Finding Your Perfect Massage Therapist: Validating Their License

Finding the right Massage Therapists for you can be hard.

There's so many personal factors to consider:

  • geographic location

  • price range or budget

  • your wellness goals

  • emotional/physical considerations

  • schedule and availability

  • potential health risks

And there's so many professional factors to consider too:

  • the therapeutic approach

  • their education level

  • treatment environment

  • 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 looking at giving a try is in fact a license-carrying massage therapist.

First, licenses are never a perfect system. They never guarantee that every single person within a profession is in fact, professional. Bad apples happen even with extensive license processes. But, it does guarantee some minimum standards set in place to protect the general public.

Massage therapist that are licensed:

  • met specific initial educational requirements

  • passed a state board exam

  • passed a criminal background check

  • agreed to uphold basic ethical responsibilities

  • must take continuing education courses

If someone is not licensed and are providing massage therapy, it's not only a huge red flag in terms of professional credibility, but they breaking the public health code law.

Would you see a doctor who doesn't have a license hanging on the wall? A dentist, chiropractor, or physical therapist without proof that they've met minimum educational and background check standards?

Most massage therapists should have their license clearly displayed in their office. If not, it's perfectly within your right to ask to see it.

Or, you can look them up online.

In Michigan, you can look up by name using 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 means they're not currently licensed. And it's definitely worth asking them why that is, before scheduling your appointment.

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Perfect Massage Therapist Article Series

Finding Your Perfect Massage Therapist: Verifying Their License Finding Your Perfect Massage Therapist: Massage Tables 101

Finding Your Perfect Massage Therapist: Cleanliness

Finding Your Perfect Massage Therapist: Value Per Session Finding Your Perfect Massage Therapist: Scheduling

Hey there! My name's Raechel. I'm the author of The Bodies We Live In blog; a licensed massage therapist and owner of Massage Sci; an NCBTMB Approved Continuing Education Provider and curator of Torchlight Massage, home of my ebooks. 


In my free time, I enjoy writing about self-care; researching pain science; trying to grow things in my garden; being far too fond of semi-colons; and avid sci-fi nerding.