Massage Politics Resources

There are many issues that the massage therapy profession is faced with.

Licensing and Legislation.

Each state has their own laws regarding the practice of massage and licensing massage therapists. The scope of practice varies greatly across the US. If you want to move to another state, you have to find out what that state requires and complete required coursework to move your license to that state.

The Department of Defense and the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards is currently working on the issue and are creating compact licensing laws that will allow people and more specifically, people in the military to move around the US. See National Center for Compacts.

Continuing Education

Most states require some sort of continuing education classes. The amount of hours and the approved classes varies greatly state to state. There has been NO research that shows that CE is even needed. Massage licensing laws were made to protect the public. They set the basic requirements needed to perform massage safely. The National Certification Board of Massage has previously held control over CE with their approved CE provider/classes program. The Federation of Massage State Boards is working to take that over with their new CE Program. The battle over CE continues.

Who is who?

Federation of  State Massage Therapy Boards – Manages State Licensing in most states. You have to take the MBLex exam (Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination) to become licensed in most states.

National Certification Board for Massage and Bodywork – Used to manage licensing in most states but that has since been taken over by the FSMTB. Offers the only TRUE massage therapy BOARD CERTIFICATION.

Professional Working Documents

Entry-Level Analysis (ELAP) workgroup. ELAP is a collaborative project stemming from the Massage Therapy Leadership Summits.

 Project Description (PDF)

Body of Knowledge   Created in 2009 and has not been updated since. The MTBOK Stewards consist of representatives from the American Massage Therapy Association, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Alliance for Massage Therapy Education, Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, Massage Therapy Foundation, and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

Keith Grant’s Massage Politics Blog
Issues In Massage Governance
Massage Therapist Activist Pages

Rick Rosen’s – On becoming a profession” (PDF)  Paper written that started the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education  This advocacy comes into play in dealing with regulatory issues, accreditation, standard-setting initiatives such as the Alliance’s National Teacher Education Standards Project, as well as ongoing efforts to get massage therapy better recognized by and integrated into the health care delivery system.