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How to Become a Massage Therapist in Oregon - OR

How to Become a Massage Therapist in Oregon

The Oregon Board of Massage Therapists enforces the statutes regarding midwives and Massage Therapists. In Oregon, massage therapy certification is required.  It is illegal to practice massage therapy in the state without a license or with an expired license. The Board also keeps an eye on its massage therapists to ensure they do not break any laws and hears specific complaints against its licensees.

To gain your license to practice massage therapy in Oregon, you must

  • be at least 18 years old,
  • supply personal references to demonstrate good moral character,
  • provide educational certificates or transcripts of your schooling in massage therapy technique and practice,
  • Complete 500 hours (minimum) of massage therapy schooling in an accredited institution. Classes must include:
    • anatomy
    • physiology
    • kinesiology
    • hydrotherapy
    • theory and hands-on practice
    • bodywork
    • professional practice
    • client communication and boundaries
    • professional and business ethics
    • sanitation
  • pass a national standardized massage therapy examination. The exam is the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. However, if you passed the exam from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork prior to 2008, your results will be grandfathered in Oregon.
  • pass the Oregon Practical Exam, during which you must demonstrate your competency in one of a few dozen therapy modalities (you may choose from such styles as polarity, lomilomi, deep tissue, bowen, body talk or rolfing, among others.)
  • pass Oregon’s jurisprudence exam, regarding federal and state laws about massage therapy
  • submit the Oregon application and fee

If you earn your license in another state, Oregon massage therapy certification may be made available through a reciprocity waiver that will allow you to practice under a license by endorsement until the next renewal period ends. This requires that the other state’s requirements meet or exceed Oregon’s. You may have difficulty if your license is from New Hampshire, Arkansas, North Dakota or Washington state.

You can also receive a license by health endorsement if you are already licensed in another profession (MD, ND, DC, PT, OT, RN, LPN or LAC) and have studied at least 300 hours in massage theory and practical application (or some other types of massage-related studies

Massage Therapy Schools