Maryland Bills Add Instruments, License Requirements, Practice Violations

In May, Governor Wes Moore signed into law two bills affecting massage therapy. House Bill 1497 allows instrument-assisted techniques, amends the license reinstatement process, and adds a new requirement for some licensure applicants. House Bill 1498 addresses unauthorized practice violations.

House Bill 1497 allows instrument-assisted soft tissue manipulation techniques to enhance manual techniques. Additional education and training are required to perform instrument-assisted techniques, including muscle scraping and vibration therapy.

The bill also mandates that a licensee must now submit a state and national criminal history records check as part of their license reinstatement application.

Upon reviewing an application for licensure or during an investigation, if the Maryland Board of Massage Therapy Examiners (Board) believes an individual may cause harm to the public, the Board can request the individual submit to an evaluation issued by a health-care provider. The examination fee will be paid for by the Board.

Effective Date: July 1, 2024

House Bill 1498 creates fines for unauthorized massage practice. A person will be found guilty of a felony if they aid or assist unauthorized massage therapy practice, and upon conviction, will be subject to:

  • A fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year for a first offense
  • A fine not exceeding $20,000 per day or imprisonment not exceeding five years for a subsequent offense

Effective Date: July 1, 2024