Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge (MTBOK) released for your review and comments

Published: May 17, 2010

The inaugural Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge (MTBOK) was released May 15 at the 2010 Highlighting Massage Therapy in CIM conference held in Seattle, WA. The release comes after almost a year-long effort by a task force composed of professionals from the massage therapy field. The task force was established by five of the major organizations that represent massage therapy: American Massage Therapy Association, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, the Massage Therapy Foundation, and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

The fifty-plus page document addresses all criteria specified for the project: a description of the massage therapy field, a scope of practice statement, a section specifying the competencies expected of an entry-level massage therapist in terms of knowledge, skills and abilities, and a terminology section.

“The MTBOK has benefited greatly from the comments and suggestions provided by stakeholders on the two drafts we made available during the development process,” said Chip Hines, MTBOK Project Manager. “The task force did an outstanding job of pulling all of this information together and producing an inaugural MTBOK that was truly developed by and for the profession.”

The MTBOK project grew out of a multi-organizational process aimed at determining the best way to begin articulating a well of knowledge for the profession’s domains (practice, accreditation, research, certification, education and licensing). Five of the original organi- zations interested in the MTBOK joined together to become Stewards for the initiative.

The MTBOK is a living document that will develop and evolve over time in response to the needs of the profession.

The MTBOK is available to view and download here. Comments and sug- gestions on the MTBOK may be emailed to