Proposed NY Bill Would Crack Down on Unlicensed Practice

Intended to strengthen public protection against the unlicensed practice of massage therapy, Senate Bill 6072 proposes several changes to the laws governing massage therapy licensure. Currently, it is a class E felony to practice massage therapy without a license or to employ three or more unlicensed individuals to practice massage therapy in New York state. Senate Bill 6072 would make it a Class E felony to hire just one unlicensed individual to practice massage therapy. If Senate Bill 6072 passes, any entity found to have hired an unlicensed individual to practice massage therapy is subject to an immediate audit by the New York state department of taxation and finance. Also, the definition of the scope of practice for massage therapy has been expanded and clarified, which in turn, expands and clarifies what activities and modalities are illegal if practiced by an unlicensed individual. This proposed definition includes “body work, body rub, foot work, foot massage, foot rub, neck rub, neck massage, Swedish, deep tissue, tui na shiatsu, reflexology, myofascial release, manual lymphatic drainage, sports massage, cranial sacral therapy and polarity therapy.” The bill would also give local municipalities the authority to issue permits to licensed massage therapists to provide massage therapy services in parks and street fairs. ABMP is supportive of the bill and will keep members informed of activity related to the bill.

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