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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XVI PUBLIC HEALTH
  • CHAPTER 112 REGISTRATION OF CERTAIN PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
  • Section 228 Licensing of massage therapists

Section 228. (a) No person shall hold himself out to others as a massage therapist or practice massage or massage therapy unless he holds a valid license issued in accordance with this chapter. No person licensed to practice massage or massage therapy shall perform any of the following: diagnosis of illness or disease; high velocity, low-amplitude thrust applied to a joint; electrical stimulation; application of ultrasound; exercise and prescription of medicines. The following practitioners shall be exempt from the licensure requirements of this section:

(1) a person who is otherwise licensed, certified or registered under the General Laws, performing services within his authorized scope of practice and who does not hold himself out to be a massage therapist;

(2) a person duly licensed, registered or certified in another state, territory, the District of Columbia or a foreign country when temporarily called into the commonwealth to teach a course related to massage therapy or to consult with a person licensed as a massage therapist under this chapter;

(3) a student of massage therapy enrolled in a licensed massage school program for massage, performing work as a required component of his course of study at such school, but the student shall not hold himself out as a licensed massage therapist under this chapter and shall not receive compensation for his work;

(4) a person giving massage to a member of that person’s immediate family for which he received no compensation;

(5) a person, duly licensed, registered, or certified in another state, territory, the District of Columbia, or a foreign country, who is incidentally in the commonwealth to provide service as part of an emergency response team working in conjunction with disaster relief officials; and

(6) a person giving massage in a sporting, health or other event that is non-compensatory and under the supervision of a licensed massage therapist.

(b) Nothing in this section shall prevent or restrict the practice of a person who uses touch, words or directed movement to deepen awareness of patterns of movement in the body, or the affectation of the human energy system or acupoints or Qi meridians of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics, but such services shall not be designated or implied to be massage or massage therapy. Such practices shall include, but not be 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 this chapter; Acupressure; Jin Shin Do; Qi Gong; Tui Na; Shiatsu; Body-Mind Centering and Reiki. These exempt practitioners may use the terms “bodywork”, “bodyworker” and “bodywork therapist” in their promotional literature.