The Iowa Supreme Court issued a recent opinion establishing that, under Iowa law, the unlicensed practice of massage does not rise to the level of a criminal misdemeanor. As a result, there have been increased efforts by many cities and towns in Iowa to enact local ordinances directed at massage therapy which may impact your practice.
If you learn that your city or town is considering local massage regulation, we encourage you to participate in the public process. Let your local government officials know what massage looks like and what it doesn't look like, what your state license looks like, what you had to do to qualify for that license, and how you work. Try to participate in conversations about the drafting of the ordinance before the ordinance is actually introduced if you can, and counter any potentially negative or professionally damaging language being considered. Attend city council meetings while the council considers the ordinance, and present your public comments when allowed. Encourage your colleagues to attend meetings and submit comments as well; there is strength in numbers. Learn about the timetable for passage of the ordinance and the key players in the process. Council members may know little to nothing about massage. There is value in showing up and letting council members know what the lawful practice of massage looks like and how an ordinance could impact your practice and your livelihood.
Please let us know if your city is considering local licensure by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. ABMP is also reaching out to the Iowa League of Cities on this issue.