Massage is a profession in which the practitioner applies manual techniques, and may apply adjunctive therapies, with the intention of positively affecting the health and well-being of the client. Massage therapists may be independent contractors, sole practitioners, or employees. Some travel to clients' homes or to business offices.
Minimum entry-level standards for massage therapy training vary greatly, based on state or local requirements, professional association standards, or insurance requirements. State regulatory requirements for massage practice range from a minimum of 300 in-class hours at a recognized massage school to 1,000 in-class hours of massage training in an accredited massage program.
The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) is recognized by the US Department of Education as a specialized accrediting agency for massage therapy and bodywork programs and institutions. It is the only recognized accrediting agency focused solely on the quality of education massage therapy. Massage schools and programs may voluntarily seek accreditation by COMTA or may choose some other accreditation or none at all. COMTA accredits massage programs and institutions that offer a minimum training of 600 hours of classroom and clinical instruction, conducted or directly supervised by qualified faculty. Six defined competency requirements must be included in the program curriculum and students must be assessed on having met the competencies.
The ATMA requires its members to have minimum training of 500 hours of classroom instruction and recommends training at a school accredited by the COMTA. Its Professional-level members must provide evidence of 48 clock hours of continuing education every 4 years.
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Massage Careers, Organizational Membership
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