Massage Kinesiology Prep 

This pages is brand new as of 7/30/2014
more questions will be added over the next couple months. Feel free to ask questions above.

1.) When tracing pelvic muscles such as gluteus Maximus on the table, how do I demonstrate the actions of the hip while they are prone on the table?

Lower the drape while doing the actions to reduce the risk of exposure and increase client comfort

2.)I can't demonstrate hip flexion while they're laying face down, can I?

Yes, bring the hip into extension and as you return it to the table say, "flexion of the hip"

3.) How will they want to see grouped muscles traced?

Example: "erector spinae group" and "sub occipitals". Will I need to trace out each one separately or is there something specific they want to see as a group?

I encourage test takers to trace multiple headed muscles as if they were one headed muscles because it seems to be clearer for the examiners. What is important is that all attachments are included in the borders that you trace, and also fiber direction needs to makes sense with your tracing (this will occur naturally). The only exception to this rules is the suboccipital (trace each of them individually because their fiber direction varies so much)


4.) I see on your study sheet, when tracing gluteus Maximus it says to leave out the coccyx. It makes sense, but what do they want to see instead?

It is my personal belief that this muscle will not come up at state as a traceable muscle  because the coccyx is can not be draped without exposing the clients gluteal cleft.

5.) What do you think a good time line is for sending in all my info to the massage board and seeing you?

Once you send your application into the boards your test date is usually 4 -6 weeks later. It is very important that you allow yourself enough time to know all of the muscles before going to state.

6.) I know my big muscle groups well, it's the forearms/hands, lower legs/feet I am most concerned about.

The forearms and the legs can be very intimidating, but once you dive into them you will find that they are much easier than you thought. 

Example: All forearm muscles with the word "flexor" in them start at the medial epidcondial of the humerus, and all muscles that have the name "ulnaris" ulnar deviate. Almost all lower leg muscle run from lateral to medial (origin to insertion)

Rules like these are all listed in the "KEYS TO PASSING THE PRACTICAL EXAM" guide. Please print and read everything in that guide.  

7.) Do I need a current CPR before I take this exam?
Yes, you can actually take an online course if you would like. 

7.) How long of a study period do you recommend?

This is VERY individual. By watching the videos and reading / studying the  "KEYS TO PASSING THE PRACTICAL EXAM" you will get a better idea of what you need to do to pass this exam. I usually recommend studying 2-4 hours a day if you are trying to prep for the next 2 -4 weeks.

8.) When tracing muscles through the opposite side of a bone, do we have to verbalize that the attachment we are tracing is on the opposite (anterior or posterior) side? 
This came up during your mock in the classroom with subscapularis being traced in the prone position.

Great question! No, you do not ever have to verbalize attachments. In the video this is done to clarify that it is the subscapularis not the infraspinatus being traced. However, the judges are not allowed deduct points during the tracing of a muscle based on what you say.

9.) Do I have to say the name of the origin and insertion?

No, while tracing you do not have to say anything? Just make sure that you have consent and empower the client to inform you if anything is uncomfortable

 10.) How many actions should I know?

All of them. You will be marked down for any actions that you do not include. The Kinesiology guide included with membership to this site is will really help you memorize the actions. 
11.) How do I know what actions to study? Every book is slightly different?
The Oregon Board of Massage suggests that you use one of the following texts. However, I have a list muscles with actions that I provide you with on this site.

Trail Guide to the Body – Biel
The Muscular System Manual – Muscolino
Manual of Structural Kinesiology – Thompson
Mosby’s Basic Essential Sciences for Therapeutic Massage – Fritz and Grosenbach

12.) If I fail my State Boards what do I have to do to retake it?

Re-examination Information from the State Boards:

Candidates must pass the practical exam within 24 months of the first attempt. If a candidate does not pass in three attempts, they must re-establish eligibility as determined by the Board. (seeing me and completing a mock practical with a passing score will meet these requirements)

To re-take the practical exam, candidates must submit the Re-Exam Form supplied with their results letter, payment of the $150 examination fee, and proof of current CPR certification (if the CPR certification on file from a previous application remains current, there is no need to resubmit proof).

13.) What happens if I cant pass my MblEx?

  1. If you don’t pass the MbLex you won’t be able to be licensed in most states
  2. If you take and pass your Oregon State Boards and do not complete you MblEx within 1 year, you have to retake you State Boards

14.) So it has been a long time since anyone has asked me the O I or A of anything. How am I going to do this?

The good news is you only have show the "attachments" and the belly of the muscle by tracing from one end of the muscle to another. While these are graded as very specific bony landmarks at state, it does not matter if you start at origin or insertion (and you dont have to verbally name them).

15.) I was Nationally Licensed in New Mexico from 1996 to 2002. Do I have to take written test again?

This is great! You wont have to take the National or the MblEx again to get licensed in Oregon. Even though it is "expired" you still passed it.

16.) Do you also assess transcripts or what extra classes need to be done? I have been told that I might have to sign up for hydrotherapy or ethics?

This is beyond my ability to accurately do this. However, the Oregon Board of Massage is really a great group of people. Contact your school and have them send official transcripts to the Board and they will let you know what you need to do. Feel free to call the board and ask them questions.

17. )I keep seeing " systemically contraindicated" like hepatitis and some other ones. I would think you could still work on the client. But avoid certain areas Does systemically contraindicated mean They can not be worked on at all

Contradicted for massage does not necessarily mean, "should not massage." It simply points to the fact that risks are greater and that you should evaluate the situation before you proceed. You may then determine it is safe to massage with modification, or that massage is not safe at the current time. 

