A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy Licensure in Mississippi

Mississippi massage therapists are licensed by the State Board of Massage Therapy. They must complete approved massage therapy programs and pass two examinations en route to licensure.

A Mississippi massage therapist must also meet other state-specific requirements like clearing a criminal background check and obtaining current CPR certification.

Select a Mississippi Massage Therapy Licensure Topic:

Massage Therapist Educational Requirements

Mississippi requires a minimum 700 hours of education and training. The student will need at least 600 hours of academic coursework and at least 100 hours of supervised practice in a student clinic.

The instructional hours are to be distributed as follows:

Study of the human body is to comprise at least 200 hours. There must be at least 20 hours devoted to each of the following: anatomy, physiology, neurology, myology/ kinesiology, and pathology; pathology coursework is to include medical terminology. The other 100 hours of body systems study may be distributed among the required content areas in any manner.

Massage therapy theory and practicum are together to comprise at least 200 hours. At least 100 of these hours are to consist of demonstration and supervised practice; demonstration and practice is to include client evaluation, draping, and range-of-motion as well as specific massage techniques identified by the Board, for example, kneading, stroking, percussion, vibration, and use of hand-held tools. At least 20 combined hours are to cover massage therapy history, indications, contraindications and benefits. Also included in this content area are 10 hours of study in legality and ethics; this is to include Mississippi massage therapy law.

Allied modalities are to comprise at least 200 hours. The following content must be included:

  • Eastern, Western, and European methods: 7 hours
  • Hydrotherapy and infrared heat: 25 hours
  • Healthcare referral: 20 hours
  • Charting and documentation: 10 hours
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid: 8 hours

The remaining hours may consist of additional coursework in the five content areas above or other massage therapy and wellness topics, for example, special populations, trigger points, safety, and communication.

The 100 hours spent in the student clinic includes instruction and evaluation time as well as time spent carrying out hands-on sessions; the Board expects a one-to-one ratio between the two.

Mississippi programs are required to pursue accreditation through the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation or another similar agency; newer programs may not yet hold this accreditation.

Mississippi schools may accept transfer credit. However, acceptance of transfer credit is governed by state regulation. A semester hour may be worth 15 credit hours, if accepted for credit.

Educational standards are described in Rule 4.2 of Board Rules and Regulations (http://www.msbmt.state.ms.us/msbmt/web.nsf/webpages/LN_IN_Page_IN?OpenDocument).

A list of approved programs is available on the Board website (http://www.msbmt.state.ms.us/msbmt/web.nsf/webpages/LN_LOS_Page_LOS?OpenDocument).

Mississippi now mandates that prospective massage therapists have AIDS/ HIV awareness training. Mississippi-approved programs include this training.

Examination Requirements

Mississippi massage therapists take both a comprehensive examination and a jurisprudence examination.

Of the comprehensive examinations that have been approved by the Board, only one is currently available. It is the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), an offering of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (https://www.fsmtb.org/content/?id=58). Some students take the examination before graduation. Individuals who need to take the examination will find information on the FSMTB website. They will need to include a $195 fee with their applications. The ATT is issued within five business days. Candidates schedule their examinations at computerized testing centers.

The license application materials reference other approved examinations that massage therapists may have taken in the past. These include the Mississippi State Pre-Licensing Examination (MSPLE) and the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB). The Board has stated that the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM) is not acceptable (http://www.msbmt.state.ms.us/msbmt/web.nsf/webpageedit/LN_FAQs_Page_FAQ_SL_EXAMPL/$FILE/FAQ.05.EXAMINATION).

The prospective licensee will also need to pass the Mississippi State Law Exam (MSLE) with a score of at least 70%. A candidate will need permission from the Board. If the student is currently attending a Mississippi massage therapy school, permission will be arranged by the school. Students who have already graduated can apply directly (http://www.msbmt.state.ms.us/msbmt/web.nsf/webpages/Exams_Page_Exams?OpenDocument). There is a $100 fee.

The MSLE is currently offered one time per month. The Board has published a schedule of upcoming application deadlines and tentative test dates (http://www.msbmt.state.ms.us/msbmt/web.nsf/webpages/Exams_Page_Exams?OpenDocument).

Other Requirements: First Aid and CPR Certifications

The applicant must hold current first aid and CPR certifications. Certification may be granted by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, or American Safety and Health Institute.

Mississippi requires background checks carried out by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the FBI. Background checks are carried out in conjunction with the Mississippi State Law Exam. Massage therapy graduates pay the $36 background check fee when they register for the jurisprudence examination.

The Application Process

Application forms are posted on the Board website (http://www.msbmt.state.ms.us/msbmt/web.nsf/webpages/LN_Licensure_Page_Licensure?OpenDocument).

The applicant will need two passport-quality photographs; these are to be signed and dated.

The massage therapy transcript is to be sent directly from the school.

AIDS/ HIV awareness training is to be documented on an official transcript.

CPR and first aid certification is documented by certification card.

The application includes an affidavit that requires notarization.

The applicant is to include a $50 application fee and $200 licensure fee.

License by Reciprocity

An out-of-state massage therapist can be licensed by reciprocity with as few as 500 in-class hours of academic instruction, provided he or she has the requisite qualifications, including experience. Reciprocity candidates must have three years of experience; this requirement is the same whether the massage therapist comes from a regulated or unregulated state.

A provisional permit can allow an out-of-state massage therapist to begin practice sooner. There is an additional fee of $30 for the provisional permit.

Licensing of Military-Trained Applicants and Military Spouses

Some reciprocity requirements are different for military-trained applicants and for military spouses who relocate to Mississippi. These candidates will need to demonstrate massage therapy experience for at least two of the previous five years. A minimum program length is not specified. However, the applicant will need to pass examinations required in Mississippi. State code specifies that a military spouse may credit volunteer work.

Additional Information

The Mississippi State Board of Massage Therapy is the source for current information (http://www.msbmt.state.ms.us/msbmt/web.nsf). Candidates should be aware that regulations change periodically; the most recent revisions were in 2013. The Board can be reached by telephone at (601) 732-6038 or by email at 'director at msbmt.state.ms.us'.

The Mississippi Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association is an additional professional resource (http://www.amtamassage.org/chapters/82445).