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how to become a massage therapist

Explore the ins and outs of earning a massage therapy degree.

In the U.S., most states require massage therapists to be licensed before they can legally practice. The majority of states require both a certain number of hours of education and a passing grade on the entry-level licensing exam known as the MBLEx.

The requirements–both for initial licensing and re-certification–vary from state to state. Be sure to check the regulations in your area to see if the massage therapy program you’re considering offers enough hours to qualify you for licensure

In massage therapy courses, you’ll receive the training you need to be a licensed massage therapist who can fulfill a range of client needs. If you plan to specialize in a particular type of massage (for instance, infant massage, stone therapy, sports massage, etc.) you will take specific courses to learn the appropriate techniques. Generally, a massage therapy program includes classes like:

Anatomy and physiology
Business and license procedure
Contraindications and limitations
Health values of massage
Hygiene
Pathology
Professional ethics
Self-care
Theory of massage