Texas Adopts New Exams for Massage Therapists

Following the passage of House Bill 2644 this June, it was recently announced that Texas is replacing its state massage-therapy examination with three new exams as a requirement for state licensure. Under the bill, new massage students in Texas are now required to complete a minimum of 500 hours of training—an increase from the 300-hour minimum training previously required—and pass one of three exams in order to become a licensed massage therapist.

The legislation seeks to promote a higher standard of practice for massage therapists and increase the industry’s overall professionalism in the state. To this end, students enrolled in massage school as of Sept. 1, 2007, and current students concluding their training after Sept. 1, 2008, will be required to complete 500 hours of education and pass one of the recognized exams.

The three exams include the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM), the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB) and the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). The first two exams are offered by the NCBTMB, and the third is offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB).

The goal of the new standards is to benefit not only therapists, but everyone involved with the industry.

"As more and more people turn to massage therapy in this country, it is more important than ever that therapists hold and display the national credential,” said Donna Feeley, Chair of the NCBTMB, in a press release. “Consumers, practitioners and everyone connected with the massage field will benefit from a higher degree of professionalism, ethics and safety.”

Click here to view NCBTMB's message to Texas practitioners.

—Chris Towery, Massage Magazine associate editor