Recent News and Legislative Updates

Wisconsin Bill Proposes Combining Multiple Boards, Including Massage Therapy Board

SB 568, a bill introduced in Wisconsin, and its companion bill AB 726, is an attempt by some to reduce “red tape” in regulatory affairs. The bill would combine the boards that oversee massage therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and athletic trainers. Currently the board of massage therapy in Wisconsin has seven members serving.

Massage Envy Spa Accepting Applications for 2016 Scholarship Competition

The Beauty Changes Lives (BCL) Foundation is accepting applications through March 28, 2016 for the 2016 BCL-Massage Envy Scholarship Competition. Six students enrolled in a massage therapy education program at a qualified school will receive a $1,500 tuition scholarship toward their education. In addition, each winner’s school will receive a $500 award to enhance its massage therapy program. The scholarships are funded by Massage Envy and administered by the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation.

Virginia Bill Proposes Mandatory Licensure for Massage Therapists

HB 562, introduced in the Virginia legislature this session, proposes to change Virginia's massage therapy regulation system from certification, also known as "title protection," to mandatory licensure. Under the current certification system, any person who claims to be a massage therapist, or uses any title or designation tendin

Back Massage Improves Conditions in Family Caregivers

In a randomized controlled trial, 15-minute daily back massages for one week performed on 44 family caregivers of patients with cancer resulted in improved blood pressure, cortisol level, heart rate, sleep quality, and state anxiety in the caregivers.

The study concluded that oncology nurses can take advantage of back massage—a non-pharmacologic and easily implemented method—as an independent nursing action to support caregivers for patients with cancer.

Read the abstract here.

Vermont OPR Declines to Recommend Massage Licensing

Vermont is one of five states in the United States that currently does not have state licensing or other state regulation of massage therapists. In June 2015, ABMP and the Vermont Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association submitted a Sunrise Application to the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation (OPR). Vermont law requires that prior to a review by the state legislature of any bill to regulate a profession or occupation, the OPR must prepare for the legislature a written assessment of the particular regulatory proposal.

Mindfulness Training More Effective for Postpartum Depression than Conventional Treatment Methods

A new study led by University of Colorado Boulder researchers found pregnant and postpartum women at risk of depression are less likely to suffer depression when they meditate or get in a yoga pose than when they are treated with psychotherapy and antidepressants.

The study focused on pregnant women with histories of depression. Forty-three subjects were randomized to a group that underwent mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and 43 subjects were assigned to a conventional treatment group.

New Study Suggests Effectiveness of Reiki for Pain Reduction

In a pilot study aimed to determine the impact of reiki therapy on the pain perception of patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA), reiki was shown to have a statistically significant effect on pain reduction.

The study sample included 43 patients undergoing TKA. All subjects had unilateral TKA at the same hospital and were randomized into reiki and non-reiki groups. Pain was assessed before and after reiki therapy using a numeric rating scale.