Massage therapy is one of the healing arts in Tennessee and the practice is restricted people who are issued a credential by the Board of Massage Licensure. That means that they have attended an approved massage school, passed a state exam and passed a criminal background check.
Persons engaging in the practice of massage therapy without being licensed or expressly exempted by the laws are in violation of T.C.A. §§ 63-1-123 and 63-18-104. It is unlawful for any person who is not licensed in the manner prescribed in Title 63, Chapter 18 of the Tennessee Code Annotated to present himself or his establishment as a licensed massage therapist or a licensed massage establishment or to hold himself or his establishment out to the public as being licensed by using a title on signs, mailboxes, address plates, stationery, announcements, telephone listings, calling cards, or other instruments of professional identification. Students may not hold themselves out as licensed massage therapists until such time as they are licensed.
Massage therapists in Tennessee are able to use the titles “Massage Therapist (M.T.)” or “Licensed Massage Therapist (L.M.T.)” and to practice as a massage therapist, as defined in T.C.A. § 63-18-102. Any person licensed by the Board to whom this rule applies must use one of the titles authorized by this rule in everyadvertisement he or she publishes. Failure to do so will constitute an omission of a material fact which makes the advertisement misleading and deceptive and subjects the massage therapist to disciplinary action pursuant to T.C.A.
Applicants shall submit evidence of good moral character. Such evidence shall consist
of two (2) recent (within the preceding 12 months) original signed and dated letters
from health care professionals that include the professional’s licensing credentials and
attest to the applicant’s personal character and professional ethics. The letters should
be drafted on the writer’s professional letterhead and include the writer’s contact
(h) Applicants shall disclose the circumstances surrounding any of the following:
- Conviction of any criminal offense (except minor traffic offenses) of any country,
state or municipality, including without limitation, conviction for prostitution or any
sexual misconduct offense. A conviction for prostitution or sexual misconduct
offenses shall disqualify an applicant from receiving a license. A conviction for a
felony under the laws of Tennessee may disqualify an applicant from receiving a
Any person or establishment who advertises or engages in massage for compensation without a current valid license from the massage licensure board commits a Class B misdemeanor. It is unlawful to use the word “massage” or any other term that implies massage technique or method when advertising a service by a person who is not licensed under this chapter or another chapter of state law.
(c) The practice of reflexology shall not be subject to the licensure requirements of this chapter. For the purposes of this chapter, “reflexology” means the application of specific pressures to reflex points in the hands and feet only.
Contact the Board of Massage Licensure
Call (615) 253-2111 local or 1-800-778-4123 nationwide
Unit2HRB.Health@tn.gov or Massage.Health@tn.gov
665 Mainstream Drive, 2nd Floor
Nashville, TN 37243