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Frequently Asked Questions



What should I do first?

We would love to invite you to attend one of our monthly Career Day Events, including a FREE Open-House where you will receivel tour of our campus and answer the many questions you may have about our program in person, and our popular $25 Introduction to Massage Therapy in the afternoon where you will learn basic massage therapy skills to use on family and friends, and experience what education is like at CFMNH. We will provide you with all the information you need to make your decision about attending our massage school.

Once you have made the decision to attend our program, you will need to submit an Admissions Application. This can be submitted in person at one of our Career Day Events, completed ONLINE or found in our catalog and mailed to us or dropped of at our Education Center. To request your free catalog, please fill out our Information Request Form, and you will automatically be provided with a link to our download site. We will also mail you a hard-copy within 2 business days.

Fill out all the necessary information and mail it off to us. After we receive your completed application, we will make arrangements to either meet with you personally, or by telephone if you live out of town.

Am I too old or too young?

Our classes range from 18 to 70 years of age. From young adults launching their careers right out of high school to retirees looking for a fulfilling hobby, each class is unique in age range, personality and gender balance. It is this diversity that makes each class such a uniquely wonderful experience.

Is it hard to find a job?

At CFMNH, we offer lifetime job placement for our Graduates. Job placement is an extremely important part of any quality school and it is required by our accreditation board. In our exclusive CFMNH Alumni website, we have job postings for massage therapist employment opportunities all over the world, and they are always available to our graduates, for the remainder of their careers.

Our graduates find tremendous success in their new careers. From working with medical professionals, to starting their own private practices, we consistently receive reports of healthy, fulfilling careers.

How hard is the program?

This is a very comprehensive program, and it involves work and dedication. Our program is designed to include both lecture and bodywork classes each week in a very dynamic learning environment. Our science courses are fascinating and include multi-media presentations, while our bodywork courses include presentations, demonstrations, and lots of hands on practice. There are reading assignments to be completed outside the classroom, and fun and exciting projects to complete. As in-depth as our program is, our National Certification board exam pass rate is consistently in the mid to high 90's, where the national average for massage school graduates is consistently around 69%. Our graduates clearly do exceedingly well.

To successfully complete this program, you will need to do a fair amount of studying outside of class. While all courses will require some outside reading, assignments, and review, you will probably find that the science courses (Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, and Kinesiology) will need the most preparation. Plan ahead – we strongly suggest that you reserve time in your life for studying. An average amount of study time is eight hours per week during the first half of the program (during anatomy courses) and two to three hours per week in the second.

Are you accredited?

Yes, absolutely. CFMNH is accredited by COMTA, an accreditation board that is fully approved by the United States Department of Education. COMTA specializes in accrediting only massage therapy schools and has the highest possible standards for accreditation. Having these credentials allows us to accept Federal Financial Aid for our students, including Stafford Loans and Pell Grants.

COMTA is approved by the United States Department of Education, and as such, you may qualify for significant tax credits and deductions.

CFMNH is also approved by the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy, and we are literally school #1. We were the first school to become approved by the Board in this state.

How long does it take to become certified?

Our program is 6 months long. Upon graduation, it takes approximately 6 weeks to take the National Board or MBLEX exam and obtain a NC State license.

Do I have to have a license to practice?

Yes, in the state of North Carolina. Please check with the states you are interested in practicing in to find out their individual educational requirements. Here is a current list of state requirements provided by ABMP.

What is the difference between being certified and being licensed?

Our graduates are Certified by our school, then they can become Nationally Certified after they pass the National Certification Board Exam which is what we recommend. Alternatively, they can sit for the MBLEX exam. Either way, once they passion of these exams, then are able to apply for N.C. State Licensure. The National Certification Board and MBLEX tests for efficacy, while the NC Board regulates professionalism, laws and rules.

Do I have to become Nationally Certified?

Not in the state of North Carolina. But we highly recommend this credential to all of our students as it is a requirement for licensure in many other states. It is an important, and widely recognized credential to have earned.

What supplies will I need during the program?

You will need 5 sets of massage table sheets. A blanket is also important during massage sessions in case the recipient feels cold, and a queen-size pillow will be needed for use as a bolster. You will need an ongoing supply of massage oils and creams for use in the classroom and clinic in a drip-proof bottle. Biotone massage oils/lotions/creams are available for purchase through our Massage Therapy Supply Store. Additionally, you will need a couple of towels for use during certain segments of our program.

Do I need to buy a massage table before school?

