As most NCBTMB certified massage therapists already know, new recertification requirements came into effect beginning on January 1st, 2013. In addition to altered continuing education hours, the Board is now requiring that 3 of the 24 hours of continuing education be in research. The Board’s page is a bit on the vague side, so we did some digging to see if we could clarify what the requirement is, why they’re asking for it, where you can find it and how you can complete it.
What Is The Research Requirement?
A research course is an approved continuing education course that will help therapists take different ways to find answers to questions about massage, new modalities and changes in their profession. There are multitude of research strategies that therapists can make use of, including contextual/interpretive, integrated, and difference-oriented. Each strategy has its own merits depending on what information is researched. “The types of courses under the research category should teach therapists how to evaluate relevant research information and also how to find the information”, explains Donna Sarvello, VP of Education Support*. “Teaching students how to write, evaluate and review case reports is also acceptable. In addition to those topics classes can be written around understanding the vocabulary of research, knowing how and which databases to use, evaluating publications and applying information to find a defensible outcome.”
Why Is The NCBTMB Requiring This?
Throughout the profession the Board is finding that some of the published information isn’t accurate. Many of the older Do’s and Don’ts of massage are being proven false because much of the old research is incomplete. These inaccuracies and misconceptions have even made it into published works. To raise the standards of massage therapy and to be taken seriously within the profession, accurate and proven data must be presented. The NCBTMB’s objective with the new requirement is to ensure that information within the profession is coming from a reliable source, and that people know how to differentiate between legitimate and illegitimate research.
Where Can I Find Research Courses and How Can I Complete Them?
Right here! HomeCEUConnection.com has a new selection of courses that are approved as research to meet your full NCBTMB requirements. You even have a choice as to how you complete the course: We have video and text based courses that you can complete online or at home.
For massage therapists looking for the most engaging way to complete their research requirement, we suggest signing up for Lu Mueller-Kaul’s video based Seminar-on-Demand “Orthopedic Mythbusting“. This 3 contact hour course succinctly discusses research methods developed by Paul Ingragam, assistant editor for ScienceBasedMedicine.org.
For therapists who prefer text based learning, Research Methods for Massage and Holistic Therapies modules examine specific research strategies and methods.
While it may seem somewhat off-kilter, the new NCBTMB research continuing education requirement carries many benefits for individual massage therapists and the profession as a whole. So don’t stress it, embrace it! In about 3 hours you can learn tools and techniques that will enhance your skill set and allow you to contribute well-researched and reliable information to your peers and your patients.
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