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Meet the MBLEx

Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination

Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB)

Formed August 2005 Mission: To Support Members Boards
Facilitate communication between massage boards Promote compatible requirements to increase portability Create valid reliable licensing examination

Other Perceived Needs:

Consistent scope of practice Clear entry-level standards National database of practitioners

We Asked You:
What types of obstacles do your students face when applying for their licensing?

What You Told Us

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. NCBTMB has a confusing application process Slow turn-around on applications by NCBTMB Lost documents at NCBTMB Students have limited funds Distance to testing site (some students) Student may have limited computer skills


Language barriers

The MBLEx Overview

Simple application process
Online application in development

1 week turn-around on applications 125 multiple choice questions $195 fee Online testing tutorial Practice tests are in development Results to states every 24 hours

MBLEx Adoption
Georgia Iowa Louisiana Maine Mississippi New Mexico Oregon

Puerto Rico
South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Washington West Virginia

MBLEx Development
Over 60 subject matter experts All geographical regions represented 15 psychometricians and testing specialists Inclusion of regulatory community Based on input from 7,646 massage & bodywork practitioners

Use of best practices for test development

MBLEx Content Outline

Guidelines for Professional Practice 10%

Ethics, Boudaries, Laws & Regulations 13%

Anatomy & Physiology 14%

Kinesiology 11% Overview of Massage & Bodywork History/Culture/Modalities 5% Pathology, Contraindications, et al 13% Benefits and Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue 17%

Client Assessment & Treament Planning 17%

Content Outline
Anatomy & Physiology
14% System structure System function Health care terminology Tissue injury and repair Concepts of energetic anatomy

11% Components/characteristics of muscle tissue Muscle contractions Proprioceptors Locations, attachments, fiber direction Actions

Joint structure and function

Range of motion

Content Outline
Pathology, Contraindications, Areas of Caution, Special Populations
13% Common pathologies Contraindications Areas of caution Special populations Classes of medication

Benefits and Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue

17% Physiological effects of soft-tissue manipulation Psychological aspects and benefits of touch Benefits of soft-tissue manipulation Soft-tissue techniques Types of strokes/sequence Hot/cold applications

Content Outline
Client Assessment, Reassessment & Treatment Planning
17% Organization of a session Client consultation and evaluation Written data collection Visual assessment

Overview of Massage & Bodywork History/Culture/Modaliti es


History of massage & bodywork

Overview of different skill sets used in contemporary massage/bodywork environments Overview of modalities

Palpation assessment
Range of motion assessment Clinical reasoning

Content Outline
Ethics, Boundaries, Laws and Regulations
13% Ethical behavior Professional boundaries Code of ethics violations The therapeutic relationship Dual relationships Sexual misconduct Laws and regulations Scope of practice Professional communication Confidentiality Principles

Guidelines for Professional Practice

10% Safe use equipment/supplies Hygiene Sanitation and cleanliness Safety practices Therapist self-care Draping Business practices

Time for a Poll!

FSMTB is developing practice tests for the MBLEx. Would schools and students prefer one big practice test covering all areas, or would they prefer smaller practice tests covering each content area? I want one big practice test I want small practice tests covering each content area

MBLEx Application Process Overview

Application Through FSMTB

Step 1: Gather Information
Download from
Candidate handbook
MBLEx application MBLEx content outline Other documents if required

Step 2: Apply
Complete the application Submit application to FSMTB
$195 fee No need to send transcripts

A simple application form!
No need to send transcripts!

Application Through FSMTB

Step 3: Wait for a Notice to Schedule (NTS)
NTS arrives via e-mail (if provided) or regular mail Includes information about where and how to test

Step 4: Register
Follow the directions on the NTS to register A registration confirmation arrives with:
Test date Test time Test location

Application Through FSMTB

Step 5: Test!
Arrive 30 minutes early 2 forms of current ID

Step 6: Score!
Score report received at test site Verification of score report sent directly to the state Students can test before graduation leading to faster licensing, job placement and career start

Application Through State Board/Agency

Each state/jurisdiction is different
Log onto state board/agency website for details (links to boards/agency sites available at States/jurisdictions usually require transcripts from school for licensing.

Licensing exam Involvement of regulatory community in exam development Based on large JTA

Certification exam No involvement of regulatory community in exam development Based on small JTA

Reviewed history of FSMTB Overview of the MBLEx Contents of the MBLEx Application process for the MBLEx