No. We supply all necessary equipment in our classroom and at our massage therapy center. We use Oakworks Aurora massage tables, complete with matching adjustable face cradles. We encourage our students to order a table through us so they can receive a student discount. Oakworks massage tables are guaranteed for LIFE, so you will never need to buy one again. They are invaluable for practicing massage throughout school and then when you begin your new career!

What do students wear to school? Is there a uniform or dress code?

We ask students to wear comfortable and clean clothes and shoes while they are in class and practicing in the student clinic. While practicing bodywork, you will want to be able to move freely, and blue jeans or tight clothing may restrict your range of motion. During student clinic practice, you will be required to wear a Center for Massage t-shirts(we will provide you with one for free), tan or Khaki colored pants and clean, comfortable, and professional white shoes.

While practicing massage (both in the classroom and in your future professional practice), it is also important to avoid wearing revealing or sexually suggestive clothing. This makes sense in any professional setting, but especially with massage. Given the occasional misconceptions about the goals of our work (confusing therapeutic with sensual/sexual massage), it is crucial that we not give our clients any reason to question our professional intentions. Projecting a professional, therapeutic image is essential to maintaining respect and proper boundaries with your clients.


The following information is directly from the 2010 AMTA Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet:

What about Massage Therapy as a Profession?

• In 2005, massage therapy was projected to be a $6 to $11 billion a year industry.
• AMTA estimates that in 2009, massage therapy was a $16-20 billion industry.
• It is estimated that there are 280,000 to 320,000 massage therapists and massage school students in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Labor employment for massage therapists is expected to increase 20 percent from 2006 to 2016, faster than average for all occupations.
• Between July 2008 and July 2009, roughly 48 million adult Americans (22 percent) had a massage at least once.

Who are Today's Massage Therapists?

Today’s massage therapists are:

• Most likely to enter the massage therapy profession as a second career.
• Predominantly female (85 percent).
• In their late 40s, on average.
• Most likely to be members of a professional organization.
• Most likely to be sole practitioners.
• Working an average of 20 hours a week providing massage. (excluding time spent on other business tasks such as billing, bookkeeping, supplies, maintaining equipment, marketing, scheduling, etc.)
• Charging an average of $63 for one hour of massage.
• Earning an average wage of $45 an hour (including tips) for all massage related work.
• Seeing on average of 44 clients per month.
• Heavily dependent on repeat clients.
• Likely to provide massage therapy in a number of settings, including their own home, spa/salon, their own office, a healthcare setting, health club/athletic facility, or massage therapy only franchise or chain.
• Eighty-four percent (84 percent) of massage therapists provide Swedish massage, followed by 77 percent who provide deep
tissue massage, 49 percent trigger point, and 45 percent sports massage.

What is Massage Therapy Like As A Career?

Massage therapy can be a rewarding and flexible career:

• In 2009, the average annual income for a massage therapist (including tips) who provides approximately 16 hours of massage per week was $37,123, compared to incomes in 2006 of $28,170 for full-time healthcare support workers; $27,190 for full-time medical assistants and $23,290 for occupational therapist aides.
• While massage therapists work in a variety of work environments, sole practitioners or independent contractors account for the largest percentage of practicing therapists (96 percent). Thirty-eight percent work at least part of their time at a client’s home/business/corporate setting or their home, 25 percent in a healthcare setting, and 23 percent in a spa setting.
• Eighty-three (83) percent started practicing massage therapy as a second career.
• Sixty two percent of massage therapists say they would not want to work more hours of massage than they presently do.
• More than half of massage therapists (54 percent) also earn income working in another profession.
• Of those massage therapists who earn income working in another profession 26 percent practice other form of bodywork, while
22 percent work in healthcare and 21 percent work in education.

What Education and Credentials are Valued in the Massage Therapy Profession?

• There are more than 300 accredited massage schools and programs in the United States.
• Today there are 90,000 nationally certified massage therapists and bodyworkers. To become nationally certified, a massage therapist must demonstrate mastery of core skills and knowledge, pass an exam, uphold the standards of practice and code of ethics of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork and take part in continuing education.
• Ninety-two (92) percent of massage therapists strongly or somewhat agree there should be minimum education standards for
massage therapists.
• Massage therapists have an average of 624 hours of initial training.
• The vast majority of massage therapists (96 percent) have taken continuing education classes.
• Massage therapists take an average of 22 hours of continuing education per year.
• The most popular choices for continuing education are training for new modalities/techniques, advanced training for specific
modalities, and massage for specific populations (e.g. pregnant women, geriatrics and athletes).

What are State Regulations for the Massage Therapy Profession like?

They are growing.

