Step Up and Lead!

Massage Therapy Boards Need You

By Laura Embleton
[Government Relations]

Massage therapy is regulated in 47 states across the country and in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Many states have massage therapy boards, while some of these states—like Colorado—have “Offices of Massage Therapy Licensure” to oversee the profession. The only states without either an office or board are those where there is no licensing or certification: Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Wyoming. (Note: there are bills moving through Minnesota and Oklahoma addressing new legislation this legislative session.)
Boards play an essential role in the regulation of massage therapists across the United States. Typical board duties include licensing massage therapists, drafting rules to carry out the Massage Therapy Practice Act in your state, monitoring and approving continuing education, handling disciplinary actions, and, in some instances, working with and possibly certifying massage therapy schools.
Sitting on a board allows you to have input in the profession in your state, including having a voice on the rules and the state’s practice act. This is an opportunity for you to take on a leadership role to help mold the profession in your area.
Board member terms vary; however, they are typically two or four years. All the massage therapy board and office websites are located here:
You can determine if you have a board or government office by clicking on the website link for your state. If you have a state board, its website should list members and their terms.
When the boards actually meet varies by state. Some meet monthly, every other month, or quarterly. Some board members are reimbursed for their travels or receive daily stipends when they do travel; others are volunteers.
Applying for board membership usually involves submitting a letter of interest or application and resume online. In most states, the governor appoints the board members. ABMP applauds those of you already sitting on boards. Thank you for your service. Having ABMP members sit on boards and share their insights helps us keep up with all the regulations and laws across the country.
If you are sitting on a board, let us know. There is an easy link to email us at the website above, or you can email us directly at with the subject “State Board Member Information.”
It is rewarding to get engaged in your government and state board. Will you be the one to step up
and lead?

Laura Embleton is ABMP’s director of government relations. Contact her at