Want to become a massage therapist? There are some factors to consider and I will discuss them with you in this article, so pay close attention! First of all, I have a question for you. Have you ever noticed how massage therapists will often add the label CMT (Certified Massage Therapist) or LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) next to their titles when they advertise their services online or in print? I have to admit that I had initially regarded these as interchangeable labels that more or less carried the same meaning, but in the back of my mind I always questioned that belief. Finally, I decided that I would have to find out once and for all what both of these labels specifically refer to and as it turns out, they are different.
Therefore, before we discuss the process of obtaining your license as a massage therapist, we should clearly establish what it means to be certified or licensed. Massage therapist certification is acquired through specialized training schools and programs upon successful completion of the course. After passing the final examination, the student has officially become a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) and would be permitted to practice massage therapy in the county or state in which their course work was completed. In contrast, the Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) title applies to massage therapists with a business license that is specific to the county or state in which the license has been issued. As an example, I will use a real person I know that works as a massage therapist in Walnut Creek, California and a fictional person to differentiate a CMT and LMT. Kate Henderson is a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) that took classes in East Bay of California. During the day, she works at Joan’s massage practice in Danville, a nice and quiet town located in the East Bay as well. Joan obtained a license for her Danville-based practice and Kate’s certification is what allows her to perform massage within that establishment.
When someone is aspiring to become a massage therapist, it is important to research the different specialized training programs and schools offered in their area because with so many different massage techniques today, different schools will have more emphasis on certain techniques than others. If you aren’t sure what style is right for you, you could get a few massages yourself, watch videos that show different techniques on YouTube, or even practice different massages on friends and family to determine your interests.
Something that all schools have in common, however, is a strong emphasis on understanding and memorizing human anatomy and physiology. All massage therapists are absolutely expected to have a comprehensive understanding of the human body; they are expected to be experts. After all, one patient’s physical ailments could be the
In addition to taking classes, students are required spend a minimum of 100 hours worth of field training, acting as an actual massage therapist. I would have placed emphasis on minimum because this number varies greatly between states and in many cases the student will be required to practice for at least 200 hours or more. As mentioned earlier, students will also need to pass the written examination after completing the required fieldwork, so get those flashcards ready! If all goes well, they are on their way to being a Certified Massage Therapist within the respective County or State and in the right circumstances, this can be an extremely profitable profession.polar opposite from the next patient and if the massage therapist does not know what they are doing and/or something goes wrong during or after a massage, you’d better be ready to hear from a disgruntled client that isn’t scared to make a malpractice claim against you or the establishment you work for!
As a CMT, you can apply at day spas, gyms, and other establishments that post ads on Craigslist and LinkedIn looking to hire a massage therapist as long as they are within the county or state in which you are authorized to practice. At some point, if the idea of having your own practice becomes appealing – and it probably will – you would need to apply for a license which is a relatively easy process, but can take up to six months to receive. During this waiting period, you can expect an unscheduled visit from an inspector representing Department of Health. This person will perform a walk through towards the purpose of ensuring the absence of any safety hazards and of course they will check to make sure that all employees present at the time have certificates or licenses. This is why you are required to keep your certificates and licenses on the premises where you work at all times. Unfortunately, an inspector is not going to call you to set up an appointment because they want to make sure the establishment is properly run at all times; not just on the day of the inspection. Please refer to the Department of Health website in your area for comprehensive information regarding the inspections and what you can expect them to look for.