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SB 219, sponsored by Senator Chris Romer, has been advancing through the Colorado General Assembly. Currently the bill is scheduled to be heard by the House Appropriations Committee. A lot has changed since the introduction of the bill and first committee hearing on April 16, 2008.
Due to a compromise with the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), the bill has been amended from a licensure act to a mandatory registration program, which is a less rigid regulatory program. If passed, the bill would still benefit the massage therapy community in three primary ways:

  • Minimum training requirements and scope of practice are defined.
  • An avenue for consumer complaint is established.
  • Local regulations will be pre-empted, meaning massage therapists would register with the state and will no longer have to become licensed in their city.

If passed, the bill would allow existing practitioners to qualify for state registration by meeting one of these three criteria:

  1. The applicant has completed a minimum 300-hour massage therapy program and has a minimum of 5 years professional experience, OR
  2. The applicant has completed a minimum 500 hour massage therapy program, OR
  3. The applicant has passed either the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) or one of the National Certification Exams (NCE) offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).

All applicants would have to submit an application, submit to a background check, and pay a fee that is currently estimated to be $115 for a 2 year registration. After the initial year of registration, applicants would have to complete a minimum 500 hour massage therapy program AND pass either the MBLEx or a NCE.

Professions exempt from obtaining state registration, as long as practitioners do not practice or advertise that they practice massage therapy, include: reflexology, movement educators (Feldenkrais, Trager, and Body-Mind Centering), energy work (Reiki, Shiatsu, Asian Bodywork, Polarity), structural integrators (Rolfing and Hellerwork), and the process of Muscle Activation Techniques.
If SB 219 passes and is signed by Governor Ritter, massage therapists can expect applications for registration to become available around April 1, 2009. ABMP will continue to keep members informed.

View a complete version of the bill.

Questions can be directed to Jean Robinson at