Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the requirements to be eligible to sit for the LANA exam?

1. Possess a current and unrestricted U.S. state professional license or registration or equivalent Canadian provincial or territorial license or registration as a Registered Nurse (RN), Occupational Therapist (OT), Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), Physical Therapist (PT), Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), Massage Therapist (MT), or Certified Athletic Trainer (CAT/ATC). Massage Therapists who do not hold a current unrestricted state license or registration (or Canadian equivalent) must be certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork OR provide documented evidence of having successfully completed a curriculum containing a minimum of 500 hours of soft tissue massage, from an accredited institution.

2. Provide proof of successful completion of qualified instructional course in Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) course work (consisting of 1/3 theoretical instruction and 2/3 practical lab work and documentation of 135-classroom hours) from no more than four consecutive or cumulative courses from one training program. Practical lab work is defined as real-time instruction with an instructor present. An instructional video that a student watches during home study would NOT be counted as part of the expected 2/3 practical lab work. Proof is accepted in the form of a computer certificate or letter from the school director. 

3. Provide proof of basic science requirement completion consisting of 12 credit hours (i.e. four, three-credit courses or three, four-credit courses which equal 192 clock hours) of college level human anatomy, physiology, and/or pathology from an accredited college or university. Copy of transcript must be submitted with application form. (Note: a three-credit course meets three hours per week for 16 weeks for a total of 48 clock hours). Science courses taken within a massage therapy curriculum do not count toward the required hours.*

*Note: The science requirement is automatically met by those who provide current unrestricted state licenses or registrations from the following disciplines: RN, OT, COTA, PT, PTA, MD, DO, DC, and MT trained in Canada in a 2200-hour program. These individuals should not submit transcripts.

Q: How long after my training course may I take the exam?

A: Candidates may apply to take the LANA exam following successful completion of 135-hour training program.

 Q: Where can I find more information about the exam?

A: The Candidate Information Brochure (CIB) is an informational document created to provide comprehensive information about the exam and the exam application procedure. The CIB is available to be downloaded from the website free of charge. It is located on the left side of the home page of the website.

 Q: What is the benefit to taking the LANA exam?

A: Passing a national certification exam will acknowledge the training you have had as being of a reputable standard and protect the investment you have already made in your career. It will identify lymphedema treatment as a specialty that requires advanced training and provide a basis from which insurance companies can establish more consistent reimbursement guidelines for Medicare and other US health insurance providers. In addition, credibility is gained through the North American medical establishment. The ultimate goal, of course, is to protect the consumer by assuring a high quality of care.

 Q: Why is there a discrepancy between the qualification's accepted by LANA for the massage therapists trained in the United States and the massage therapists trained in Canada?

A: The interdisciplinary LANA Board of Directors established minimum educational and training standards for all applicants for certification to assure the high level of training that is required to care for the population of individuals we serve.  Unlike many other educational programs, which are accredited by a specific national accrediting body in accordance with established standards, massage therapy training programs in the US have no agreed upon national standards.  Thus, there is wide variation in curricula, institutional structure, credit hours and course content. Some massage programs are housed under the umbrella of a college while some are independently operated. Since science courses within massage therapy programs are not necessarily comparable between schools, it is not possible for LANA to assess the rigor of individual anatomy and physiology courses in massage therapy curricula. To maintain standardization, it has been the policy of the LANA Board for many years to require evidence of completion of formal academic coursework at the college level in the areas of anatomy and physiology.  To qualify, such courses must be science courses available to any undergraduate student in the college, rather than courses restricted to massage therapy students. The Board of Directors of LANA encourages collegiality among all health professionals who have an interest in working with clients who have lymphedema and recognizes the many ways that massage therapists can address the needs of these clients.  The decision to require a specific level of anatomy and physiology credits for US massage therapists was made carefully and respectfully to protect our clients and the integrity of the certification process.

In Canada, massage therapist training is generally much more extensive than in the US. The generally accepted standard in Canada is equivalent to a minimum of 2200 hours of training and is now competency-based in many provinces. In British Columbia, Ontario, and Newfoundland & Labrador, massage therapy is a regulated health profession governed by provincial laws. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia all have a minimum 2200 hour or equivalent training but massage is not yet a government health-regulated profession. Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Northern Territories and Nunavut do not have provincial massage therapy training standards. Due to the high level of anatomy, physiology, and pathology training and examination, massage therapists who have graduated from a 2200-hour training program or equivalent competency, meet the LANA science prerequisite.

 Q: Which training programs have been approved or are recognized as having adequate training?

A: LANA is not in a position to approve or accredit training programs. LANA can only set standards for certification of healthcare professionals who treat individuals with lymphedema and/or related disorders manage their lymphedema. Identifying the training programs that meet these standards is not a part of the national exam project. It will be the responsibility of each applicant to provide the application committee with the information needed to insure that the applicant meets the requirements to sit for the examination regardless of what training program he or she attended.

 Q: How much will it cost to take the exam?

A: Currently the test fee is $430.

Q: When and where is the exam given?

A: The exam is administered by Prometric/Schroeder Measurement Technologies (SMT) throughout the world. Once your exam application has been approved, you can locate a testing site in your area and schedule to take the exam at a date and time that is convenient for you. As of 2014, the LANA exam is given on a rolling basis which means there are no exam cycles, you may take the exam at any point in time after completing and passing the training course and meeting the application requirements.

Q: Is there a hands-on (practical) component to the exam?

A: No. The LANA certification exam is a computer based testing tool designed to assure a basic standard of qualification for lymphedema therapists. LANA is concerned with testing the applicant's proficiency over the body of knowledge that exists in the current literature.

 Q: If I do not pass the exam, how soon am I eligible to re-take the test?

A: Any candidate who fails to achieve a passing score on the exam may apply to retake the exam after six (6) months. The candidate must reapply and pay the current exam application fee again. You may sit for the exam up to 3 times in a 24-month period to achieve a passing score. If you do not successfully pass at this point, LANA strongly recommends that you complete additional CDT training.

Q: If I am already a CLT-LANA therapist do I ever need to re-certify?

A: YES! LANA certification expires six (6) years after successful completion of the exam. Candidates will re-certify by taking the exam again and/or providing proof of completed contact hours. The application for recertification is located on the website's home page on the left hand side.

 Q: Can LANA recommend treatment centers in different parts of the country?

A: LANA is not a referral service, nor are they in a position to make recommendations. LANA's goal is to provide a means by which qualified lymphedema therapists interested in taking a national examination can obtain board certification from the Lymphology Association of North America.

Q: Can LANA offer any scholarship assistance for lymphedema training programs or for the exam?

A: LANA is not able to provide scholarship assistance to students enrolling in lymphedema training courses. The National Lymphedema Network (NLN: has a Resource Guide that lists training programs. You can contact programs directly to compare curricula to aid in selecting the most appropriate program. As a non-profit organization, LANA does not offer scholarships for the exam. However, LANA does provide a limited amount of discounted certificates to the training programs to help offset the price of the exam.

 Q: How can I find out what my user name and password is to login to the Member's section of the website?

A: All therapists who successfully pass the CLT-LANA exam are members of LANA. For everyone, your individual USER ID is your first name.last name  i.e, sally.smith Your password is your certification number including the preceding zeros. Please contact LANA if you have any questions or difficulty logging on at