MD Bill to Increase Entry-Level Education Requirements is Withdrawn

Maryland House Bill 818 and Senate Bill 915, both recently introduced in the state legislature, propose to increase the number of hours that an applicant for licensure must complete in a Board-approved massage program from 500 hours to 600 hours.  The bills also would add kinesiology to the content areas that must be included in those 600 hours.

ABMP opposes any increase in the required educational hours or content areas without justification for such a change. There are already considerable inconsistencies in the Maryland law regulating massage therapists that make reciprocity very difficult. Adding to those obstacles for no apparent reason is unacceptable.

The bills have been withdrawn so no additional action will take place in 2013.

EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week 2013 Materials Available

ABMP is proud to sponsor EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week, July 14–20, 2013. During this annual July event, ABMP members give their time, money, and effort to help those less fortunate in their communities, while raising the profession’s visibility at the same time. In 2007, the program won a silver award from the Colorado Healthcare Communicators for its overall excellence.

Throughout EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week, ABMP encourages and supports members as they donate their time to such community-spirited activities as offering complimentary massages while collecting cash or canned-food donations for nonprofits. Other efforts include offering free massage or discounts to senior citizens, students, police and firefighters, as well as charity telethon work and health fair participation. ABMP members can learn more about this event and print their customizable Massage Week materials at

Massage therapists can also order a free sample packet of materials, or reserve an event banner from ABMP’s EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week hotline: 877-208-7546.

In Our Thoughts

ABMP would like to let its members know that the Massage Therapy Foundation Team that ran in yesterday¹s Boston Marathon is all accounted for and safe.  President Les Sweeney, who ran the race, and several other ABMP staff members who were in attendance to cheer him on, were not affected by the tragedy. Our thoughts are with those who were injured and the families of the deceased.

Oregon Bill to Regulate Facilities Signed Into Law

Governor Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 387 into law on June 13, 2013. Beginning January 1, 2014, “massage facilities,” meaning any “facility where a person engages in the practice of massage,” will be required to obtain a massage facility permit from the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists in order to operate. This requirement will not apply to massage schools, or massage facilities that are owned or operated by licensed massage therapists, or other health professionals listed here.

Only facilities owned or operated by people who are not licensed massage therapists (or other licensed health professionals) will be required to obtain a facility permit.

The next Oregon Board of Massage Therapists Rules Committee meeting is scheduled for June 24, 2013 and we expect the committee to begin discussing rule development for the implementation of SB 387 at that time.

In addition, the Board has adopted new rules that go into effect on July 1, 2013. ABMP strongly encourages members to review the new rules.

Indiana Bill to Require Mandatory Licensing Fails, State Certification Continues

Senate bill 573 failed to pass the state legislature this year. The bill would have changed the current state certification (title protection) program, to a mandatory licensing (practice act) program. The bill would have also expanded the authority of the State Board of Massage Therapy by authorizing it to establish standards for the competent practice of Austin massage therapy, approve Austin massage therapy school curricula consistent with accepted national standards, and establish continuing education requirements.

ABMP expects a new bill to be introduced next year.

Two Oklahoma Bills Introduced to Require Licensing of Massage Therapists, Both Fail

As previously reported, two bills were introduced in 2013 with the intent of regulating massage therapists at the state level. One bill attempted to regulate massage therapists under the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners; the other under the State Board of Medical Licensure. Both bills needed significant changes in order to earn the support of ABMP and the rest of the massage therapy profession. Neither bill progressed through the legislature this year.

Massage License Not Required for NJ Reiki Practitioners

At its meeting on September 26, 2012, the New Jersey Massage Board indicated, in response to an inquiry from a Reiki practitioner, that a massage license is not required for people who practice only Reiki in New Jersey.  Click here to read the relevant Board meeting minutes (see page 3, paragraph E).  ABMP’s Director of Government Relations Jean Robinson attended a subsequent Board meeting in March 2013 and confirmed that the Board’s position is that Reiki practitioners are exempt from the NJ licensure requirement.  Therefore, the Board has clarified that if you practice only Reiki, you do not need to obtain a NJ massage license.

