Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Until last September 1, anyone in California could technically call themselves a Certified Massage Therapist without legal repercussions, unless local law was more specific.  However, there was nothing legal on a state level.  Now we have the California Massage Therapy Council which controls use of the terms Certified Massage Therapist and Certified Massage Practitioner.  It's not an obligatory thing, you don't have to apply in order to practice, but you do have to apply to legally attach those terms to your name.  (The simplest difference between the two is that a CMT has 500+ hours of approved schooling and a CMP has 250-499 hours.  Click here for more in depth information.)

I used to attach either CMT and LMT to my name at various points in my massage career, but of course now I can't because of this.  I'm not complaining; this is a great step in the right direction toward state licensure that would allow me to work anywhere in California with one license.  I want that to happen very badly.  The city-to-city license system is expensive, annoying, and limiting.  It has literally cost me clients in Santa Rosa because I cannot legally practice out call for money without a city license.  I had one back in 2005 and it was a pricey sucker to get.  So yes.  Go state licensure!  WOO!  Someday!  Until then, we have the voluntary CMT/CMP program from the CAMTC.

Guess whose application is en route to Sacramento right now.  Yep!  Me!  Woo hooooooo!  I'm excited!  Yes, it's also expensive ($150) and slightly annoying (another $71 for LiveScan fingerprinting (that's a bone to pick for another post) and $5 for a passport photo (Costco for the win!)) but well worth it for the "prestige"/stamp of approval that says "Yes, this is a competent, educated massage professional and you can put your trust in her."

Granted, most of the population probably has no clue what it technically, legally means, nor might they care, and when it comes down to it, everything I do really should be about the client.  At that point, it behooves me to educate people, to say "Hey, these letters really mean something, it's not just posturing to make myself seem cool" like it kind of used to.

So I'm excited.  There is, of course, the far, farfarfarfarfar outside chance I'll get denied, just because... it's an application and not just "Sign me up, yo."  However, I don't anticipate any problems, delays, or reasons why I'd be turned down.

Here's to hoping, praying, and waiting for a pretty piece of paper for my wall, and letters after my name!

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