Massage therapists in New York State are licensed by the NYS Office of Professions. Only a licensed massage therapist can use the title Massage threapist, masseur or masseuse (according to the law § 7802. Practice of massage therapy and use of title “masseur”, “masseuse” or “massage therapist” or the term “massage” or “massage therapy”.. These last two terms are now becoming outdated and more often associated with brothels disguised as massage businesses which is something that will need to be changed or more clearly defined.
7802 also says:
No person, firm, partnership or corporation claiming to be engaged in the practice of massage or massage therapy shall in any manner describe, advertise, or place any advertisement for services as defined in section seventy-eight hundred one of this article unless such services are performed by a person licensed or authorized pursuant to this chapter.
Yet many Sexually Oriented Businesses who are not licensed contine to operate under the disguise of massage.
Verifying a New York License
New York massage therapists must display a current New York registration certificate; this certificate lists the professional’s name, address, and dates of the registration period. Massage therapists must reregister every three years to practice in New York. Some professionals also display their original New York license, diploma, licenses from other states, and membership certificates. You may verify an individual’s license and registration on this Board of Massage website.
NYS Massage Therapy Practice Guidelines
Massage therapists will accurately inform patients/clients, other health care practitioners and the public regarding the scope of their discipline and will represent their personal qualifications honestly, including education, experience, and professional affiliations upon request or in advertising.
- Massage therapists will avoid exerting undue influence on patients/clients and will never engage in sexual behavior during the course of the professional relationship. The therapist should not engage in sexual conduct or activities, even if the patient/client attempts to sexualize the relationship.
- No manipulation of the genital areas is permitted, even at the patient’s/client’s request.
- Massage of genital areas and massage of a patient/client who is not properly draped for massage shall be considered immoral conduct.
- The practice of massage by a massage therapist who is not properly dressed shall be considered immoral conduct.
- Draping includes methods used by a massage therapist to protect modesty, privacy, warmth and/or comfort of a patient/client by the use of sheets, towels, blankets or any item that serves this purpose.
NYS Massage Therapists
NYS Society of Medical Massage Therapists (NYSSMMT) was lead the movement to have “massage parlor’ removed from the NAICS. Here is their blog post about it.
“North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is a system for classifying establishments (individual business locations) by type of economic activity in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Its purposes are: (1) to facilitate the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of data relating to establishments, and (2) to promote uniformity and comparability in the presentation and analysis of statistical data describing the North American economy. NAICS is used by Federal statistical agencies that collect or publish data by industry. It is also widely used by State and local agencies, trade associations, private businesses, and other organizations.”
American Massage Therapy Association NYS Chapter has this poster available:
Find Your NYS Legislators —https://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/search/
Un-Licensed: Asian Migrant Massage Licensure and the Racialized Policing of Poverty
NY State Education Department
Office of the Professions
State Board for Massage Therapy
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234-1000
518-474-3817, Press 1 then ext. 150 (voice)