Massage therapists require training like any other medical professional. This requires both classroom learning and time-on-task practice. In order to ensure that massage therapists have the most up-to-date credentials and most rigorous training, each state has its own set of requirements for therapists to obtain a license. Below are some general statistics on what it takes to become a massage therapist according to the American Massage Therapy Association.

  • Currently, 44 states and the District of Columbia regulate massage therapists or provide voluntary state certification. This includes New York.
  • In all of these states, massage therapists must meet the legal requirements to practice, which may include minimum hours of initial training and passing an exam.
  • The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and most other massage therapy organizations prefer the MBLEx, administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB), as a state licensing exam. However, AMTA supports the authority of regulatory boards to determine examination(s) appropriate for their state.
  • AMTA supports fair and consistent licensing of massage therapy in all states.

Now that you have a clear understanding of what it takes to become a massage therapist in general, which encompasses a lot, let???s take a closer look at what it takes in New York. In New York, the list of requirements is long. The following are general requirements to be a massage therapist in NY.

  • Be of good, moral character;
  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Meet education and examination requirements including no less than 1,000 hours of class time.
  • Meet experience requirements (if applicable); and
  • Have completed a course in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) within three years prior to licensure.

In addition to these requirements, applicants are required to provide proof that they are proficient in English. Plus, they are required to pay a fee to obtain licensure.

The educational requirements include a high school or equivalent diploma plus graduation from an institution of massage therapy or with a program registered by the New York State Education Department. The program must consist of classroom instruction and no less than 1,000 hours in specific tasks.

Coursework required includes anatomy, physiology, neurology, myology or kinesiology, pathology, hygiene, first aid, CPR, infection control procedures, the chemical ingredients of products that are used and their effects, as well as the theory, technique, and practice of both oriental and western massage/bodywork therapy.

Additionally, you will have had to complete a minimum of 150 hours of practice on a person. Then there is a required exam, offered twice yearly.

To become a massage therapist is a wonderful opportunity. You help people relax and heal, but in order to do this, you must be qualified, take the proper coursework, have the hands-on experience, and pass the tests. The end result will be knowing you can make an immediate, positive impact on people???s lives.

All of the massage therapists at City Acupuncture are licensed by  the state of New York. If you have any more questions about massage therapy and how to get a license...

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