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The eligibility criteria for becoming a certified massage therapist are outlined by the NCBTMB:
You must have a minimum of 500 hours of in-class supervised instruction at accredited massage therapy colleges. This 500 hours must be supervised by an instructor and include 125 hours of lessons on body systems, anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. 200 hours of that time must include massage and bodywork assessment, as well as theory and applications. 40 hours of lessons on pathology, and 10 hours of business and ethics is also required. Lastly, 125 hours of specialization instruction, additional instruction, or field education in the massage therapy colleges program are also required. You can gain all the in-class instruction, as well as hands on experience, at accredited massage therapy colleges such as the Cortiva Institute. There, you will receive excellent instruction and preparation for the NCBTMB exams for becoming a certified massage therapist.
However, individuals already practicing massage therapy who have not attended massage therapy colleges can still become certified massage therapists. For example, if you have worked as a massage therapist in a State the did not previously require certification, but now does; or you want certification for a particular job or to accept insurance reimbursement, you can apply at www.ncbtmb.org for a portfolio review. A portfolio review is an extensive process for applicants who do not meet the eligibility requirements but can demonstrate the training, experience, and professionalism required to become a certified massage therapist.