Massage Therapy Licensure in New Mexico
New Mexico massage therapists are licensed by the New Mexico Massage Therapy Board. The state issues both temporary and permanent massage therapist licenses. Temporary licensure is based on education; permanent licensure, on education and examination. The Massage Therapy Board also issues massage therapy instructor credentials.
Massage therapists must be at least eighteen. High school (or equivalency) is considered the prerequisite level.
Select a New Mexico Massage Therapy Licensure Topic:
- Massage Therapy Schools in New Mexico
- Massage Therapist Education Requirements in New Mexico
- Examination Requirements
- License by Credentials
- Massage Therapy Instructor Registration
- Application Process (Forms and Materials)
- Contacts for the Board and Professional Associations
Massage Therapist Educational Requirements
First-time massage therapists (those who have not accrued professional experience under license or registration) will need fully 650 hours of massage therapy education and training (nmac/parts/title16/).
The massage therapy student will need at least 165 hours of coursework in anatomy and physiology and other closely related disciplines. At least 40 of the required hours in this content strand are to be in pathology. Kinesiology is also to receive coverage.
At least 150 hours are to consist of massage therapy training; this is to include coverage of contraindications.
At least 75 hours are to be in content areas that the Board terms “general instruction”. No fewer than 30 of the general instruction hours are to be in professional ethics. Also included in this content area are 1) first aid and 2) CPR/AED; the prospective massage therapist will need four hours in each. Hydrotherapy and business are both to receive coverage.
Electives may be in any of the following: theory, hands-on modalities related to massage therapy, breathing and stretching, nutrition, herbology, homeopathy, and counseling. The student may also credit additional hours of anatomy and physiology or massage therapy. Up to 150 hours of practicum may be credited. Other elective topics may be credited, but will need Board approval.
Up to 150 hours of credit may be awarded for prior professional experience carried out under licensure or registration.
The Board registers massage therapy schools that meet requirements. Out-of-state education can be accepted if the school was appropriately accredited (rld.state.nm.us / boards / Massage Therapy FAQs).
***UPDATE*** MBLEx will be the sole licensing exam for the Massage Profession, this will facilitate portability and standardization for Massage Therapists.
A New Mexico massage therapist must pass a national massage therapy examination and a state jurisprudence examination.
State rules reference three national examinations: the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB), the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM) and the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx).
The NCETMB and NCETM are no longer administered (as of February 2015). The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (ncbtmb.org/) continues in its role of approving massage therapy programs and awarding credentials to practitioners with high levels of expertise. Massage therapists may contact the NCBTMB for information or to obtain score reports. The NCBTMB can be reached at 800-296-0664 or at ‘info at ncbtmb.com’.
Candidates can register for the MBLEx through the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). There is a $195 fee. The applicant is not required to submit transcripts to the FSMTB but must affirm having read the candidate handbook. The examination is multiple choice and is available in both English and Spanish (fsmtb.org / mblex application requirements/). Computer-adapted examinations are scheduled on an ongoing basis through Pearson VUE. Examination results will be transmitted electronically to the New Mexico Board (provided that that is the license agency that the candidate selected at the time of application). Individuals who have already passed the MBLEX can request additional score reports for $20. The MBLEX program can be reached at ‘mblex at fsmtb.org’ or 866-962-3926.
An applicant will receive a copy of the state jurisprudence examination in the mail.
An individual who has never sat for a national examination may be granted a temporary license, valid for up to three months. A temporary license is invalidated if the massage therapist fails the examination.
License by Credentials
Massage therapists may be licensed by credential if they have met similar education and examination requirements in other jurisdictions; the requirements must be judged to be at least substantially equivalent to those of New Mexico (rld.state.nm.us / Massage Therapy Requirements and Continuing Education). Both U.S. and international licenses will be considered when granting license by credentials. Past disciplinary action will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, the Board may issue a provisional or conditional license.
The Application Process
Individuals can submit applications when they have met all requirements but examination. License applications may be downloaded from the website of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department (rld.state.nm.us / Massage Therapy Applications). The licensing agency encourages prospective applicants to review the applicable rules.
Some supplemental materials will be required. The applicant will need a two by two head-and-shoulders photograph.
Transcripts are to be sent directly to the licensing agency from the massage school. In unusual circumstances (for example, destruction of records) the Board may consider other evidence.
Out-of-state graduates will need to request that the school complete ‘Form A’, documenting the number of hours in each required content area and subject. In-state students will also need to have Form A submitted if they attended more than one school or if they completed their program more than two years in the past.
Out-of-state licensees can use ‘Form B’ to document license status; the form will need to be filled out by the appropriate agency.
Any documents that are not in English must be accompanied by a translation and an affidavit from the translator; the licensing agency will also need the translator’s contact information.
A massage therapist must pay two fees before permanent licensure is granted. The application fee is $75. The license fee is pro-rated and is assessed when it has been determined that the applicant meets all requirements, with the possible exception of examination (rld.state.nm.us / Massage Therapy Fees).
Massage Therapy Instructor Registration
In order to be registered as a massage therapist instructor, a professional must attain 50 hours of instructional experience. He or she must also provide evidence of having practiced during at least two of the prior three years.
A massage therapist who holds concurrent instructor registration has higher requirements for continuing education.
The New Mexico Massage Therapy Board (rld.state.nm.us / Massage Therapy) can be reached by telephone at 505-476-4870 or by email at ‘massage.board at state.nm.us’.
The New Mexico Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA-NM) is an additional professional resource (http://amta-nm.org). One of the organization’s goals is to keep massage therapists informed of legislative developments (nm.wp.amtamassage.org/).