Finding the right Massage Therapist can be hard.
There's so many personal factors to consider:
price range or budget
your wellness goals
schedule and availability
potential health risks
And there's so many professional factors to consider too:
the therapeutic approach
their education level
professionalism and presentation
value provided in each session
So the "Finding Your Perfect Massage Therapist" series is here to help.
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This article is all about "legit-ness" - how you can validate if the massage therapist you are considering is a license-carrying massage therapist.
First, licensing and state regulations are never a perfect system. They never guarantee that every single person within a profession is in fact, a professional. Bad apples happen even with extensive training and processes. But, it does guarantee some minimum standards set in place to protect the general public.
Massage therapist that are licensed:
met a baseline of initial educational requirements
passed a massage therapy state board exam
passed a state criminal background and fingerprint check
agreed to uphold basic ethical responsibilities
commit to continuing education courses (18 credits every three years)
If someone is not licensed and are providing and charging clients for massage therapy, it's a red flag in terms of professional credibility, but they are also breaking the public health code law.
How would you know if someone's licensed? You can ask to see their license, or you can also look it up online as professional licenses are public information.
In Michigan, use the Verify a License website. Below is a screenshot of what it looks like when you look up me.
When you select the Permanent ID# you can also browse any formal complaints or disciplinary actions filed against the individual.
If their name doesn't produce any results it doesn't automatically mean they're not licensed. If they are a brand new massage therapist, or transferred their license from another state, or had a recent name change, it may take a bit for records to update.
But it may be worth asking them what the deal is, before scheduling your appointment.
* * * Need additional guidance on other factors related to finding your perfect massage therapist? Check the rest of the articles in the series below:
Perfect Massage Therapist Article Series
Finding Your Perfect Massage Therapist: Verifying Their License Finding Your Perfect Massage Therapist: Massage Tables 101