Licensed to Practice Massage, but Want to Move? There’s a Fix for That

It’s not uncommon, especially in today’s climate, to pick up and move to a new state. For massage therapists, this comes with an inherent struggle: You have to learn about your new state’s massage licensing requirements and reciprocity process, then apply for a new license before you can continue working. Basically, your livelihood and practice depend on a new regulatory body to determine if you’re qualified.

Fortunately, ABMP and our partners have been working on a solution: The Interstate Massage Compact (Compact). Generally, interstate compacts are agreements among various states to adhere to common requirements and standards for professional licensing. Compacts provide a host of benefits, like the aforementioned requirements and standards commonalities and reducing financial barriers that many licensed massage therapists (LMTs) face when moving from one state to another.

The Compact requires massage therapists to have at least 625 hours of education to participate, which is based on the Entry-Level Analysis Project (ELAP). Of course, this is an aspirational standard for the profession—some states require only 500 hours of education, while a few others require up to 1,000 hours.

While this is still an issue to be solved, ABMP believes the Interstate Massage Compact is a no-brainer policy.

However, as of now, only two states are still considering the Compact—Nevada and Ohio. While the prospect of it being adopted in those states remains high, advocacy from ABMP members in both states is still needed. But the kicker here: the Compact can’t be fully implemented until at least seven states adopt it.

That’s why it’s important for all ABMP members to understand how the Interstate Massage Compact works and why you should encourage your state to adopt it.

ABMP continues to advocate in Nevada and Ohio, but we need your help to ensure more states consider this important policy. You can tell your respective state board or agency overseeing massage therapy that this is an important policy and should be adopted by your state. If you are willing to elevate your voice, the ABMP Government Relations team can help you. Email us at to share your interest in advocating for the Interstate Massage Compact.