Do You Need a Certification for Each Modality

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As a massage therapist, you will have the opportunity to specialize in more than one style (modality) of massage.  This will allow you to offer a wide range of services, making you a desirable choice to different clients.  You will be able to appeal to more people which will do wonders to boost your reputation, and subsequently your income.  Many of the different modalities require you to obtain additional training and subsequently get certified.  But, is it enough to simply take a class before you’re able to offer different types of massage to your clients or, will you need a certification for each modality?

The best place to get information would be your State.  Your state will have regulations in place regarding what type of massage you can perform once you are licensed.  The scope of practice may also vary within the state so you might need to also contact your city or town’s regulations.  The website for your state board of regulations is a good place to start.

Massage school is going to primarily cover the basics in order to get you licensed.  Even if you do receive training while undergoing your initial training, it is not going to be enough to warrant you jumping into the industry and offering that service.  You are going to need to practice the different techniques a number of times before becoming skilled at them.  Continuing education classes will help you perfect your skills and touch, allowing you to gain more experience and grow your business.  Additional classes will also allow you to perfect specialized skills that can be used for pregnancy massage and therapeutic massage therapy.

In some instances, a massage therapist who is not comfortable performing a certain type of therapy will say they aren’t able to do so because they aren’t certified.  Some would use this as an excuse if they didn’t like performing the massage or were nervous.  This can be seen with pregnancy massage, massage using hot stones, and sometimes deep tissue.

As it relates to practicing good ethics, if you have not be trained in something and know that you are not completely comfortable performing a specific technique, you should not offer to do so.  If you really want to master other techniques, then take the necessary training and get in as much practice as possible.  Also, if your state doesn’t have specific rules regarding certification for different modalities, speak with other massage therapists to get their opinion.

There’s so much more to learn about in the bodywork and massage therapy industries.  You can get more info here on an article about massage therapist education.

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