In developing the examination, every effort is made to respect and include the various forms of massage and bodywork practiced in the United States. Reviews of the field are conducted periodically to ensure that the examination remains relevant to current practice standards.

MBLEx Content Outline
The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) conducted a Job Task Analysis (JTA) in 2017 to ensure that the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) is assessing knowledge and skills relevant to entry-level competence. Thousands of massage and bodywork professionals participated in the JTA survey and a follow up analysis of the responses was reviewed by subject matter experts, psychometricians and FSMTB member board representatives. The FSMTB Board of Directors adopted the recommended test plan.

Content changes that will be implemented for all MBLEx administrations, effective July 1, 2018:

  • The section entitled Overview of Massage/Bodywork Modalities, History and Culture will no longer be a separate section.
  1. Overview of Massage/Bodywork Modalities will be reassigned as a subcategory under the section entitled Benefits and Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue; and
  2. History and Culture subcategories will no longer be tested.


The distribution of topics tested will be as follows:

  • Anatomy & Physiology changes from 12% to 11%

  • Kinesiology changes from 11% to 12%

  • Pathology, Contraindications, Areas of Caution, Special Population changes
    from 13% to 14%

  • Benefits and Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue changes from 14% to 15%

  • Client Assessment Reassessment & Treatment Planning remains at 17%

  • Ethics, Boundaries, Laws and Regulations changes from 15% to 16%

  • Guidelines for Professional Practice changes from 13% to 15%

MBLEx Content Outline
MBLEx Content Outline (Español)

Exam Content Development
There is continuous involvement from the regulatory community, as well as testing and psychometric professionals, at every step of the exam development process. A fundamental requirement for best practices in testing is to conduct a formal Job Task Analysis (JTA) every five to seven years to ensure the examination reflects current practice.

2017 Job Task Analysis
2013 Job Task Analysis
2007 Job Task Analysis