NCBTMB Posts Reminder Regarding Energy Courses

Burr Ridge, Ill. (November 18, 2019)—Today, NCBTMB announced the following reminder regarding Energy Work courses:

In July of 2017, NCBTMB announced it would no longer accept energy courses unless the entire course contained “professional therapeutic hands-on applications.” With this change, and to honor past Approved Providers’ (AP) submissions, NCBTMB agreed to keep previous energy courses listed until the following AP renewal date. Upon renewal, all energy courses not aligned with the newly defined acceptable content guidelines are to expire and will not be renewed.

NCBTMB’s AP program has a three-year renewal period. An AP may renew up to one year in advance to ensure information is submitted in a timely manner.

As we move forward, NCBTMB’s AP department continues to eliminate energy courses not meeting newly defined criteria; however, the phasing out of such courses will not be complete until July 2021.

The NCBTMB Certification Board updated the criteria for acceptable energy courses as massage therapists align themselves with other healthcare professionals. Simply stated, massage therapy practice must further become evidence informed. This means everyone in the massage therapy profession must be able to back our work with supporting evidence that mirrors other healthcare professions. This would need to include any energy work. As our mission states, we must continue to define and advance the highest standards in the massage therapy profession.

Part of the Certification Board’s decision also relates to the area of health insurance reimbursement. Over the years, there has been discussion regarding massage therapy being accepted for health insurance. To be taken seriously in all arenas, Board Certificants must lead the way and APs must ensure they are teaching updated information that strengthens our profession. Until there is evidence proving “hands-off” energy work has a positive effect on the systems of the body, it will not be accepted by NCBTMB and we will continue to expire such courses on renewal dates.


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