Update on Bodywork Licensing Bill in Massachusetts


Last July we posted  information about two bodywork licensing bills introduced in the Massachusetts Senate. The bills have been proceeding through the legislative process with numerous amendments, and there is now only one bill, MA SB 2621, which has passed in the Senate and is now before the House. If passed, the bill will require that "bodyworkers" in Massachusetts obtain a bodywork license in order to practice, and would also require licensure of bodywork schools. The bill provides the following definitions:

"Bodywork", "bodyworks" or "bodywork therapy", the practice of a person who uses touch, words or directed movement to deepen awareness of patterns of movement in the body, or the affectation of the human energy system or acupoints or Qi meridians of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics; provided, however, that such services shall not be designated or implied to be massage or massage therapy; and provided further, that "bodywork", "bodyworks" and "bodywork therapy" shall not include diagnoses, the prescribing of drugs or medicines, spinal or other joint manipulations or any services or procedures for which a license to practice medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic, occupational therapy, physical therapy or podiatry is required by law.

"Bodyworker", "bodywork therapist" or "bodyworks therapist", a person licensed by the board who instructs or administers bodyworks or bodyworks therapy for compensation.

The bill will likely continue to be amended, and you can view amendments on the bill information page on the legislature's website. We will keep you updated on the status of this bill.