Tennessee Massage Therapist License Exam

To get licensed in Tennessee, massage therapists are required to take a massage exam that covers such subjects as anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology.  Whether you live in Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis or another city or county, the resources below will help you get started on the path to receive your massage license.

Need of a Massage License: A massage therapist needs a license to practice massage therapy in Tennessee.

Who Grants a License:  Licenses are granted by the Tennessee Massage Licensure Board.

Qualifications to receive a License:  A candidate needs to complete a minimum of 500 hours of massage therapy training from an approved school or program to include:

                    - 200 hours of sciences
                    - 200 hours of massage theory
                    - 85 hours of allied modalities
                    - 10 hours of ethics
                    -  5 hours of Tennessee massage statutes and regulation

The candidate must pass the following exams:

1.       The candidate must pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx); and

2.       The candidate must pass a state jurisprudence exam.  The jurisprudence exam is part of the application.

For more information on qualifications, see Tennessee Massage Therapist Application

Applying for the Massage Exam:  Candidates can apply online to take the MBLEx.  More information can be found on the MBLEx in a Candidate Handbook.

Test Content:   The MBLEx exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions with four choices provided for each question.  Test takers have 110 minutes to complete the computer-based exam.

The exam is divided into eight content areas:

-          Anatomy & Physiology
-          Kinesiology
-          Pathology, Contraindications, Areas of Caution, Special Populations
-          Benefits and Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue
-          Client Assessment, Reassessment, & Treatment Planning
-          Overview of Massage & Bodywork History/Culture/Modalities
-          Ethics, Boundaries, Laws, Regulations
-          Guidelines for Professional Practice

State Jurisprudence Exam:  A 27 true/false question jurisprudence exam is part of the application.

How to Apply for the License:   Candidates must provide the Board the following documents:  (1) completed application; (2) transcript of completed course of study; (3) CPR certification; (4) criminal background check; and (5) verification of passage of the MBLEx. Candidates must send the documents to:

                                   Tennessee Massage Licensure Board
                                    227 French Landing, Suite 300
                                    Heritage Place Metro Center
                                    Nashville, TN  37243

Phone: (800) 778-4123 ex. 32111

Official school transcripts and verification of passage of the MBLEX must be sent directly to the Board from the respective organization.

Fees:  There are fees to apply to become a licensed massage therapist.

Who Administers the Massage Tests:  The MBLEx is administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.

License Renewal Requirements:  A massage therapist must renew her license every two years and complete at least 25 hours of continuing education in that time period.

Applicable Regulations:  Massage therapists in Tennessee are governed by the Rules of Tennessee Board of Massage Licensure.


 For more information on licensing and exam preparation, go to Tests.com’s  MBLEx Test Guide and BCETMB Test Guide.

 And take Tests.com’s Massage Therapist Practice Tests:

 MBLEx Practice Test

 BCETMB Practice Test

For massage therapy exam preparation products, such as study guides, flashcards and courses, go to Tests.com’s MBLEx and BCETMB listings.

Quality starts with...
...who wrote the material.
Our practice exam writers:
Charles Celeste, LMT
, is an instructor in massage therapy at Brightwood College in California.  He has also taught at Baker College and was the program director at the American Career College.  He earned his BA in exercise science from California State University and holds an MBA.  He is MBLEx certified and has been praticing massage therapy for over ten years.

Michelle MacCubbin, LMT
, is an instructor in massage therapy at Miller-Motte Technical College in South Carolina.  Prior to this position, she was an instructor and program director at the McCann School of Business and Technology in Pennsylvania.  She is MBLEx certified with over ten years of experience in the field.

Sara Rennie, LMT
, is a massage instructor at the American Massage and Bodywork Institute in Virginia.  She also tutors students to help them pass the MBLEx. She has worked in the massage industry for over ten years.

Andrew Dacres, LMT
, is an instructor in massage therapy at the Atlanta School of Massage in Georgia.  He has also taught massage therapy at the Georgia Medical Institute and at Sanford-Brown College, where he introduced an MBLEx review class for graduating students. He is an MBLEx certified massage therapist with over ten years of experience in the field.

Chanel Andrade, LMT
, was the lead massage therapy instructor at Everest College for many eyars and, as part of her program, taught an MBLEx prep module.  She has practiced massage therapy for over ten years in California.
Passing the MBLEx is one of the last steps to attain a license as a professional massage therapist in many states.  The Actual MBLEx is 100 questions with a 1 hour and 50 minute (110 minutes) time limit.  Additionally, 5 minutes is allotted for a security agreement and another 5 minutes for a brief survey for a total of 2 hours (120 minutes). 

Actual MBLEx Content Outline (source: The FSMTB Handbook):

Anatomy & Physiology 
11-13 Questions (12%)

Benefits & Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue
13-16 Questions (14%)

Client Assessment, Reassessment & Treatment Planning
16-18 Questions (17%)

Ethics, Boundaries, Regulations, Laws
14-17 Questions (15%)

10-12 Questions (11%)

Massage Overview & Bodywork History / Culture / Modalities
4-6 Questions (5%)

Pathology, Contraindications, Special Populations, Areas of Caution
12-15 Questions (13%)

Professional Practice Guidelines
12-15 Questions (13%)

Are you looking for MBLEx sample questions and guidance on how to pass the MBLEx on the first try?  

Check out the Practice Exam for the MBLEx with 750 massage therapy questions coving the same main sections as the actual MBLEx.