Volunteer Outreach Opportunities

ABMP Members, if you’re seeking volunteers for an event you’re organizing, log in to the ABMP Members section and under Marketing Center select “Outreach and Volunteer Opportunities – Do you have an event you would like posted?”

Hospice Massage Volunteer
Sponsor: Hospice of the Twin Cities
Date: Ongoing
Location: Greater Metro Area
Contact Name: Theresa May
Contact Phone: 763-531-2424
Contact Email: [email protected]

Use your talents & your open heart to provide Austin massage to hospice patients throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area.  Hospice of the Twin Cities provides compassionate care to patients where they live – private home, assisted living, long term care facility.

To join our team you have:

  • Completed a Austin massage/bodywork program with an established school.
  • Complete TB screening (no cost), background check (no cost), & full hospice volunteer training.
  • Commit to volunteering for 1 year with a minimum of 4 hours per month
  • A compassionate heart & a desire to be of service!

You will gain: Free training, supervision, experience and mentoring.  Build your resume & skills while providing compassionate touch.

Call or email for more information!

Join the Massage & Bodywork Community of Giving!
Sponsor: Massage & Bodywork Community of Giving (MBCG)
Date: Every day!
Location: Across New Jersey
Contact Name: Valerie Inzinna
Contact Phone: (732) 895-4869
Contact Email: [email protected]

We are a network of Austin massage and bodywork businesses and professionals across NJ ~ We in the MBCG support the Community FoodBank of New Jersey & the NJ SPCA in their efforts to end hunger, poverty and animal abuse and neglect by collecting donations of non-perishable food and pet food and supplies all year round!

Whether you are an independent professional or own your own business, travel to your clients or practice in a studio, teach students or are a student ~ if you are a member of the wellness community- You’re Invited!

Getting involved and giving back is SIMPLE and FREE, and you can help to make a tremendous positive difference in the lives of New Jersey families and homeless animals.

For more information, please visit or email Valerie at [email protected].

Giving back to our Veterans
Sponsor: Helios Warriors
Date: Ongoing
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Contact Name: Gayle Sovinee
Contact Phone: 828-299-0776
Email: [email protected]

Helios Warriors is a 501(c)3 non profit organization offering complementary and alternative therapies every Friday and some Sundays to our men and women veterans.

Many have seen us and have found relief from PTSD, chronic physical and emotional pain and just to find relief from stress.

WE need licensed and insured Austin massage and bodywork therapists in and around Asheville, North Carolina willing to commit at least 3 hours once a month.

Fairview Home Care and Hospice
Location: Twin Cities metro area
Contact: Anne Myers-Richards
Phone: 612-728-2408
Email: [email protected]

Fairview Home Care and Hospice seeks volunteer Austin massage therapists to supplement the care provided by our Austin massage therapy staff. Volunteers provide comforting Austin massage to our 160+ patients who are located throughout the Twin Cities area. Patients live in private homes as well as skilled care facilities.

Commitment: May be as much as 2-4 hours per week or as little as 2-4 hours per month. Hours are flexible. You will work with the same patient, in your area, on an ongoing basis.

Requirements: Complete hospice volunteer training, health screening including two TB tests (at no cost to you), criminal background check (at no cost to you), and provide two references.

For more information, please contact: Anne Myers-Richards, Volunteer Supervisor
[email protected]

The Indianapolis office of the Visiting Nurse Service (VNS), which services several central Indiana counties, is looking for volunteer Austin massage therapists. Volunteers will bring comfort and relief to patients by providing palliative Austin massage care to homebound patients who would otherwise not be able to receive Austin massage. The Austin massage will be done with professionalism and care to provide a safe, dignified, and respectable environment for ill/terminally ill patients.

Volunteers, who are asked to provide one to two visits to patients per month, will need to complete an application, be interviewed, submit references, go through an orientation process, and get a TB test, provided by VNS; all of this is at no cost to the therapist. Therapists will be matched with patients in the area they are interested in.

