Massage therapists in Massachussetts attend massage school and pass a state exam and are of good moral character. They must fulfill specific training to renew their license. They must also obtain a massage establishment license of which there are two types: one for the solo establishment (one massage therapist at one location) and a multiple therapists establishment license (where two or more massage therapists are in one location). Massage therapists in Massachussetts must display their massage license and establishment license on the wall of their office. They must also display the most recent inspection report from the Board. You can also check to see if a person is really licensed on the Occupational Board Website.
Your massage therapist in MA will also inform you of their educational qualifications and make sure you understand what will happen in your massage session. Massage therapy is NOT allowed in bars or adult entertainment facilities.
Massage (as defined by the Board): The systematic treatment of the soft tissues of the body by use of pressure, friction, stroking, percussion, kneading, vibration by manual or mechanical means, range of motion for purposes of demonstrating muscle excursion or muscle flexibility and nonspecific stretching. Massage therapy may include the use of oil, ice, hot and cold packs, tub, shower, steam, dry heat or cabinet baths, in which the primary intent is to enhance or restore the health and well-being of the client. Massage therapy shall not include diagnoses of illness or disease, the prescribing of drugs or medicines, high-velocity, low amplitude thrust applied to the joint, electrical stimulation, application of ultrasound, exercise, spinal or other joint manipulations or any services or procedures for which a license to practice medicine, chiropractic, occupational therapy, physical therapy or podiatry is required by law. Massage Therapy also shall not include the practice of a person who uses touch, words or directed movement to deepen awareness of the patterns of movement in the body, or the affectation of the human energysystem or acupoints or Qi meridians of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics, including, but not limited to, the Feldenkrais Method, Reflexology, The Trager Approach, Ayurvedic Therapies, Rolf Structural Integration, Polarity or Polarity Therapy, Polarity Therapy Bodywork, Asian Bodywork Therapy that does not constitute Massage as defined in M.G.L. c. 135, Acupressure, Jin Shin Do, Qi Gong, Tui Na, Shiatsu, Bodymind Centering and Reiki. For purposes of 269 CMR et seq., the use of the term “Massage” shall also
mean the term “Massage therapy”.
Board of Registration of Massage Therapy
1000 Washington St, Suite 710
Boston, MA 02118-6100