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February 5, 2019

In short, no, you no longer need them. But let’s start with some background information…

The Background

Since the creation of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork’s (NCBTMB’s) Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB) credential on January 1, 2013, the continuing education requirements for certification renewal have been ever changing.

Aside from the initial removal of the ethics requirement, and then its reinstatement in October of 2013, the most recent change on February 1, 2019 is likely just as significant.

Since the beginning of the Board Certification credential, the NCBTMB has required 3 CE hours in research. According to a post on their website in January 2013, “Achievement of Board Certification is the highest attainable credential level in the massage therapy profession. As in other professions, Board Certification serves as an additional differentiator for advanced level therapists. The Board Certified therapist will renew every two years, and incorporated in the renewal requirements are three hours of research.”

Further, the page provides a post written by the Massage Therapy Foundation’s President at that time, Ruth Werner, stating “The Massage Therapy Foundation is dedicated to the vision that the practice of massage therapy is evidence-informed, and accessible to everyone. Our mission moves us in this direction through the support of scientific research, education, and community service. We are delighted that the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork recognizes the importance of research literacy for Board Certified massage therapists, and we are eager to continue this collaboration, to advance research as a cornerstone of the massage therapy profession.”

The Change in the NCBTMB’s Renewal Requirements

However, as of February 1, 2019 the Institute for Integrative Healthcare Studies has confirmed with our contact at the NCBTMB that the research requirement has been removed from the list of continuing education needed for Board Certification renewal.

Based on this news, we have gone ahead and updated our NCBTMB continuing education requirements page to provide you with the most current continuing education requirements for NCBTMB Board Certification renewal.

While we are not aware of the reasons the decision was made to remove a requirement that the NCBTMB and the Massage Therapy Foundation found so important to initiate back in 2013, we look forward to finding out what new requirements might be coming our way.