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I am a Florida licensed massage therapist and just recently moved back to Columbus, Ohio.  I was told until I get my Ohio licensed that I can practice relaxation massage.  I was also told to get a massage tech license from the city.  My problem is that one, I got a job and they don't have the specific establishment license for hiring out of state licensees.  Two I went back to do it as "self employed" so I can try to work on my own but according to the man at the front that I have to have a place of business to go to practice massage.  I told him that I was going to do house calls but he told me that house calls are illegal in the city of Columbus.  I'm very frustrated and I can't find the laws stating this.  All I just want to is to be able to practice massage.  Can anyone help?

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This whole licensing thing, and all these exams...My gawd... Ive been complaining for years that none of it has anything to do with the actual work we do...They keep wanting to make it even more complicated with tier levels and so on...The Florida License should be good enough.. Its ever more money, and ever more time spent on memorizing unpractical information that inst accepted anywhere else.  When they first came out with this National Certification thing... I was all for it.. Gosh ,I thought wow.!. Thats great...We can take one test and be able too work anywhere...Thats how it was pushed..haha!!  Now its just a massive test you have to take before you take another test that doesnt mean anything...My goodness...Your situation shouldn't even be.  I dont wanna move anywhere else...Just because I dont want to go through what you are going through now..  Ive been a therapist for 27 years...thousands of massages...It means nothing , as far as the politics of this industry goes.  Florida has a thorough licensing program.  It should readily allow you to work anywhere, any time, any place with out question.  The AMTA and ABMP and all the rest should do something about this. Or what good are they?

Oh, Wendy....I feel for ya. I've been there. I moved to Ohio from New York state. I was licensed in NY (which requires 1000 hours - OH only requires 750). BUT, the program I took was only 6 months. OH has a requirement of sitting in class for 9 months. so, in order for me to sit for the boards here I had to sit in review classes for 3 months. It was actually a blessing because I found out what they expect and study for on the boards. In NY they don't teach a lot from Kellogg....unfortunately, while I was taking classes i was not massaging. i didn't practice for over 6 months. but it was worth it.


Anyway, I am licensed here now. Going forward it is really up to you what you want from your career. Do you want to do just relaxation massage for the time you are here? are you settling here? if you are i would suggest contacting American Institute of Alternative Medicine in Columbus to see if they will allow some of your schooling to transfer and see what classes you need to allow you to sit for the boards. Believe me, from experience it is worth the time and money. Just a warning....massage techs are only allowed to be in Franklin County, I believe. Outside of that and you would have to be working in an establishment offering ONLY relaxation.


Good luck!


