Changes to Massachusetts Massage Therapy Regulations

Effective January 13, 2017, new regulations are now in effect for the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Massage Therapy which implemented both major and minor changes to several portions of the Board’s regulations. The Board’s explanation of the rule changes that impact current licensees are summarized below. You can click here to read the full “Frequently Asked Questions” statement issued by the Board.

Changes to rule regarding treatment notes/medical records

Now all client documentation must be contemporaneously created, meaning you must create the documentation at or shortly after the encounter with the client.

Establishment licenses

Because the Board has eliminated most exemptions, virtually all practitioners must obtain or be affiliated with an establishment license. This is in addition to your own individual license as a Massage Therapist. No matter how many hours you work per week or whether you see clients in your office or outside your office, all practitioners need an establishment license. The type of license you need depends upon whether you are a Solo practitioner (Solo Establishment License) or practice with other massage therapist (Multiple Establishment License). If you own the massage therapy practice, you must obtain the license. If you work for a massage therapy practice, you must be identified as an employee on the license. The only exemption to the requirement to obtain or be associated with an establishment license are if you are associated with a Department of Public Health Clinic license or if you do not engage in the practice of massage therapy. You can submit an application by uploading the Solo Therapist Establishment application or Multiple Therapist Establishment application or submit your application online via the E-Place portal. Please be advised that you may be required to upload additional documents with your establishment application if you wish to submit the application online. Failure to upload documents may result in delay of the application process.

Local Permits

The local permitting process required for initial establishment licensure is now more flexible. This will not hold up an application as it can either be submitted with the application or subsequent to receiving the establishment license. Applicants are however encouraged to submit copies of all local permits at the time of application.

Other changes

Other minor rule changes have been made, including:

- Rule 3.02 restates the requirements for renewal of lapsed or expired license.

- Rule 5.01(6) creates an exemption to client information confidentiality in order to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm.


Should you have any additional questions, please send your inquiry to the Board at and in the subject line include the words “Regulation Changes.” You may also contact the Board via phone at 617-727-1747.