Tools for Determining Where You Can Practice Massage

Though simple, this diagram is helpful for visualizing the licensing requirements…in just one more way.

Employed LMTs are registered with one address (the Employer’s) and are included on the massage establishment license as a practicing LMT at that Employer’s address: no other than the State professional license is needed if that is the only address/establishment at which the LMT is practicing.

Many MTs tell me they don’t believe that they need to have certain licenses to perform at specific [other] addresses – ‘for’ or ‘not for’ money. The fact is: MTs have to have AT LEAST a State professional license to put their hands on anyone as a certified Massage Therapist (then you are an LMT). All the other licenses are “unbelievable” but necessary to earn money or ‘volunteer’ in each jurisdiction in which your own business operates (then you are an LMT practicing in Las Vegas, Clark County, etc).

IF you are performing massage therapy outside of an employment/Employer situation, you are [also] an Independent Massage Therapist, and the second fact is: to make money doing massage (including ‘tips’), you must have a Local business license that applies to the address at which you want to practice – ‘for’ or ‘not for’ money. If an LMT is not doing it for money, s/he is promoting her/his service and providing a regulated professional service, which is considered ‘doing business’. If an LMT is giving away massage – ‘donating’ – then s/he has to be working for her/his own company (self-employment connotates an IMT business license) in order to give away ‘free massages’ and have appropriate legal means to provide massage therapy. Liability insurance is strongly suggested and sometimes required for the location at which you are providing any type of massage therapy services.

Exceptions to being certified and not licensed AND practicing differ slightly in each jurisdiction, and may include: immediate household residents and/or family or family up to two generations outside of the practitioners (eg. son/grandson or aunt/niece) – check with each jurisdiction for these exceptions to the licensing/practicing requirements.

The legal differences between MTs practicing as Employees and/or IMTs can be confusing. When you consider performing massage therapy, using the information you gained as a certified massage therapist, you can boil it all down to one question: “what license to i need to perform a massage at ___________(insert address here)________?”

The answer to this question may be found here, at a GIS map that is used by the City of Las Vegas and other municipalities to determine ownership and LOCATION of a property [owner] address in the Las Vegas Valley: http://major.lasvegasnevada.gov/website/clvcamps/viewer.htm

Here’s an easy, 4-Click process to find out what jurisdiction an address is in:

Step one: Visit the GIS map (link above, too) – I save this in my Bookmarks for easy access.

Step two: see the diagram below for the 4-Click process to finding out which jurisdiction the address is located

4-Click Process diagram (page 1)

4-Click Process diagram (page 2)

Step three: based on the outcome, ask yourself: “Do I have a license for that jurisdiction?” If the answer is ‘YES!’, then go to your massage therapy appointment. If not, then find out how to get a license BEFORE you attend to your client at that location.
The above method is one that I use and have success with – legal records (tax map) cross-referenced with the same jurisdiction’s massage therapy business license requirements keeps my conscious clear, and what I believe to be legalized.

Good luck!

Winds of Change Blowing: Professional Association & State Boards Support New Benchmarking Tool – the MBLEx

Wouldn’t you just love to be able to walk into a state board – ANY state board – and hand them [your state’s license] credentials, including the passing of one test recognized by all states, and they say “No problem! Here you go,– now: go out and do massage.”

Although that scene could have been difficult to imagine 5 or 10 years ago, that seems to be where the massage therapy industry, where regulation is concerned, is heading.

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), a leading professional association operated for and by more than 58,000 massage therapists, announced last week its support for the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx), the newest American massage therapy professional exam on the block. The AMTA has supported the industry- & jurisdictionally-recognized National Certification Exam (NCE) and  finds that the newest licensing exam, developed & administered by the FSMTB (whose membership is primarily composed of state massage boards) is the next evolutionary step and “the best choice” in national credentialing for massage therapists in America.

It seems that the AMTA (a major influence in the areas of professionalism, professional representation to other fields of healthcare, and largest representation by mere numbers of a massage-therapist-only organization) is also supporting the entity of choice of the state boards that are moving to a more unified and portable licensing situation, which I can say has been and is a dream for our industry.

mblex-2-110x110Just to recap:

· The MBLEx is the test given by the FSMTB

· The NCE is the test given by the NCBTMB – two versions are NCETM (Therapeutic Massage) & NCETMB (Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork)

The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) administers the MBLEx, which is comparable to the NCETM/B, administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB).