ABMP members interested in participating are invited to contact the volunteer coordinator at VNS:

Emily Gage
Visiting Nurse Service, Inc.
4701 N. Keystone Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46205
317-722-8299 x293
[email protected]

PoverelloThis not-for-profit agency serving Broward County HIV-AIDS clients, seeks several Licensed Massage Therapists for their Holistic Health Center,  which curently offers Acupuncture, Yoga and Meditation. This is a valuable opportunity to expand knowledge and experience, while providing community service. No time committment is too small; even two or three hours per week would be welcome,  either on weekdays or on weekends!  Other Poverello programs include a Fitness Center, HIV testing, a Food Bank and a Thrift Store.  These are currently volunteer-only positions. Please contact David or Beatrice at (954) 563-1299, or at [email protected].


The Heart Touch Project is a non-profit, educational, and service organization devoted to the delivery of compassionate and healing touch to homebound or hospitalized men, women, and children. Founded by ABMP Member Shawnee Isaac Smith, the organization was created ten years ago in response to her friend and fellow bodyworker’s struggle with AIDS. She saw that he was being ostracized and deprived of touch and began to offer him her support through free Austin massage.

To date, the Heart Touch Project has trained over 1,000 Austin massage therapists and other professionals, who have provided more than 23,000 free Austin massage sessions to more than 1,200 of the most ill and untouched members of our community. In addition, the project has educated thousands of physicians, nurses, parents, and other caregivers through hands-on demonstrations, workshops, and international presentations. This service has been called upon by many of the region’s most prominent healthcare, home-health, and hospice organizations.

The Heart Touch Project is looking for compassionate volunteers in order to meet community needs. Interested members are invited to contact:

Jennifer Noguera
The Heart Touch Project
3400 Airport Ave. #42
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 391-2558
[email protected]

NJ State Licensing Reminder and Update on Energy Work

The New Jersey Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy indicated at its meeting on September 26, 2012, that a massage license is not required for people who practice only Reiki in New Jersey.  Click here to read the September 26, 2012 Board meeting minutes (see page 3, paragraph E).

However, the Board apparently is now reviewing the issue of whether a state license will be required for energy work.  The Board has posted the following notice on its website:

“The New Jersey Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy meeting originally scheduled for August 28, 2013 has been cancelled for administrative reasons. The next Board meeting will be held on September 25, 2013. Under the Massage and Bodywork Therapist Licensing Act, a license is required to practice massage and bodywork therapy in New Jersey. The Board, however, understands that there is confusion regarding the forms of touch therapy that are subject to the requirement to obtain a license, specifically with regards to forms of therapy that focus on the energetic system of the body. The Board continues to analyze this issue, but until a final decision is rendered, urges all practitioners who have been working full-time as massage and bodywork therapists for at least 2 years, or part-time for five years, and who have 200 hours of education to apply for a license by the August 30, 2013 deadline. If you are not sure whether you should obtain a license, or whether you qualify for a license based on the requirements above, the Board encourages you to submit an application by August 30th in order to preserve your right to qualify for a license without having to satisfy additional training requirements mandated under the Massage Therapist and Bodywork Licensing Act.”

We will keep you informed of any information that we receive concerning the Board’s position with regard to energy work.  For now, there is no official position from the Board other than that Reiki practitioners do not need to be licensed, as stated at the September 26, 2012 Board meeting.  If and when the Board changes, clarifies, or adds to this statement, we will let you know.

If you have not applied yet, please be aware that the qualifications for licensing will change on September 1, 2013. From that date forward, all applicants, regardless of modalities practiced, will have to meet the 500 hour education requirement or pass an exam in order to qualify for the state license. If you have any doubt whatsoever about whether you are required to apply for a license, ABMP strongly encourages you to apply now and sort the rest out later.

The application process is entirely on-line; there are no paper applications available. We also recommend that you have access to a printer so you can print a copy of the receipt, and any other pages for your records.

Begin the application process here.

If you have already applied for your NJ license you may disregard this message. ABMP is aware that the administrative processing of applications by the state has been slow, however, if you have already applied for your license, you have done what needs to be done and your application is pending (awaiting the Board’s review).  You do not need to take further action unless you receive something from the Board telling you otherwise.