Certification – This term is often used incorrectly. It is often found in Licensing Laws and California has something called the CA Massage Certification which is a voluntary process. A certification is something that is given by a third party company to certify a person in a specific method or treatment protocol. CERTIFICATE VS. CERTIFICATION: CREDENTIALING TERMINOLOGY MATTERS article from the National Certification Board for Massage and Bodywork explains it more. There is no such thing as a certification in Medical Massage as some CE classes claim.
The National Certification Board for Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) is the main certification board for massage. A few others have certification:
- Structual Integrators – Certification Board for Structural Integrators
- Certified Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist (CMLDT) certificate involves a minimum of 40 classroom hours. Lymphology Association of North America
- Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) certification, which requires a minimum of 135 classroom hours. Lymphology Association of North America
- Reflexology – American Reflexology Certification Board®
Massage Therapy – Each state has their own definition of what massage therapy consists of and what massage therapists can do in a session.
Massage Establishment Licensing – Some states have created laws that require massage therapists to get a massage establishment license that will supposedly help reduce the number of unlicensed massage therapists and brothels disguised as massage businesses. There has not been any research that this works or will work. It is not the responsibility of the massage profession to get involved in this as many are involved in human trafficking which is a dangerous endeavor.
Reflexology – A type of massage that uses reflex zones on the feet and hands as a way of working on the overall health of a person. Reflexology and foot massage are often confused and many states will exempt people giving Reflexology sessions from having to be licensed massage therapists. In doing so, it creates loopholes for brothels to set up and use foot massage as a front for sex work in many cases. Reflexology has their own certification board – American Reflexology Certification Board®
Structural Integration – A type of bodywork that was created by a woman named Ida Rolf, in the mid 80s, that was based on the theories of gravity and the posture of the body. It is a series of bodywork sessions that are done to improve posture. Some states will have exemptions for this in their licensing laws. Structural Integrators should be Certified by the Certification Board for Structural Integrators