Systemically contraindicated indicates that this pathology is effecting  the whole client (it is not regional). The same rules as above are still true for this type of contraindication.

18. )
I signed on to your massage prep course and I just have a few questions. I am going over the videos on muscle tracing and actions. And just watched to one for flexor pollicis longus and she outlined it wrong. She started at the ulna to trace muscle and its on the anterior surface of radius and interrosseous membrane.  Im a little confused, are these just students practicing?  Should not go by what the video is showing?

Great questions!  You will find that there are many variations of origins, insertions and actions depending on the text that you read. All of the information that I provide comes from a combination of 2 of the 4 texts that the OBMT sites as acceptable.
The flexor pollicis longus is sited as having a variety of origins by different texts. To keep consistent with muscles of the flexor compartment being attached at the medial epicondyle, I use this attachment that is in Joseph Muscolino's Kinesiology text.
You can use a variety of actions and / or origins and insertions and still pass the exam because they site 4 texts. However, I have created a system that makes it easier to remember sections of the body with general rules that apply to each muscle in the group. By doing this, it is much easier to remember general rules instead of what each and every muscle does / or is located. This will then lead you to understanding the specifics for each muscle.
All of the actions in the videos are actions that I instructed the student to do. If you did exactly what was done in the videos you would score at least 95% in the kinesiology section at state (granted your draping and communication were flawless). I have had people score as high as 100%. If you already know some actions and tracing that you want to stick to, that is completely alright. Be sure to go to the VIRTUAL CLASSROOM in the members section to see videos of me doing most muscles in sections of the body, with explanations of why.

19. How is the pathology graded on the state board?

Pathology is part of the Communication  and Assessment section of the exam.  It is not necessarily about  pathology comprehension as much as general communication skills. The Oregon Board of Massage does not share how they score any section, but I can assure you that you can pass this section with good communication and a VERY basic knowledge of the pathology. Please look at the PATHOLOGY FLOW CHART in the DOWNLOADS sections under the members tab for a great tool to help you pass this section. I have never met anyone who passed the Kinesiology section and failed the Communication & Assessment section.
20.  I've been studying religiously on the muscles from state my test.  I'm nervous that I may forget an action or add one that isnt associated with the muscle. So with that being said will it affect me in the worse way if I forget or add an action?

If you have been studying religiously you should be in good shape! Your goal is to score at least 70% on each section in the practical. With this said it is okay to make same "mistakes" and leave out or add actions. However, if you do this too often it will widdle away your  30% security blanket.

21. How long does it take to get licensed?

It takes about 6 weeks total from the day they receive your application. You will get /select  a test date that is usually 3-5 weeks out. Once you take the exam you find out within 2-12 hours via email that you passed / failed. Once you get notice that you passed, you will have to pay the final $100 license fee before they send it to you.

Things that can slow this process down:

1. Incomplete application  (example: missing CPR certification or Identification ) 

2. Transcript Issues. Your massage school transcripts may not indicate all of the required areas of study for the OBMT. This does not necessarily mean that you have to take a new class, just get your school to contact the OBMT and explain that it was in ____________ class. (if applicable)

3. Previous Legal Issues - the board will work with you on almost anything. However, you may need to sit before a comity for approval depending on the issue.

4. Not Passing the Mblex Exam Prior to taking the Practical (this ok but will slow you down)

5. Not taking the Online Law Exam in timely manner

6.Failing the exam

22. I have a question about Infraspinatus and Teres Minor.  The video shows Lateral Rotation and Adduction as well as Extension and Horizontal Adduction which are not shown on the hand out.  I am going to include those in addition to LAd, OK?

You can use either LAd or LEAH for for the infraspinatus and Teres Minor. I recently changed it to LAd because a couple of books made a change in actions. I am comfortable with you using either at this time. 

23. I reviewed your site and didn't see a section that reviewed the list of pathological conditions from the OMB. Does this mean that the OMB doesn't test on this?

This is a very good question. The OBMT does include a list of 88 pathologies to study for the exam. I do include some detailed content in the form of a document that can downloaded by members of Oregon Massage Prep. However, I advice not studying pathologies in depth. While a pathology will be part of the test this is not a make it or break it situation. It falls under the COMMUNICATION and ASSESSMENT section of the exam. Depth of comprehension is not nearly as important as asking good general questions. These same questions can apply to all pathologies. I do have a simple document called the "Pathology Flow Chart" that is used for this purpose now.  

24. In your sample video, you state that we do not have to say what the origin and insertion points are, but just show an outline of the muscle.  However, in the paperwork from the state it says we have to outline the muscle, identifying the attachments and naming and demonstrating the actions.  So identifying the attachments something recent that they changed?  If so, do your current videos provide for this?

Great News! You really don't have to name the Origin or Insertion. Remember, you have to clearly identify them by indicating them in your muscle tracing. Our videos will really help you do this. Also, remember that you have to verbalize and demonstrate all actions for each muscle that you randomly draw. 

25. It seems generally what might be pulled for the stretches are the lateral rotators, glutes, psoas, illiacus, and adductors of the thigh. Do you think they also include the abdominals?

I agree that you are likely to get one of the "untraceable muscles" or muscles attach to the pubis as a, "demonstrate a stretch" or demonstrate a lengthened / shortened position." With this said it is important to understand that any muscle can come up here!


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