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Massage Today
January, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 01

National Board Issues Consumers' Bill of Rights

By Editorial Staff

On October 23, 2000, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) issued its Standards of Practice, a document that provides guidelines for appropriate conduct in the delivery of massage and bodywork therapy to the public.

The Standards function as a consumer bill of rights to ensure that nationally certified massage therapists uphold the highest standards of ethical and professional practice, protecting consumers, employers and practitioners within the profession.

The NCBTMB1 makes the purpose of these new standards clear, stating:

The NCBTMB developed the Standards of Practice to ensure that practitioners who have attained the credential NCTMB (Nationally Certified in Massage and Bodywork) are aware of the existence of high standards of practice for the profession and are committed to upholding those standards. Also, the Standards of Practice are meant to assist members of the general public, including consumers, other health care professionals, and State and Municipal Regulatory Agencies or Boards with understanding the duties and responsibilities of NCBTMB certificants.

The Standards "build upon" the conduct principles outlined by the NCBTMB Code of Ethics, outlining appropriate conduct relative to six specific areas: professionalism; legal and ethical requirement; confidentiality; business practices; roles and boundaries; and prevention of sexual misconduct. The document also provides specific guidelines for filing complaints or grievances in cases in which a nationally certified practitioner violates any of these new standards.

Christine Niero, PhD, executive director of the NCBTMB, commented: "Our new Standards of Practice signify a milestone for the profession. Because nationally certified practitioners must comply with the Standards of Practice, consumers and employers are assured that they are receiving safe and ethical service."

A complete copy of the Standards of Practice can be found on the NCBTMB website (; comments concerning the Standards can be made by contacting .


  1. NCBTMB Standards of Practice. (


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