The Arizona Board of Massage Therapy met on Monday, February 27, 2006 to accept public comment on their intention to raise the educational requirements for state licensing and decrease the licensing fees. Proposed education hour increase Arizona has regulated massage therapy since July 1, 2004. The number of educational hours required for licensure is 500. The law includes a provision allowing the Board of Massage Therapy to increase the minimum classroom hours after July 1, 2006. The Board received a formal request from the Arizona Chapter of American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA-AZ) asking that the hours be increased to 700. The change would be implemented on January 1, 2007. Les Sweeney, Executive Vice President, spoke in opposition to the increase in educational hours on behalf of Arizona ABMP members. While the decrease in licensing fees are appropriate and appreciated, the proposed increase in classroom hours will affect future students of massage therapy, increasing their tuition by several thousand dollars. Schools will also be affected, having to modify and add to curriculum to satisfy the new 700-hour requirement. ABMP feels that the current requirement of 500 hours of education is appropriate for entry into the massage profession. This is the level recognized by the American Massage Therapy Association and National Certification for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, in addition to ABMP. No explanation has been made to justify the proposed increase in training requirements. In its description of the proposed changes, the board stated the nationwide trend has been to increase hours. This is simply not the case. ABMP will continue to be engaged in the process. The proposed changes will have to be reviewed by the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council. Proposed fee changes Initial license application - $165 (from $250) Renewal fee - $75 (from $250) Delinquent renewal fee - $40 (from $125) Board position opening There is currently an open seat on the Board of Massage Therapy. ABMP would be supportive of a member who wishes to apply for the position through the Governor’s office. Qualifications include:
  • A resident of Arizona
  • Licensed Massage Therapist in the state of Arizona who has been practicing for 5 years immediately preceding their appointment
  • Serve a 5 year term