Eight States Adopt Use of New Licensing Exam
Posted: 11-01-07

Thirty-eight states have passed laws to regulate the massage and bodywork profession ( Until now, those states have utilized one of two regulatory exams: a state-specific exam, or the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork. But there's a new exam on the block: on Oct. 31 The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) announced that Arkansas, Iowa, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Washington have accepted the FSMTB's Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) as an entry-level licensing and competence requirement.

Arkansas is using the MBLEx exclusively, while Delaware, Maine, Washington and Tennessee are using both the MBLEx and the NCETMB. Information about the other states was not available at press time.

The FSMTB ( also announced that Kentucky joined the Federation’s membership ranks this month, bringing total membership to 26 state boards. MBLEx adoption is under consideration by a number of additional FSMTB member boards, according to an FSMTB press release.

“Development of the MBLEx is a tremendous accomplishment on behalf of the nation’s massage therapists and bodyworkers,” said FSMTB President Patty Glenn. “The profession is past due for a current, comprehensive test that is affordable, convenient to take and supported by a competent, caring organization.”

To create the exam, the Federation gained input from more than 7,600 massage and bodywork practitioners (, integrated the regulatory community into test development, and sought the guidance of 50 subject-matter experts in massage and bodywork education and practice.

The Federation is a two-year-old organization ( with a mission to improve communication between states and offer prospects for enhanced licensing reciprocity for the ultimate benefit of safe massage and bodywork practice protecting consumers.

Free application forms and candidate handbooks are available on the Federation website at