• Currently, 43 states and the District of Columbia regulate massage therapists or provide voluntary state certification.
• In states that regulate massage therapy, massage therapists must meet the legal requirements to practice, which may include minimum hours of initial training and passing an exam.
• In states that do not regulate massage therapy, this task may fall to local municipalities.
• Most states that license massage therapists require a passing grade on the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBL Ex) or one of two exams provided by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

Who Gets Massage, and Where and Why Do They Go?

• According to the 2009 AMTA consumer survey, an average of 22 percent of adult Americans received at least one massage between July 2008 and July 2009, and an average of 34 percent of adult Americans received a massage in the previous five years.
• In July 2009, 40 percent of women and 29 percent of men reported having a massage in the past five years.
• Spas are where most people continue to receive massage, with 24 percent of those surveyed in July 2009 saying they had their
last massage at a spa.

While the use of massage is growing, the reasons people are turning to massage therapy are also expanding. More and more people recognize it as an important element in their overall health and wellness.

• Thirty-two (32) percent of adult Americans who had a massage between July 2008 and July 2009 received it for medical or health reasons.
• Nineteen (19) percent of adult Americans say they’ve used massage therapy at least one time for pain relief.
• Of the people who had at least one massage in the last five years, 31 percent reported they did so for health conditions such as
pain management, injury rehabilitation, migraine control, or overall wellness.
• Eighty-six (86) percent agree that massage can be effective in reducing pain.
• Eighty-five (85) percent agree that massage can be beneficial to health and wellness.

Consumers are increasingly seeking massage for stress reduction and relaxation.

• In July 2009, 32 percent of adult Americans said they had at least one massage in the last five years to reduce stress or relax—up from 22 percent reported in 2007.
• Forty-nine percent of consumers said they have considered a massage to manage stress in the last year, as compared to 38 percent in 2008.

What about Massage and Healthcare?

Healthcare providers are increasingly promoting the benefits of massage to their patients.

• In July 2009, over thirty-nine million American adults (18 percent) have discussed massage therapy with their doctors or health care providers, compared to 13 percent in 2008.
• Of those 18 percent, 35 percent of their health care providers strongly recommended massage therapy, compared to 27 percent in 2008. While physicians led the way in recommending massage (55 percent vs. 50 percent in 2008), chiropractors (48 percent vs. 47 percent in 2008) and physical therapists (42 percent vs. 40 percent in 2008) also recommended massage therapy when their patients discussed it with them.
• More than two-thirds of massage therapists (76 percent) indicate they receive referrals from health care professionals, averaging 1.5 referrals per month. This represents a significant increase from 2008, when 69 percent of massage therapists reported receiving health care referrals.
Massage therapy usage in hospitals is common.
• The number of hospitals offering complementary and alternative medicine grew from 7.7 percent in 1998 to 37.3 percent in 2007. Of those hospitals that offer CAM therapies, massage therapy was offered by 70.7 percent.
• Stress-related issues are major reasons why hospitals offer massage. 71.2 percent of hospitals that offer massage provide it for stress reduction for patients, and 69.1 percent of hospitals that offer massage provide it to staff to reduce stress.
• Among hospitals that offer massage, some other prevalent populations served and/or reasons for massage include:

1) Pain management (66 percent)
2) Massage for cancer patients (57 percent)
3) Pregnancy massage (55 percent)
4) Part of physical therapy (53 percent)
5) For mobility/movement training (45 percent)
6) Palliative care (41 percent)

Massage therapists and consumers are in favor of integration of massage into healthcare.

• More than half of adult Americans (59 percent) would like to see their insurance cover massage therapy.
• A great majority of adult Americans (92 percent in 2006 and 96 percent in 2009) agree that massage therapy should be considered part of the health care field.

What About Massage Therapy Research?

The therapeutic benefits of massage continue to be researched and studied. Recent research has shown the effectiveness of massage for the following conditions:

• Cancer-related fatigue.
• Low back pain.
• Osteoarthritis of the knee.
• Reducing post-operative pain.
• Boosting the body’s immune system functioning.
• Decreasing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
• Lowering blood pressure.
• Reducing headache frequency.
• Easing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
• Decreasing pain in cancer patients.

The American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®) is the largest non-profit, professional association serving massage therapists, massage students and massage schools. The association is directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters. AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage.

The association also helps consumers and health care professionals locate professional massage therapists nationwide, through AMTA’s Find a Massage Therapist® national locator service. The free national locator service is available via AMTA’s website at www.FindaMassageTherapist.org or toll-free at 888-THE-AMTA [888-843-2682].

For a PDF of the entire 2010 AMTA Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet, please click HERE.