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Massachusetts Licensing

As of the beginning of 2008, the new massage license for Massachusetts is in place.

To find out more go to www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/mt/ as it has been updated. Since the regulations will be going through constant changes, it is best to review the above link often.

There will be some confusion with various cities and towns but I emphasize that municipalities do not have jurisdiction anymore.

If you are a massage therapist, the grandfathering period expired on 5/1/2008. If you let your MA Massage License lapse, there is a process for getting it restored.

There is a page on Facebook for people who are interested in staying involved. It's called Massachusetts Massage License Issues.

Good luck and may this leads to a new level of prosperity in your professional practice.

Important Notes:

It is important to note that this is a massage license.  For people in the future who do only Polarity (and other exempted modalities listed in the law), they are not included in the regulations unless the person holds a massage license.  The exempted modalities will need to approach their local municipalities to get a license or to get told that there is no license or to get a variance. If they are told there is no license then they can just get a business license and open up.  APTA used to have a great written statement available to help with this situation.  I will try to get it from them again.

Facility Licensing: 

Be sure to stay up to date on the Establishment Licensing.
Currently, some towns in MA may tell people to still renew their massage licenses with them.  YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO THIS.  They have no authority to do it.  Refer them to the website and get your state license in place.

As of May 1, 2010, the new Massachusetts Massage License standard requires 650 hours of study, none of which can be any form of bodywork including Polarity, Shiatsu, and a whole host of other things that are considered bodywork, energy work or spa-related services.

The operative date is when you apply for your license, not when you studied. Therefore, anyone who is not licensed already and applies after May 1, 2010, may need to take additional training to meet the new Massachusetts massage license requirements.


Q: The license requires insurance... but what if you work for someone who is insured? Is that the same?
A: People often think they are covered fully by an employer.  This is not the case.  This is why the board wants each individual therapist to have professional liability insurance.  Your best bet is to join ABMP or AMTA and get your insurance with them.

Keep checking this page as we will include additional updates as they become available.


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Ipswich, MA | phone - 978-356-0414
Plymouth MA | phone - 508-747-3130
Westborough MA | phone - 508-836-8864
Westbrook/Portland, ME | phone - 207-591-4141
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