The Knead to Protect

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) has stepped up its efforts to track down fraudulent and illegitimate massage schools through its recently formed School Compliance Department—and the result may help put a dent in the nation’s human trafficking problem.

The nonprofit organization’s national School Compliance Program was created after staffers “began to spot the emergence of false and misleading information from schools applying for our assigned school code,” says NCBTMB CEO Paul Lindamood. The evidence became apparent in documents such as transcripts and attendance records that appeared abnormal or inconsistent, and certificates and diplomas that appeared to be falsified.

Investigation into offending schools has enabled NCBTMB to report information to regulatory boards and law enforcement, expose fraudulent and illegitimate activities on the web and impose sanctions prohibiting these schools’ graduates from sitting for the National Certification Exams. Because some research points to the presence of human trafficking activity in the massage industry, the organization was compelled to work with Polaris Project, a group dedicated to combating human trafficking. Together they’ve created “Human Trafficking: What You Need to Know,” a brochure designed to spread the word through wide distribution.

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