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Iowa Adopts New Massage Therapy Rules


On June 7, 2022, the Iowa Board of Massage Therapy (Board) adopted new massage therapy rules. The new rules will be effective August 17, 2022, and primarily impact the following sections: definitions, licensure by examination, qualifications for foreign applicants, and license display requirements. ABMP has summarized the changes for you below. If you have questions about the new rules, contact   

The adopted rules add three new definitions:

  • Anniversary month—the month a license is issued by the Board.
  • Board-approved school—a school that provides massage therapy training with at least 600 hours of massage therapy education; has been recognized as a legitimate school by the Board; and has not been denied, suspended, or revoked by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
  • Issuing jurisdiction—duly constituted authority in another state that has issued a massage therapy license to a person.

Licensure by Examination
The new rules renamed the “Requirements for Licensure” section to “Licensure by Examination” and added supplementary information on the licensure process for applicants who were issued one or more licenses to practice massage therapy by other jurisdictions. These applicants must go through a verification process and send the Board proof of licensure from every jurisdiction in which they had been licensed. Verification includes:

  1. The applicant’s name
  2. The date of initial licensure
  3. The applicant’s current licensure status
  4. Any disciplinary action taken against the applicant

If an applicant has relocated to Iowa from a state that did not require licensure to practice massage therapy, they may submit proof of work experience in place of educational and training requirements.

Educational Qualifications for Foreign-Trained Massage Therapists
This section remains, for the most part, the same in the new rules. Previous rules required foreign applicants to provide the Board an equivalency evaluation of their educational credentials; the new rules now state that this cost is at the expense of the foreign applicant.
License Display
All license holders must display their initial license certificate and proof of active licensure in a place visible to the public at the primary location where they practice massage therapy.

Effective: August 17, 2022.