you can practice relaxation massage without an OH license. you need to apply with the licensing board and need 750 hours from the time you apply with q 35.00 fee. however. after December, Ohio is doing away with the state boards and going to the national boards, and at this point the criteria has not yet been made public. As far as the laws in Columbus.. you would have to check with the city zoning board on that one. It may or may not be legal. In any case, please be careful doing house calls .  THIS CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS : )
As far as I know the nationals will not be offered - I took it also, will be the MBLEX. If you do have your nationals taken i don't believe it will be honored. you would have to take the MBLEX anyway. If the state is lowering its standards (which is a shame, really) they may then recognize those with out of state licensure.....remains to be seen.
Anybody with a Florida state massage license, has gone through enough training and testing to be licensed in any other state...Maybe  an FBI and police background check, and an understanding of any unique massage laws of Ohio, like no house visits or whatever.. Is all that should be required.. If the other state needs money...Then they should just charge a fee....The Florida License is a good license...What she is going through makes no sense...Its like I have an Alaska state drivers license but I cant drive in Oregon until I go through their driver program, and then when I finally get to California I cant drive there until I pass all their requirements which are the same as all the other drivers licenses requirements I have already taken.......Its stupid.
Hi Wendy - I have been looking at all the state boards to get a handle on what they expect for continuing education.  The good thing is Ohio has no CE requirements, but getting licensed looks to be a pain.  According to their literature, what Deborah said is right on, you have to have been in a classroom for at least nine months.  Then it looks like you have to take the Basic Science portion and Limited Branch portion of their exam, passing with at least a 75.  The bad part is the exam is only given in June and December.  You must apply for the June exam by February 1st, and the December exam by August 1st, and it is $250.  Plus you must request the paperwork for application from the Ohio board, and they will not send it to you until they approve the school in Florida you attended.  This is the link with all of that info,   Good luck.
What a bunch of Bull Poop ...The problem is no one entity is in charge of Massage Licensing.... Of course her school in Florida is a good school...Or she wouldn't of gotten a Florida State Massage License.  Anyone in here disagree with that?  NO one Im sure...I mean, do they have to check the school out in case it was a fake massage school that Florida didnt know about or something?  lol    To work as a massage therapist in this country... You basically need to take two or three tests  repeatedly for whatever state you want to work in...Wait for specific dates, and pay a bunch of money for all that...   And there is other stuff like.... I remember I thought maybe I would like to live in Oregon...This was many years ago... Anyway...I was licensed in Hawaii...Oregon said I had to go to Kalamouth Falls Oregon and take a water massage course of some kind?..Then I would be able to take the Oregon State Boards. Of course the dates and times were way off to coordinate  it in such a way that I could work quickly...   Its just too bad things cant work efficiently...I mean.. The way it is now.... What good is a Florida License????    Well its not that bad... No big deal I guess... I will always do whatever I have to do to make money legally as a massage therapist... Things just dont make sense to me.. Thats all...
Totally agree. It really is craziness. the Nationals are recognized in 38 states and counting. BUT for those states that require more....Florida, New York, Nebraska, Texas, Ohio, is a difficult decision lowering the requirements they have and I don't think they should. for those of us who have gone through the moving issues it is a trigger point in the neck!
Thanks for all the information!  I was lucky enough not having to take more schooling here in Ohio.  I was told that since I hold a current state massage license I am allowed to sit for the Ohio State exam.  But I had to send them preliminary education forms to make sure that the school I went to was legit and their teachings were acceptable.  Ohio happens to be one of those states that has only their exam.  Thankfully though they are adopting the MBLEx exam in January.  They have been trying to get this on the bill for over a year.  Even though I took and passes the national exam, I do have to take either the MBLEx or the Ohio exam.  I am shooting for the MBLEx exam.  With this at least I will know if I passed right away.  The Ohio exam is only offered twice a year and it takes up to 2 months to find out if you passed and to get your license.  I was also told that I could practice relaxation massage in the mean time but I need to get a massage tech license from the city to work.  It took running through a few hoops and a few trips to the licensing department downtown in order to get this license but I just got mine today.  I don't think it should be this difficult to get a license.  But it seems like Ohio, mainly the Columbus area has issues with "massage parlors".   I believe that they wouldn't have so many issues if they stop calling us masseuses and refer to us as massage therapists and instead of working in parlors we work in clinics or studios.  It has taken this profession long enough to get a good name and certain cities and states are just not making it easy for legitimate therapist to work.
I"m curious as to how the change will affect current students. I sent my 35.00 in for the preliminary certificate. however as a 2nd semester student, the change will come before I graduate. Not sure if I just wasted 35.00 or what. They aren't being very clear with the school as to how this will affect current students.
I'm not sure how it will affect the current students.  I was told that currently, the rules that are to go into effect are being written so, if all goes according to plan, the effective date for this change will be the beginning of January 2012.  But it seems like it will be easier for the students to take the test.  The MBLEx exam can be taken at any time and at multiple locations. It is very similar to the national exam.   Plus they as soon as you finish your test it tells you either pass or fail.  It is computerized all multiple choice.  Plus I have been told that it is easier than your state test.   About 50% of all out of state therapist trying to take the Ohio exam fails on their first attempt.  The exam costs $195 to take.  That doesn't include paying for your license from the state.   I don't know about your preliminary certificate I have never heard of it.  If it doesn't apply to the new laws I would ask for a refund.
its a certificate you have to get to apply to be able to take the boards. Your hours begin counting from the date you are approved. Ohio has the craziest process. But I can appreciate that. Many of the students are not serious about being a therapist, and would be lucky to do well as a "practitioner" they show up for class  sporadically, act like the clients have cooties. They dont have a "love" for massage. I think the current process weeds out many of those who dont want to take the time to really know the body. You have to know and love the body to be a a good therapist. but i also know some people just dont test well. So there may be some great therapist that have difficulty getting their license. Of course the ones that are not that serious probably wouldnt want to pay the fee to test and get their license either.

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