Difference between licensed massage therapist and certified massage therapist

Many massage therapists use the letters “LMT” or “CMT” as part of their professional titles. Both of these designations for a massage therapist are intended to convey professionalism and recognized skill, but they differ in meaning and origin.

What does a licensed massage therapist or a certified massage therapist mean?

The term “LMT” stands for “Licensed Massage Therapist,” while “CMT” means “Certified Massage Therapist.” In the United States, massage therapy licensing is a legal designation overseen individually by each state. As of February of 2011, 38 U.S. states required that massage therapists be licensed that is be a licensed massage therapist / certified massage therapist in order to practice. Unlicensed individuals who are caught selling massage therapy services might be fined or otherwise penalized.

licensed massage therapist

Certification, on the other hand, is a professional designation. It is a qualification conferred by a professional organization such as the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) that indicates that a massage therapist has fulfilled standard massage education and massage therapy training requirements. Precise massage therapy license requirements vary depending on the organization that manages the qualification, but a certified massage therapist must generally complete an approved massage training program of massage therapy classes, demonstrate his or her ability to apply standard massage therapies, pass a written exam testing theoretical knowledge, and show an understanding of ethical requirements.

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Although licensing and certification are distinct in origin, they are closely connected. Many U.S. states, including California, Pennsylvania, and Texas, list professional certification as a requirement for licensure. As a result, there is a great deal of overlap in the way the terms “Certified massage therapist" and “Licensed massage therapist” are used. Some states refer to massage therapists who have met legal requirements as certified massage therapists, while others call them registered massage therapists, licensed massage therapists, or certified massage practitioners.

In states where licensure is not required, such as Alaska or Idaho, massage therapists may advertise themselves as Certified massage therapists to indicate that they have met recognized professional standards even though this is not required by law.

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