Massage therapists in Iowa are licensed by the Iowa Department of Health/Board of Massage Therapy. You can lookup massage therapists to ensure they are trained and licensed on the Department of Health Website. Licensed massage therapists in IA will have their massage license hanging on the wall of their office.
The board defines “Massage therapy”as performance for compensation of massage, myotherapy, massotherapy, bodywork, bodywork therapy, or therapeutic massage including hydrotherapy, superficial hot and cold applications, vibration and topical applications, or other therapy which involves manipulation of the muscle and connective tissue of the body, excluding osseous tissue, to treat the muscle tonus system for the purpose of enhancing health, muscle relaxation, increasing range of motion, reducing stress, relieving pain, or improving circulation.
People practicing reflexology and movement awareness modalities like Feldenkrais Method, the Trager Approach and other mind/body therapies are exempt from masasge licensing.
152C.5 Practice or use of title (PDF)— license required.
- The practice of massage therapy as defined in section 152C.1 is strictly prohibited by unlicensed individuals. It is a serious misdemeanor for a person to engage in or offer to engage in the practice of massage therapy, or use in connection with the person’s name, the initials “L. M. T.” or the words “licensed massage therapist”, “massage therapist”, “masseur”, “masseuse”, or any other word or title that implies or represents that the person practices massage therapy, unless the person possesses a license issued under the provisions of section
152C.4 Practicing as a massage therapist without a license — employment of person not
licensed — civil penalty.
- The board, or its authorized agents, may inspect any facility that advertises or offers the
services of massage therapy. The board may, by order, impose a civil penalty upon a person
who practices as a massage therapist without a license issued under this chapter or a person
or business that employs an individual who is not licensed under this chapter. The penalty
shall not exceed one thousand dollars for each offense. Each day of a continued violation after
an order or citation by the board constitutes a separate offense, with the maximum penalty
not to exceed ten thousand dollars. In determining the amount of a civil penalty, the board
may consider the following:
a. Whether the amount imposed will be a substantial economic deterrent to the violation.
b. The circumstances leading to or resulting in the violation.
c. The severity of the violation and the risk of harm to the public.
d. The economic benefits gained by the violator as a result of noncompliance.
e. The welfare or best interest of the public.
- Before issuing an order or citation under this section, the board shall provide written
notice and the opportunity to request a hearing on the record. The hearing must be requested
within thirty days of the issuance of the notice and shall be conducted as provided in chapter
17A. The board may, in connection with a proceeding under this section, issue subpoenas to
compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the disclosure of evidence and may
request the attorney general to bring an action to enforce the subpoena.
- A person aggrieved by the imposition of a civil penalty under this section may seek
judicial review in accordance with section 17A.19. The board shall notify the attorney general
of the failure to pay a civil penalty within thirty days after entry of an order pursuant to
subsection 1, or within ten days following final judgment in favor of the board if an order has
been stayed pending appeal. The attorney general may commence an action to recover the
amount of the penalty, including reasonable attorney fees and costs. An action to enforce an
order under this section may be joined with an action for an injunction.
Contact Information & Office Hours
Bureau of Professional Licensure
321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: (515) 281-0254
Fax: (515) 281-3121
Bureau Website: https://idph.iowa.gov/licensure
Online Licensure Services: https://amanda-portal.idph.state.ia.us/ibpl/portal/