETMB should stick to Therapuetic Massage questions and leave Asian modality certification to AOBTA (American Organization of Bodywork Therapies of Asia).

Anonymous
Yes While not a guarantee of knowledge and skill I believe it does provide a minimum standard our clients can look to, however, I've been certified since 5/93 and I have never had a potenial employer and rarely a client ask if I was certified which tells me that the credential probably isn't appreciated as much as it should be.

Danny Ellis

Anonymous
No Having massage/body/anatomy education does not make you a good massage therapist; hands on experience, commitment and compassion are more accurate measures. Would you choose a surgeon based strictly on their ability to pass a state-certified board exam? Probably not, instead you'd be more likely to choose a surgeon with a history of surgical experience and compassion and concern for their patients. A board certified exam (especially the NCETMB) is a faulty means of legitmizing massage therapy in general. This exam is also a means of exploiting money from individuals who received their education from state accredited, but non-AMTA accredited schools. Although I do think it is of primary importance that massage therapists are able to demonstrate their knowledge through a written exam, I think it is more important that they be able to demonstrate their skills through hands-on exams. You can bet the afore mentioned surgeon had to demonstate their surgical skills through practicuum measures. As a group we should focus our energy on more efficient means of skill certification that includes persons of all levels of massage/bodywork education, and enables us to legitimize our practice without compromising our collective values by following poor political practices.


No It's such a bad test. What are they doing with all that money? It cannot be going to improvement of the test.

Anonymous
No They need to drop the Asian Bodywork questions.


Yes Yes, the NCTMB exam ensures enough knowledge and skill for a massage therapist to ENTER the field. But, after years of experience and continuing education their skill and knowledge will be greatly enhanced.


Yes I believe that the requirements set to be even allowed to take the state board are an important part of evaluating knowlege and skill. As long as schools/institutuions that administer the schooling are checked periodically on their performance.


No The last time I performed bodywork I did not massage a piece of paper....Obviously a written test cannot be a reliable indicator of skill or competence. The Exam is a smorgasbord of sometimes relevant, sometimes not, multiple-choice questions. Some questions are there to promote modalities, others make no sense, and a few have no correct answer.
For example (one that particularly annoyed me):

) Which form of stretching is most effective?
1. Ballistic
2. Static
3. Yoga
4. Active Isolated stretching

There is no correct answer to this question because there is no ONE form of stretching that has been proven to be "most" effective. Perhaps someone is promoting something?

Many questions are tossed in just to make sure each special interest group gets a nod-Feldenkrais, Polarity, Shiatsu, Therapeutic Touch, Rolfing, Craniosacral, on and on. With such a large pool of subjects to draw upon, the test can be likened to a watered down "Trivial Pursuit" game. I and MANY others can remember only a few musculoskeletal anatomy questions.

One of the most unfortunate results of this superficial approach is the change in massage school curriculum to match the questions. Schools continue to move towards short courses in big subjects (a weekend on shiatsu, 15 hours of polarity, 4 hours of craniosacral). This means a student pays more for their now longer education, and that each spends less time developing skills in any one particular modality. Valuable energy and study time are taken from the basic sciences in which so many students are weak.

Now the NCBTMB is coming up with another level of certification (advanced massage therapist, or something) to squeeze more bucks out of Massage Therapists. It makes sense since their major source of revenue will dry up once all states have adopted certification and only recent graduates will be taking the costly NCE.

The result will be at least two tiers of massage therapists, with the public believing (encouraged by NCBTMB publications) that the "Advanced" are more skilled. Pressure and fear that their careers may be adversly affected will be felt by "non-advanced" therapists....resulting in more of us forking over hard-earned money to take another irrelevant test.

This growing bureaucracy has too much power and influence, and its direction is thoroughly misguided.

Anonymous
No I think this exam is poorly developed, and from experiences I have seen first hand, it is evident that many of those intimately involved in delivering the exam rules are more concerned with head-counts and collecting money than with any real "quality therapy" issues.
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