Massage Ethics 101

All CEUs delivered immediately
via electronic download. All merchandise shipped in 1-5 business days, depending on your location.
This 4 CEU ethics course is a refresher for practitioners who need to review the six ethics standards required by the NCBTMB. There is an emphasis placed on Standard V: Roles and Boundaries.

Massage Ethics 101 Course Outline (4 CEUs):
  • Chapter One: What Are Ethics?

Before you can begin an assessment of your professional ethics, it is important to define what ethics actually are. Santa Clara University defines ethics as “well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do.”i

  • Chapter Two: Standard One-Professionalism

The first standard of the NCBTMB is professionalism, which can be interpreted to mean that massage therapists must provide the highest quality care to clients. The NCBTMB Code of Ethics states that massage therapists are to “have a sincere commitment to provide the highest quality of care to those that seek their professional services.”ii The term ‘highest quality of care’ has a number of indications for a massage therapist.

  • Chapter Three: Standard Two- Legal and Ethical Requirements

Standard Two requires that massage therapists and professional bodywork practitioners follow all applicable laws regarding their profession, including local, state and federal.iii

  • Chapter Four: Standard Three- Confidentiality

The Standard for confidentiality is fairly straightforward. A massage therapist or bodywork professional must “respect the confidentiality of client information and safeguard all records.”iv

  • Chapter Five: Standard Four- Business Practices

The fourth standard is concerned with how you handle your business as a massage therapist. As a professional, you must “practice with honesty, integrity, and lawfulness in the business of therapeutic massage and bodywork.”v

  • Chapter Six: Standard Five -Roles and Boundaries

We will focus on standard five a bit more stringently than on the other standards. Ethical boundaries and the roles of client and therapist can be confusing, which makes it easier to commit violations of ethics inadvertently.

  • Chapter Seven: Standard Six- Prevention of Sexual Misconduct

A massage therapist should not engage in a sexual relationship with a client for a minimum of six months after you have terminated the client/therapist relationship. An exception to this rule is if you were already sexually involved with the client prior to becoming their Refrain from sexual activity with coworkers, employees, trainees, or any other professional in your workplace in addition to clients.vii

  • Chapter Eight: Other Concerns

A number of other concerns are covered in this section such as draping comfortably, clientele’s personal concerns, some controversial issues that may come up with clientele, and receiving gifts or benefits from clientele. A glossary of terms from the NCBTMB will also be covered.





i Santa Clara University, “What is Ethics,”



ii NCBTMB, “Code of Ethics,”



iii NCBTMB, “Standards of Practice,”



iv Ibid.



v Ibid.



vi Ibid.



vii Ibid.



Continuing education units (CEUs) are provided via electronic download in PDF format. Review the course work at your own pace and then take the included test online. You can print your certificate immediately after passing each test! All coursework is NCBTMB approved (NCBTMB # 451897-12). NOTE: Each state has different requirements. Please be sure to check our state requirements page and contact your state to verify your requirements.