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massage & Bodywork board certification

Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB) is the highest attainable credential within the massage therapy and bodywork profession. Board Certified Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers must meet stringent requirements, clear a recurring criminal background check, and pass the Board Certification Exam.

Focused on evidence-informed subject matter, Board Certificants utilize clinically-based education and practice to safely and effectively integrate massage therapy and/or bodywork into patients' treatment plans, in collaboration with fellow healthcare professionals.


The addition of a BCTMB therapist to an integrative healthcare team ensures an experienced, knowledgeable, reputable, and skilled professional with the ability to produce positive outcomes for patients.

In particular, the Board Certification Exam assesses advanced knowledge in evidence-informed subject matter surrounding clinical and integrative healthcare environments. By presenting real-life scenarios, the exam assesses a candidate’s ability to apply such advanced knowledge and adaptation skills to developing treatment plans that achieve positive results.*


  • Modalities, Techniques & Manual Forces

  • Applied Science

  • Communication & Documentation

  • Professionalism & Ethics

  • Laws & Business Practices

  • Client Assessment & Treatment


BCTMB Knowledge & Skills

  • Modalities, Techniques & Manual Forces

    • Massage and Bodywork Techniques
    • Special Populations
    • Client Positioning for Specific Health Conditions
  • Applied Science

    • Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology
    • Injury
    • Contraindications (Health Issues, Medications)
  • Communication & Documentation

    • Medical Terminology
    • HIPAA Compliance
    • Verbal/Non-Verbal Cues
    • Client/Patient Communication
    • SOAP Notes
    • EMR
  • Professionalism & Ethics

    • Identify Clients w/ Pathologies
    • When to Refer Back to Primary Care Physician (PCP)
    • Identify Transference/Counter-transference
    • Standards of Care
  • Laws & Business Practices

    • Works Within Scope of Practice
    • State & Local Licensing Laws
    • Record Keeping (Business & Patient)
  • Client Assessment & Treatment

    • Comprehensive Intake
    • Session Planning w/ Integrative Team
    • Postural Analysis
    • Gait Assessments
    • Manual Resistance Tests
    • Orthopedic Tests & Assessment
    • Strength/ROM Tests
    • Clinical Reasoning Skills
    • Research Literacy Skills


If you are a clinical and/or integrative healthcare setting seeking to hire a massage therapist, you may wish to consider the following criteria to ensure the most qualified candidate:

  • Current state license (where required)**
  • Current NCBTMB Board Certification
  • Minimum 5 years of professional practice
  • Proof of recent Continuing Education
  • Professional reference(s) from a non-massage therapy healthcare provider

To find a Board Certified Massage Therapist, or for help seeking job candidates, contact info@ncbtmb.org.



Founded in 1992, NCBTMB is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to define and advance the highest standards within the massage therapy and bodywork profession. Created by peers and key industry stakeholders, NCBTMB’s primary role is to support the profession with advanced credentialing—Board Certification.

*For a full BCETMB breakdown, click here.

**All massage therapists must be licensed in states that regulate massage therapy—this is also required prior to achieving Board Certification.