OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois (June 9, 2008) – The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) formally celebrated its 15th anniversary as the national certification body for massage therapy and bodywork on Friday, May 30, 2008.

NCBTMB hosted its “Celebration of Excellence” event in conjunction with its second quarter board meeting and leadership retreat, held May 29 – June 1, at the Fairmont hotel in Washington, D.C. The celebration recognized the milestone accomplishment and individually acknowledged some of those who have helped advance the practice of massage therapy and bodywork to prominence.

“It was a pleasure to be among so many of our peers – people who have played such pivotal roles in the development of the profession,” said NCBTMB Board Chair Donna Feeley. “It is inspiring to note the progress and all the many accomplishments we have seen within our industry. And I am proud to say that NCBTMB has played an important role in advancing the profession in the past 15 years.”

The event recognized the original NCBTMB founders, past board chairs, volunteers and key contributors who have demonstrated their continued commitment to the organization and the industry it serves. The celebration also honored the history of massage therapy practices from around the world, depicting unique cultural contributions. Approximately 150 guests enjoyed the reception, which was an “East meets West” experience of massage modalities, music and cuisine.

A number of prominent contributors to the massage therapy industry were in attendance. “NCBTMB and the massage therapy and bodywork profession have come a long way. Fifteen years ago, we could have never imagined that today there would be more than 90,000 practitioners across the country having attained national certification,” said Elliot Greene, an NCBTMB founder and a past national president of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). “I am proud to have been a part of it from the beginning.”

Former Director of the Potomac Massage Training Institute and Vice Chair of the AMTA Council of Schools (COS) Demara Stamler said, “The relationship between NCBTMB and our Council of Schools has been supportive since day one. We fully support their efforts and the direction they have taken in promoting the growth and professionalism of massage and bodywork practitioners.”

“As NCBTMB celebrates 15 years of service, we congratulate them on the contributions they have made to the profession over the years,” said Elizabeth M. Lucas, Executive Director of AMTA. “We look forward to continuing to work with them as we advance the art, science and practice of massage therapy.”

In addition, NCBTMB previewed its new employer-based Center of Excellence program. The program is designed to support employers of massage and bodywork who commit to high standards of quality by employing only nationally certified practitioners.

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) was established in 1992 as an independent, private, nonprofit organization fostering the highest standards of ethical and professional practice in the delivery of therapeutic massage and bodywork through a recognized credentialing program. NCBTMB examinations are currently accepted or recognized in statute or rule by 32 states plus the District of Columbia. There are currently more than 90,000 professionals with NCBTMB certification. The NCBTMB credentialing program has been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) since 1993 and NCBTMB is currently pursuing American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation.