How to Get Involved

We created this Legislative Toolkit to help you better understand the rules and regulations that govern your license and give you the tools and resources to make your voice heard. We hope to inform and inspire you to become knowledgeable about all aspects of your career.

USE YOUR VOICE

Advocate for Your Industry

Get in touch with ABMP’s Government Relations team at gr@abmp.com to let us know what regulation-related issues are concerning you, and also what’s working. Tell us what you’re hearing in your state, city, or town regarding massage legislation and regulation, past, present, or future. Let us know if we can help advocate on your behalf.

Why it matters

“Lawmakers put their pants on every morning the same way you do. Your voice is just as important as theirs.” Advocacy is about informing lawmakers about relevant and important issues facing your industry. Remember, lawmakers are not the experts—you are. We encourage you to advocate or voice your opinions to influence change. Here is information on how you can stay informed on issues, who you should talk to, and how to best prepare for the conversation.

How do I stay informed of bills or regulatory changes?

  • Track bills through your state legislature’s website. Regularly visit the website, as each legislature’s website publishes bill summaries and statuses
  • Sign up to get email notifications from your state board/regulatory agency’s website. These email lists will usually inform you about meetings and agendas, when a bill changes or progresses through the legislature, and any rulemaking proceedings and processes.
  • Attend board meetings throughout the year and monitor agendas to see what topics the board is considering. Even if you don’t see topics of concern, networking and developing relationships can be useful down the line.
  • ABMP tracks legislation and rulemaking nationwide and works to communicate proposed and implemented changes that are impactful.

View Updates

 

Educate Yourself

Having working knowledge of key words will give you a common understanding of a subject, ensuring you’re on the same page when discussing or reading about an issue. Also, learn how a bill or rule becomes a law in the legislative and regulatory process.

Learn More

 

I’m ready to advocate for my industry. Who should I talk to?

Don’t wait for the legislative session to contact legislators. We recommend you develop a relationship with your elected senators, representatives, and other legislators throughout the year to create a network of support for your profession. Set up a meeting with your legislator(s) at their office or invite them to tour your spa, have coffee, or attend a special event. Keep in mind that their understanding of your profession may be quite limited, so consider providing some basic information about what massage professionals do.

How can I make my voice matter?

In any communication, make sure your unique voice is heard. Be honest and stay as brief as possible. Focus on the issue, why you have concerns, and the action you want the decision maker to take. Always remember to give thanks for having your perspective considered. Here are some ways you can make a difference.

  • Attend public hearings: This goes for both bills and regulatory changes. If a public hearing will happen, prepare brief comments and motivate others to attend. If you will be speaking at a hearing, make sure you prepare brief comments and know your issue and talking points. Keep your comments succinct and on-topic. You may only have 2–3 minutes to speak.

  • Attend board meetings: Boards meet monthly, quarterly, or a few times a year. Some states have one in-person meeting per year, with the rest held through conference calls that are open to the public. Get the schedule and become known as an industry expert by attending meetings and contributing to the conversation.

  • Create a coalition: Talk through the issues with other stakeholders, such as your instructors, fellow students, massage therapists, franchise and spa owners, and member organizations. Ask if they would like to join you and advocate in support or opposition to the issues.

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare: Study up on the legislative and regulatory processes. Gather as much tangible information as possible to support your case, such as facts, surveys, testimonials, petitions, pictures, news stories, and/or historical perspective to strengthen your argument.

  • Use all the information on a legislature’s website to determine your elected senator and representative, who is sponsoring a bill, and which legislators are reviewing a bill. Start creating a working relationship with your legislators.

  • Mobilize your coalition to write letters, make phone calls, or visit the decision makers. Be sure to submit comments before the deadline so your comments are made official. The public has 30–90 days to provide written comment, but there should also be an opportunity to attend a public hearing.

  • Organize people to attend public hearings.

  • Be solution-oriented; provide alternatives or solutions and share examples such as photos, videos, and news headlines that support your position.

RESOURCES

woman writing on paper on a coffee table

Sample Scripts & Letters

phone iconIf there is a legislative or regulatory change being proposed in your state that you support or oppose, a brief phone call to your state legislator can often influence the outcome of a bill or rule change; that is, whether it passes and becomes law or is dropped. We encourage you to use this phone script template courtesy of ABMP to voice your opinion on industry changes and proposals.

Step 1: Introduce yourself
Step 2: Identify the purpose of your call
Step 3: State your position
Step 4: End the conversation

Example:
Hello, my name is Jane Smith. I am a licensed massage therapist. I live in your district and am a constituent. I am calling to discuss the proposed change(s) impacting my industry regarding XYZ. I support/oppose the proposed change(s), because XYZ. This is important to me, because XYZ. Thank you for your time. My phone number is 555-555-5555, and my email is janesmith@email.com if you would like to discuss further.

Phone Script Pro Tip:

  • If you’re calling about legislation, identify the chamber (the house, the senate, or the assembly) along with the bill number. Ex. House Bill 123
  • The more you research and prepare yourself, the more persuasive, compelling, and powerful your arguments become.
  • You will have limited time to talk or leave a message with the individual. Try to keep your talking points to around three minutes max.

 

email iconLegislative Advocacy Email Letter Template

We encourage you to use this easy-to-follow advocacy email template courtesy of ABMP to voice your opinion on legislative industry changes and proposals. Legislative changes and proposals are detailed in house or senate bills from the state legislature.

 

 

email iconRegulatory Advocacy Email Letter Template

We encourage you to use this easy-to-follow advocacy email template courtesy of ABMP to voice your opinion on regulatory industry changes and proposals. Regulatory changes and proposals are amended rules that come from the state licensing board or regulatory agency.

 

 

 

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Benefits

ABMP’s Lymph Talk Series

Lymph Talk is a series of conversations ABMP Director of Professional Education Kristin Coverly had with practitioners who specialize in the manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) modality. These talks were recorded in conjunction with the October 25, 2022, free, online ABMP CE Summit on Lymph. Kristin says, “My hope is that these conversations increase the awareness of MLD and demonstrate how effective it can be with different populations so massage therapists and bodyworkers are inspired to learn more about this gentle, yet powerful modality!”

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Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a gentle, rhythmic form of bodywork that enhances and supports the movement of fluid through the lymphatic system to support health and well-being. Developed by Danish therapists Emil and Estrid Vodder in the 1930s, MLD is now practiced extensively by health and wellness practitioners and is used within the medical community to treat lymphedema and post-surgical and post-traumatic edema. Join Nicola McGill in this engaging course to learn the benefits, indications, and mechanics of this gentle, effective modality.

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