A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy Licensure in New Hampshire

New Hampshire massage therapists are regulated by the Advisory Board of Massage Therapists, under the banner of the Department of Health and Human Services. Prospective massage therapists must meet education, examination, and background screening requirements. There is a state prohibition on licensing individuals who have been convicted of actual or threatened violence, or of sexually-related crimes.

New Hampshire sets educational requirements higher than many states. Out-of-state massage therapists who do not meet requirements for full licensure may be eligible for temporary licensure.

Select a New Hampshire Massage Therapy Licensure Topic:

Licensed Massage Therapist Educational Requirements

New Hampshire requires massage therapists to 1) complete massage therapy programs and 2) accrue at least 750 hours of education and training.

Individuals who attend out-of-state massage therapy schools will need to document that their program met New Hampshire educational standards.

The massage therapy program is to include 150 hours of anatomy and physiology. Coursework in kinesiology may be credited toward this requirement. However, an entire course must be focused on topics in this content area in order for the hours to be credited.

The student is to have 375 total education hours in massage therapy theory, practice, history, benefits, and contradictions, as well as related modalities and adjunct therapies. The course of study is to include hydrotherapy and Swedish massage.

Hygiene and sanitary practices are to comprise 50 hours. This training is to include blood-borne pathogens. CPR and first aid training may be credited toward this content area; the prospective massage therapist will need to demonstrate current certification at the time of application. Certification is to be earned through one of three organizations: the National Safety Council, the American Red Cross, or the American Heart Association.

Ethics, business management, and health service management are to comprise another 50 hours.

The licensing agency also requires 125 hours of practical training. Students are not allowed to credit hands-on hours from their massage therapy technique courses toward this requirement. Practical training must meet state mandates (for example, adequate client documentation).

It is acceptable for coursework in some content areas to be pursued online, provided that the education meets requirements found in New Hampshire State Rule He-P 905.01 (http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/oos/blc/massage/documents/massagerules.pdf). The student is to take a self-assessment at the onset to determine the suitability of this instruction method.

Massage Therapy Examination Requirements

New Hampshire Massage Therapist rules (2009 revision) state that a prospective massage therapist may pass the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork or another certification examination that is nationally recognized; nationally recognized is defined as meaning that at least one-third of the states that require licensure for massage therapists accept the exam (http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/oos/blc/massage/documents/massagerules.pdf).

In 2015, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) ceased to offer the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork; in its stead, it offers an examination that is designed to represent one component of a rigorous Board Certification process (http://www.ncbtmb.com/board-certification). The NCBTMB can be reached at 800-296-0664 or ‘info at ncbtmb.org’.

By agreement between the NCBTMB and the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB), another examination, the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination, is to be the nationwide standard for entry-level practice and the sole massage therapy licensing examination.

The MBLEx is accepted in most states (https://www.fsmtb.org/content/?id=59). Individuals interested in taking the exam are directed to read the candidate information bulletin. They may register online or submit materials through the mail; a $195 fee is to accompany the form. The candidate selects, at the time of application, one state licensing agency for scores to be reported to. Scores are reported to this first state free of charge, typically within 24 hours of testing.

Approved examinees will schedule examinations through Pearson VUE. Examinations are scheduled on an ongoing basis at computerized testing sites throughout the nation. The ATT grants a 90-day window. Examinees are advised to schedule early so as to have the most choice of test dates and locations.

The Application Process

Application forms are available for download on the website of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/oos/blc/massage/forms.htm). The license application fee is currently $110.

The applicant will need to include a two by two passport photograph.

The licensing agency will require official copies of transcripts as well as official or notarized copies of certificates or diplomas. (Originals cannot be returned).

The licensing agency can accept copies of CPR and first aid certifications.

Graduates of out-of-state schools are to request transcript/ portfolio review. They will provide a form to the school. The school will list which courses fell under each required content area and will provide other information such as whether examination was required. In some cases, a student will need to submit materials from more than one massage school.

Out-of-State Massage Therapists

In order to be eligible for reciprocity, a massage therapist must be licensed on the basis of requirements that are at least substantially equivalent; the licensing agency may waive certain requirements (http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/oos/blc/massage/documents/massagelaws.pdf).

An out-of-state massage therapist who has practiced during at least three of the five years prior may be eligible for temporary (one-year) licensure while he or she completes additional requirements. The minimum educational requirement for issuance of a temporary license is 500 hours. The massage therapist will need to provide verification of holding, or having held, a license and of being in good status with the regulatory agency.

In order to be eligible for temporary licensure, the massage therapist must be at least 21 years of age and must reside within New Hampshire.

Additional Information

The Office of Professional Licensing/ Regulatory Board of Massage Therapy (http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/oos/blc/massage) can be reached at 603-271-9480. Applicants are invited to call with their questions.

The American Massage Therapy Association-New Hampshire (AMTA-NH) is an additional professional resource, but is not involved with the licensing process.