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What is Therapeutic Massage?

Massage and Bodywork Therapies is defined by the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy (NCBMBT) as a system of activity applied to the soft tissues of the human body for therapeutic, educational, or relaxation purposes. The application of massage may include:

The practice of Massage and bodywork therapy does not include the diagnosis of illness or disease, medical procedures, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, prescription of medicines, or use of modalities for which a license to practice medicine, chiropractic, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, acupuncture or podiatry is required by law.


Why do people get massage?

The demand for massage therapy has grown over the past decade. Massage professional organizations such as the American Massage Therapy Association and the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals report an increase in their memberships. Massage has been shown to be an effective modality for a variety of conditions and is recommended by physicians as a complement to traditional approaches. Many people seek out massage to address the following conditions:

What are the requirements before you can practice massage?

To be able to work you need complete a 3 step process.

STEP 1: (1) You must graduate from either (a) a Board Approved proprietary program in massage therapy or (2) a NC Community College academic program of therapeutic massage. The Community College therapeutic massage academic programs are exempt by law from regulatory authority of the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork therapy (NCBMBT) and may not be listed on the NCBMBT website under approved schools.

STEP 2: You must take and pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBlex).

STEP 3: You must apply for licensure from the NCBMBT. To be considered for licensure, you must meet the following qualifications:

  1. Has obtained a high school diploma or equivalent
  2. Is 18 years of age or older
  3. Be of good moral character as determined by the Board
  4. Has successfully completed a training program consisting of a minimum of 500 in-class hours of supervised instruction at a Board-approved school
  5. Has passed a competency assessment examination that meets generally accepted psychometric principles and standards and is approved by the Board
  6. Has submitted fingerprint cards in a form acceptable to the Board at the time the license application is filed and consented to a criminal history record check by the North Carolina Department of Justice