How ABMP Advocates for You

Washington DC capitol building

 

Meet Our Team:

Laura Embleton, Government Relations Director

Embleton has been the Government Relations Director at ABMP since December 2015. She enjoys advocating on behalf of our members at state legislatures and massage therapy board meetings in-person around the country and virtually. Much of the work she does is mitigating and advocating for reasonable laws and regulations.

Erin Haden, Government Relations Coordinator

Haden has been the Government Relations Coordinator at ABMP since November 2019. She finds satisfaction in communicating to members bills and rules that positively impact their practice. She takes pride in when ABMP’s GR efforts are successful in amending or opposing adverse bills and rules.

Our Stances On:

Licensing

ABMP supports fair licensing laws and rules to increase public safety and minimize undue regulatory burden on practitioners. As of 2022, there are three completely unregulated states: Kansas, Wyoming, and Minnesota. California has voluntary certification and Vermont has a massage registration. ABMP is also in favor of uniform regulation across any given state as this reduces conflicting local regulations.

Illicit Businesses, Human Trafficking, and Establishment Licensing

ABMP advocates for reasonable regulation of massage therapy establishments. Oftentimes, in an effort to address illicit businesses, laws are created that adversely affect legitimate massage establishments. It is our position that massage therapists alone should not shoulder the financial burden of countering illicit businesses. Therefore, we advocate for eliminating establishment licensing for sole practitioners who are clearly not engaging in human trafficking. We would like to see states adopt language that would result in misdemeanors for individuals who advertise massage services without a license to practice massage.

Interstate License Reciprocity

ABMP has been a vocal advocate in the interstate compact meetings. ABMP is working with others in the massage profession to advocate for massage therapists to move to other jurisdictions more easily. The compact bill language should be available for public comment by summer 2022. The Council of State Governments will host several zoom meetings over the summer to explain the proposed bill. Contact gr@abmp.com if you would like notice of these town halls. A compact will not be in effect until 10 states pass the legislation.

Deregulation

The massage therapy profession has seen many bills and concepts being promoted at the board level that would reduce the number of educational hours required for a massage therapy license. For example, a recent bill in Utah would create a lower tier of massage therapy licensure called “Swedish-light” with the same scope of practice as an LMT, and a chair massage license was proposed in South Dakota. ABMP is opposed to creating lower tiers of practice and educational hours lower than 500.

COVID-19

ABMP’s Government Relations team continues to monitor state executive orders pertaining to 2022 health and safety mandates. Although most larger mandates are no longer in effect, we are still tracking state and local requirements and will inform members about any rule changes. Please check our COVID-19 State Updates page at abmp.com/updates/news/information-abmp-members-state-shutdown-orders to see what is happening in your state.

Continuing Education

ABMP supports reasonable continuing education (CE) requirements. We believe CE encourages lifelong professional development and strengthens a massage therapist’s knowledge and skills. While we accept CE as a provision for licensure renewal, we believe the annual or biennial number of hours should not be excessive or unduly costly to the practitioner. Don’t forget, members can earn free CE at the ABMP Education Center to fulfill your CE hours at abmp.com/learn.

Health-Care Professionals

ABMP is participating in conversations regarding recognizing massage therapists as health-care professionals. We understand not all massage therapists consider themselves as health-care professionals—are these practitioners identified as health care workers if they exist under the health-care code of the state? If the massage practice act identifies them as health-care workers? If they work in a doctor or chiropractor’s office? Do we need to create a certification for medical massage therapists? There are many questions involved this discussion.

 

Get Involved

ABMP has a say in the regulation and laws that affect the massage profession. However, our voice alone isn’t enough, and that’s why we encourage you to get involved. Learn how to use your voice to advocate for your industry here. Learn key words and how a bill becomes a law in the legislative process and how a rule becomes a law in the regulatory process.

Trustpilot Reviews

News

Louisiana Governor Signs Two Bills Impacting Massage Therapy Schools

House Bill No. 240 creates a provisional license for any graduate of a massage therapy school, allowing them to work while they wait for their licensure application to be approved. Senate Bill No. 286 allows educational hours above 500 to be taught either in person or via distance learning.

South Carolina Bill Changes Massage Therapy Act

Senate Bill 227 amends the massage therapy scope of practice, definitions, fees, license qualifications, and misconduct. The bill also adds the following new sections: public roster, licensure by endorsement, and establishment licensure.

Blog

In Celebration of Pride Month: Resources from ABMP

A multicolored Pride Flag representing the LGBTQIA+ community.

This month, to honor the LGBTQIA+ community, we want to take a moment to celebrate the diversity of our members along with their clients, as well as provide educational resources from our magazine, CE library, and podcasts. 

Benefits

ABMP Recognized for Top Publications

The 42nd Annual EXCEL Awards were celebrated on June 22, 2022. SIIA’s EXCEL Awards is the largest and most prestigious program recognizing excellence and leadership in association media, publishing, marketing, and communication.

ABMP was recognized for some of our top publications and educational offerings:

Read the May / June 2022 Issue of Massage & Bodywork Magazine

The May/June 2022 issue of ABMP's Massage & Bodywork magazine is available at www.massageandbodyworkdigital.com. ABMP members get a print subscription as part of membership, and the digital edition is available online and free to the profession.

In this issue, we explore pelvic tilt and spinal compensation, improving bodywork through breath, and how listening to your clients is a superpower. We also discuss SI joint dysfunction, overuse injuries, and much more!⁠

Cupping Canada Inc. and Mobile Massage Mastery GIVEAWAY: Value over $2,022!

Cupping Canada Inc. and Mobile Massage Mastery GIVEAWAY—value over $2,022!

3 lucky participants will win shared prizes:

• 16 CE live online Evidence Informed Clinical Cupping course from Cupping Canada & Cupping USA (NCBTMB approved & Canadian approvals) - valued at $405 CAD

• Online course starter kit, tie dye silicone drinking glass & silicone straw kit from Cupping Canada and Cupping USA - valued at $120 CAD

Please note: We have recently updated our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Learn more...