Senate File 1074 (SF 1074) and House File 1275 (HF 1275) have been introduced in the Minnesota legislature and would require statewide licensure for massage therapists and Asian bodywork therapists.
ABMP worked with a coalition of professional associations, massage therapists, and massage therapy schools in Minnesota to draft this bill over the past three years. There will be generous exceptions within these bills for massage therapists who have prior experience. While municipalities would be prevented from requiring local licensure of massage therapists or Asian bodywork therapists, they would still be able to require business licenses, but not individual professional licenses.
ABMP is in support of a licensing bill in Minnesota. If you would like to support the bill, we ask that you send a short email to your legislators. You can find your representatives and senators here. Below is a sample letter you can use. Feel free to speak your voice and modify the letter to your liking:
I am a professional massage therapist and a constituent in your district. I am in support of HF 1275/SF 1074, which would create statewide licensure for massage therapists practicing in Minnesota.
Forty-four states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. require massage therapists to be licensed. It is time for Minnesota to join those ranks.
Passing HF 1275/SF 1074 would benefit the massage community in the following ways:
- Standardize education and establish qualifications and competencies for entry-level practitioners
- Provide a statewide scope of practice and professional standards that in turn creates uniformity within the profession
- Provide increased public protection by implementing a process to address massage therapy ethical violations, license revocations from other states, and convictions relevant to the practice of massage therapy
- Replace the patchwork of regulations currently in place that require massage therapists to comply with multiple city ordinances—this would reduce administrative and financial burden on massage therapists working in multiple jurisdictions
It is clear statewide massage therapy licensure is necessary in Minnesota. I urge you to support a unified standard of practice and enhanced public protection. Thank you for your consideration.
“Massage therapy means the manual manipulation of the soft tissues of the body to promote, maintain, and restore health and well-being.”
“Asian bodywork therapy means therapy based upon Chinese medical principles with the intent of promoting, maintaining, and restoring health and well-being by affecting the body and emotions.”
Essentially, anyone using the terms massage therapist, MT, Asian bodywork therapist, or ABT must have a license to practice. Other complementary and alternative health-care practitioners do not need to have a license under this bill.
- Completed application that lists credentials, description of disciplinary actions against the practitioner, history of drug or alcohol abuse, and any convictions
- Proof of completion of a massage therapy or Asian bodywork program that is registered with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education
- Both massage therapy and Asian bodywork therapy programs would need to be at least 625 hours (500 contact education hours and 125 clinical hours)
- Proof of liability insurance (your ABMP membership provides the appropriate liability insurance requirements)
- Passing an examination approved by the board
- Background check
Licensing for those with prior experience
Those currently practicing in Minnesota can apply for licensure by proving prior experience in massage therapy or Asian bodywork therapy for at least two of the previous five years before January 1, 2024.
Licensees would be given a two-year license with a biennial renewal.
If SF 1074 and HF 1275 pass, local municipalities would be preempted from requiring licensure of massage therapists or Asian bodywork therapists. The municipalities would still be able to require local business licenses.
- Initial Application—not to exceed $285
- Biennial Renewal—not to exceed $185
ABMP believes SF 1074 and HF 1275 are fair bills that are not burdensome on practitioners. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us. If you would like to become an ABMP Government Relations Advocate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.