Frequently Asked Questions


When looking for a massage therapist, what kind of credentials should be there?

     All therapists who practice in the state of Texas must display their most current Texas issued license. Other states, Virginia for example, require their therapists to be nationally licensed with NCBTMB, the major authority/influence over this profession. Their highest certification is labeled BCTMB and can only be on display after a therapist is duly authorized to use this signage on their website, front door, advertising materials.

    Additionally, a good therapist continually schools in various techniques/modalities. Again, certifications from these hands-on courses or from online classes/webinars should be on display or be available to view. Hot/cold stone therapy, cupping (a new client favorite), massages for pregnant women, geriatric/cancer patient massages, are just a few requiring individual licensing/certifications. Hopefully this advice will help you to find the right therapist for you. Would it not be reassuring to know that your therapist has been properly licensed/certified in all the specific modalities which he/she will be performing on you.  


What is NCBTMB?

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) is an independent, private, nonprofit organization founded in 1992.  The mission of NCBTMB is to define and advance the highest standards in the massage therapy and bodywork profession. In support of this mission, NCBTMB serves the profession through Board Certification, Approved Providers, and Assigned Schools. The term Bodywork is about the Chinese/Japanese modalities also in practice today.



Highlights of NCBTMB history that all massage therapists should know:

  • 1988: AMTA Board members, along with several of our esteemed authors, massage therapists, school owners, and leaders of the profession, began to brainstorm the needs of our profession. Now, only a handful of states regulated massage therapy—which meant that in several states, someone could dream about becoming a massage therapist and decide the next day to open a business. Despite their good intentions, these therapists did not have the necessary training to help the public heal.

  • 1990: The AMTA Board of Directors invited a handful of massage therapy professionals to create a test that would help with reciprocity throughout states. With this test, massage therapists would prove they had graduated from a formalized massage therapy program. Most importantly, the test would be accepted in the few states that regulated massage therapy. Successfully passing this test would show a higher understanding of massage therapy, as well as how to work with the body.

  • Mid-1990: Soon after, this same group contacted NOCCA to follow proper certification guidelines—and even hired a Psychometrician to ensure the test would be measured properly. The NCETMB was the first psychometric test for the massage therapy profession.

  • 1991: Massage therapy school owners nationwide came together to write and edit test questions.

  • 1992: The first test was delivered in 1992 by pen and paper in 40 different locations. Over 5,000 massage therapists took the first test—proof that this test was something worth fighting for.

  • Mid-1992: The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork is founded and National Certification credential created. The main purpose of creating this credential was to create reciprocity throughout the United States.

  • 2005: State board members from 22 states come together to talk about aligning the profession and creating standard licensure requirements. This organization, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB), creates an entry level licensure examination to create reciprocity throughout the country, the MBLEx.

  • 2013: NCBTMB introduces the Board Certification credential, the highest voluntary credential in the massage therapy profession.

  • 2014: NCBTMB agrees to no longer offer licensing examinations to the public, focusing exclusively on Board Certification, Approved Providers, and Assigned Schools.


About Board Certification

In January 2013, NCBTMB introduced the Board Certification credential. This credential requires that certificants pass the Board Certification exam and complete 750 hours of education, 250 hours of hands-on work experience, pass a background check, commit to oppose human trafficking, and hold a current CPR certificate.


Goals at NCBTMB, our goals are to:

  • Elevate the profession by recognizing and encouraging excellence in schools, continuing education, therapist competency and high standards.

  • Establish certification as a recognized credential of professional and ethical standards.

  • Promote the worth of Board Certification to health, therapeutic massage and bodywork professionals, public policy makers and the general public.

  • Assure and maintain the integrity, stability and quality of the Board Certification program.

  • Periodically update the program to reflect state-of-the-art practices in therapeutic massage and bodywork.


We are proud to be directed by the NCBTMB Certification Board. Elected by our Board Certified practitioners, our Certification Board Members embody the diversity of our industry in their expertise in many modalities.


NCBTMB 1333 Burr Ridge Parkway Suite 200 Burr Ridge, IL 60527

Contact Us

Contact our Customer Service Team at 1-800-296-0664 or email us at Customer Service hours are Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm CST.


Does a massage have immediate health benefits?


Yes, there are some immediate health benefits, especially if you had certain issues which would respond well to Trigger Points or Myofascial Release techniques. Even after a relaxation “Swedish” massage, you will feel continual improvements over the next three days following your massage. Any massage program is most beneficial when done on a regular basis, i.e. bi-weekly or monthly.



Do you experience any terrible pain during a massage?


No, on what is termed terrible, excruciating pain. Massages fall under two descriptions, relaxation and medical. Therefore, and depending on the modality or type of medical massage, there may be some discomfort. You should never feel terrible pain.

Every person has a different tolerance when it comes to pain and here at Customized Massage and Bodywork your massage is customized to your comfort level. Our LMT, Dennis Danley, will always ask on a scale of 1-10, what does the pressure feel like and will customize the pressure to the client's chosen level. So, there may be some discomfort in medical massages, but there should never be pain. Relaxation massages are just that, relaxation and no pain.


Does a routine of regular massages have long term health benefits?


Absolutely. Regular monthly, even better bi-weekly, visits will help to keep cellular waste to a minimum. Using lymphatic drainage techniques will remove the toxins, poisons and other pathogens from the body, thus providing some of the best steps that you can take in preventative healthcare. A massage is a major stress reducer. Massages will always benefit the human body, regardless of age or health issues.


How do people dress for a massage?


Depends on the type of massage. Some massages can be done with clothing on, but when using oils and other creams for the benefit of the body, less clothing is preferred. People who are experienced with massages expect to be in the nude while on the table with a towel/sheet draped over their body. However, we customize massages to the comfort level/wishes of our clients. Please feel free to discuss your comfort level with your therapist.


What are some of the most popular types of massages?


Relaxation is the most popular, commonly known as a Swedish massage. Clients who come in to the clinic with specific issues, i.e. neck, shoulders, lower back, legs require Medical massages which necessitate Trigger Point therapy or the Myofascial release techniques.  Lymphatic Drainage which has tremendous medical benefits for eliminating toxins from the body is another popular modality highly recommended by doctors. Lypossage for body contouring and reducing inches is becoming very popular. CMBW has featured information along with a great pricing deal for Lypossage on this website.


What is the normal costs of a massage?


Massages vary in pricing depending on the type and the duration of a massage. Our basic Relaxation “Swedish” massage is $65 for a full hour.  


The Medical massages can run from $90 to $100 for a full hour.


Our therapist, Dennis Danley, delivers a full hour massage in addition to some initial consultation time. When making an appointment, please allow yourself at least 70-90 minutes for the full appointment, including initial consultation and some changing time.

If you have further questions, please call 817-645-3061