May 2009, Colorado — The National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure & Massage (NBCAAM)  is pleased to announce that Marianne L. McClain has passed the rigorous National Certification Examination for Equine Massage spring 2009.  She is the first to have achieved this landmark.

When asked about her motivation in taking the exam she replied: “I am just starting my equine massage business in Durango, Colorado and I knew that passing the exam would add to my credentials.  I think there are a lot of people out there who call themselves equine massage therapists that have very little training.  I wanted to differentiate myself from them and make a statement that I was serious about what I am doing.”  

Marianne has been a licensed veterinary technician for over 20 years and is certified by the Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians After experiencing massage therapy firsthand following an injury, Marianne realized how much it can aid in the healing process and wanted to be able to help animals in the same way.  She is a graduate of the Northwest School of Animal Massage (NWSAM) in both equine and canine massage and has completed 750 hours of training.  Marianne has studied other forms of bodywork and aromatherapy. She is currently pursuing certification in Canine Rehabilitation Therapy and expects to attend the Equine Rehabilitation Program next year. 

Marianne felt that the NBCAAM examination “was hard enough to weed out people who didn’t have a good understanding of equine anatomy and massage, but not so hard that it was difficult to pass.”  She further commented: “It is a great way to add to your professionalism and credibility as an equine practitioner. More people need to realize how wonderful it is to have a national certification process.  I am really thankful to everyone who put forth the effort to put the exam in place as I am sure it wasn’t easy to do.”

NBCAAM, a not-for-profit organization, was created for the purpose of establishing and upholding professional standards for animal acupressure and massage practitioners. The method by which NBCAAM certifies that a practitioner has met these standards is by developing standardized national certification examinations. Taking the examination is entirely voluntary. Information and the requirements for taking the examinations are available on the website: