Recent News and Legislative Updates


Pennsylvania Legislative Survey Results A bill seeking the state licensure of massage therapists has been attempted for the past several years in Pennsylvania. Although no bill has been attempted so far in 2007, ABMP has been seeking feedback so that we will best represent our members if one is introduced in the future. In August 2007, ABMP e-mailed a legislative survey to 2181 Pennsylvania members; as of October 11, 2007, 24% were returned. Thank you to those who responded to the survey.


The Massachusetts Board of Massage Therapy has been appointed by Governor Patrick and their first meeting will be held on November 8, 2007. Meeting are open to the public. The board, named below, is charged with the responsibility of writing the rules and regulations to implement the law. ABMP will keep members informed of the progress the board makes and when applications become available. Members of the board: DONALD B. CARDOZA, Member J. DAVID NAPARSTEK, Member BERNADETTE NICHOLSON, Member STEVEN TANKANOW, Member TAK WONG, Member


It has recently come to ABMP’s attention that the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) – Alaska Chapter has been working with Representative Sharon Cissna on a bill which would provide for the regulation of massage therapy, including the formation of a state massage board to implement the law. ABMP’s analysis of the bill has identified the following concerns:


Fee change Effective October 1, 2007, the fee for the fingerprinting that is required for background checks, will change to $24. The total application fee will change to $189.00. Education hour increase Effective January 1, 2008, in order to qualify for an Arizona massage therapy license an applicant will be required to complete an approved massage program of 700 hours. Previously, completion of a 500 hour program was sufficient.


Senate Bill 788, sponsored by Senator Gilda Jacobs, has been introduced in the Michigan Legislature. The bill would establish state licensing standards for massage therapists and create a Board of Massage Therapy to implement the process. If passed, a state license would pre-empt local regulations, only one license would be needed. It is early in the legislative process, no action is needed at this time.


Wisconsin 2007 Legislative Survey Results and Next Steps for ABMP Members In July 2007, at the request of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)—Wisconsin Chapter, ABMP mailed a short legislative survey to Wisconsin members. The intent of the survey was to gauge the massage therapy community’s interest in pursuing state licensure. The current law offers state certification with title protection only.


Illinois Grandfathering Provision: Reopened for 10 Days Act Now! September 13, 2007 The Massage Licensing Act was recently amended to provide a one-time opportunity for the licensure of an individual who failed to apply for licensure under the grandfathering provision of the Act within the time period specified in the original law. Applicants must meet one of the five qualifications for licensure listed below. Individuals must submit a completed application for licensure within 10 days.


On June 17th, Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 2644, which amended the Texas Massage Therapy law. Effective September 1, 2007, candidates for licensure must now have completed a training program of at least 500 hours in length, consisting of the following:
  • 200 hours taught by a licensed massage therapy instructor and dedicated to the study of massage therapy techniques and theory and the practice of manipulation of soft tissue, with at least 125 hours dedicated to the study of Swedish massage therapy techniques;
  • 50 hours of anatomy;
  • 25 hours of physiology;


The Governor Rell signed Senate Bill 140 into law on May 22, 2007. The bill addresses two issues related to the Massage Therapy Practice Act:
  1. Replaces the title “Connecticut licensed massage therapist” with “massage therapist”; and
  2. Prohibits anyone other than a licensed massage therapist or a holder of another applicable license from using the titles “massage therapist,” “licensed message therapist,” “massage practitioner,” “massagist,” “masseur,” or “masseuse. ”


Governor Daniels signed SB 320 into law on May 9, 2007. The new law will establish a State Board of Massage Therapy and create state certification for massage therapists. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2007 and Governor Daniels will appoint board members by January 1, 2008. State certification is a title protection act. SB 320 protects only two titles, “Certified Massage Therapist” (CMT) and “Massage Therapist”(MT). Only practitioners using these two titles need to apply for state certification.