Although the NCBTMB uses massage instructors, allied professionals (like chiropractors and physical therapists), the public and federal jurisdictions in developing the NCE, the development of another non-credential-bearing version of the NCB’s ‘stamp of approval’ for passers of the NCE, the NESL, has come a little late in the development of the reigning Certifiers of professionals in the massage therapy industry.

It seems that the NCBTMB does not include State Boards of Massage Therapy in the development of the benchmark testing of their NCE, and that there is not a like mind shared by all State Boards of Massage Therapy that agrees on the applicability of the NCE in each of the State Boards’ jurisdictions.

The MBLEx and the FSMTB is fast becoming state massage therapy boards’ preference for a professional benchmark to determine whether an MT is competent enough to practice massage therapy in the specific Board’s state.

Last year, the Nevada State Board of Massage Therapists (NSBMT) became a member of the Federation of State Boards of Massage Therapy (FSMTB), joining the fast-growing numbers of state boards of massage therapy in the US.

Stats:

o 42: States Massage-Regulated in the U.S.

o 32: States Massage-Regulated in the U.S. and using the NCE

o 25: State Massage Boards also FSMTB members

What does this mean to [Nevada] Massage Therapists?

In my opinion, immediately, it will mean that in the next few years, the exam taken for applying for Nevada’s massage therapist professional license will be changing. Ultimately, it will mean interstate portability for a massage therapy license. And in the big scheme of things, a national professional license. And in the universal application of the implications, the universal (intra- and inter-national) ability to practice massage professionally with the same credentials. Now EVEN BIGGER that Universal implications could be BUSINESS LICENSEs are Universal, too – but I think that’s pushing it…just a bit.

Most of us have “grown up” with either the local business license office or state board requiring the NCTM/B credential: taking the NCE and getting the certificate to take copies to their offices. It does not mean (at least to the AMTA) that the NCE is not a valid exams: the AMTA clearly stated in their email (dated Jan 26th, 2009) to its members:

The national certification credential needs to be an important part of any grandfathering process.”


Will the MBLEx replace the NCE?

Who knows for sure? It is an Act in a Play that we are seeing for the first time – and we/ve read no reviews! The happenings in our field are new and changing, like a road on a trip that you’ve never taken before – destination: Unity.

The process of new licensing in Nevada may be changing slightly. A note: Change is inevitable…and it is also very slow in our industry, where regulation is associated; it doesn’t happen overnight.

The State of Nevada’s NSBMT is a member of the FSMTB, but they are not using the MBLEx as a benchmark at this time for regular application, but have stated that they will consider applicants that are relying on having taken the MBLEx for their NVMT application in individual review. I project the notice of complete change of requirement from the NCE to the MBLEx will come when the Nevada Legislation is passed, changing the requirements for exam to be taken by applicants for massage therapy license. Please refer to the posted NSBMT record of minutes in the October 24th, 2008 meeting.

One way to know where the test requirement is in the process is to keep up to date with the NSBMT by attending their meetings open to the Public or reviewing the approved minutes for each NSBMT meeting, available online here.

Viability of the MBLEx

I have no idea how the tests compare – without actually taking the MBLEx after taking the NCETMB, I have no springboard to base any opinion on which one is more credible, researched, relevant, or easy. Although…I am VERY tempted just to take the MBLEx to see how I do – It’s been so long since I’ve studied for an exam!mblex-3-110x110

Learn more about the MBLEx here

Learn more about the FSMTB here

The Choice of a Premier Professional Association

Through the AMTA invention, convention, direction, and redistribution of volunteer time and non-profit funds paid for by members and vested partners, they have established themselves as a motivator and leading performer in the massage therapy and professional association industries.

In my opinion, this is a fundamental commitment on behalf of the AMTA. Which means, if, in the estimation of more than 58,000 massage therapists, more state boards are being formed all the time, the state’s MT Boards opt to become member of the FSMTB, and the MBLEx is the test of choice because of unification of regulation and legislation factors, then endorsing the MBLEx and educating all its members and making information about the MBLEx available to the public and the association’s members is a good choice.