NCETMB Exam

The National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB exam) is a challenging and comprehensive assessment developed by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) for men and women who want to enter this growing field of health care. Success on this exam is a mark of knowledge and skill in all areas of therapeutic massage. In order to be eligible for the exam, candidates must have completed 500 hours of instruction in a school accredited by the NCBTMB.

The content of the NCETMB exam is divided into six domains: general knowledge of the body systems (16 percent of the exam); knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology (19 percent); pathology (13 percent); therapeutic massage and bodywork assessment (18 percent); therapeutic massage and bodywork application (22 percent); and professional standards, ethics, business, and legal practices (12 percent).

The NCETMB exam consists of 160 multiple-choice questions, each of which has four possible answers. There is only one correct answer for each question, though some answer choices may be partially correct.

The exam is administered by computer and takes two hours and 40 minutes to complete. Upon completion of the NCETMB exam, the computer will indicate whether the candidate has passed or failed.

NCETMB Exam Practice Questions

1. Which muscle has an origin at the external occipital protuberance ligamentum nuchae and an insertion at the lateral third of clavicle acromion?

a. Teres major
b. Latissimus dorsi
c. Trapezius
d. Teres minor

2. Which of the following muscles has an action of medial rotation and adduction of the humerus?

a. Teres major
b. Latissimus dorsi
c. Trapezius
d. Teres minor

3. Which of the following is a depressor of the scapula?

a. Upper trapezius
b. Upper pectoralis major
c. Lower trapezius
d. Serratus anterior

4. What is occurring when a muscle contracts but no movement is produced?

a. Twitch contraction
b. Tetanic contraction
c. Isotonic contraction
d. Isometric contraction

5. What is occurring when a muscle experiences an involuntary quick movement?

a. Twitch contraction
b. Tetanic contraction
c. Isotonic contraction
d. Isometric contraction

Answers

1. C: The trapezius has an origin at the external occipital protuberance ligamentum nuchae and an insertion at the lateral third of clavicle acromion. The trapezius also has an origin at the C7-T12 spinous process and two additional insertions at the spine of the scapula and the root of the spine of the scapula. The trapezius is a triangular shaped muscle and is the most superficial muscle in the back. The action of the trapezius is elevation and upward rotation of the scapula, and retraction of the scapula. This muscle lies superior to the latissimus dorsi, and the teres major and minor.

2. B: The latissimus dorsi has an action of medial rotation and adduction of the humerus. This muscle also has an origin at the thoracolumbar aponeurosis, the lower six thoracic spinous processes, the iliac crest and the sacrum, the lower 4 ribs, and the inferior angle of the scapula. The insertion of the latissimus dorsi is at the bicipital groove of the humerus. This muscle is the widest muscle in the back and is very useful for activities that require a lot of power such as swimming. In addition to the action of rotation, the latissimus dorsi is responsible for extension.

 

3. C: The lower trapezius is a depressor of the scapula.

4. D: An isometric contraction occurs when a muscle contracts but no movement is produced. Isometric is a Greek word meaning “equal measure.” As it pertains to muscle movement and contraction, if a muscle shortens, then it will move. However, in this type of muscle contraction the length in the relaxed state is the same, or equal to the length of the muscle in the contracted state. What is occurring within the muscle during an isometric contraction is that the muscle tension increases. This type of contraction can be accomplished by pushing or pulling on a stationary object.

5. A: A twitch contraction is an involuntary, quick movement. This type of muscle contraction typically occurs in response to a stimulus; for example, a fly landing on your arm or touching something too hot or too cold. Research on muscle contractions such as twitches has been able to isolate individual muscles and cause these individual muscle fibers to twitch. However, in real-life movements, a twitch will not occur on an isolated muscle fiber due to the all-or-none response. This muscle response is one in which either all the fibers of a muscle move, or none of them move.

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