Friday, March 4, 2011
LMT, NCBTMB, AMTA, MOUSE: What Are Those Letters?
The doctor's door read: "Samuel Q. Johnson, MD, PhD, MBA." I knew right away that -- apart from being proud of his accomplishments -- he was a medical doctor, had earned his doctorate of philosophy, and had completed business school.
But what about massage therapists? We have letters, too! Here is a rundown of the most likely candidates.
Easy. It stands for Licensed Massage Therapist.
NCTMB or NCBTMB
These stand for National Certification for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, respectively. The former is the certification and can be placed after the therapist's name, such as Patrick Smith, NCTMB. The latter is the organization that administers the exam and certifies your passing the exam. The NCBTMB exam is comparable to the exam I took for my New York State License. As New York State requires the most number of hours of education, the NCBTMB exam is based on a similar body of knowledge and is a good barometer of a therapist's intellectual grasp of it. Many states us this exam as their licensing exam.
American Massage Therapy Association. This is a professional organization which can be joined either as a student or by providing appropriate professional credentials (e.g. license). The AMTA works hard to lobby for the advancement of the massage therapy profession, and it also provides valuable services to its members, such as the ability to purchase professional liability insurance.
There are other letters, such as MT (Massage Therapist), MP (Massage Practitioner, licensed in some states), MFA (Master of Fine Arts -- not sure why a massage therapist would put this after his or her name, but I've seen it...).