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On May 19, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) announced that it has introduced Guidelines for Practice with COVID-19 Considerations, a document that contains recommendations and guidelines for massage and bodywork practitioners to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The intent of this document is to provide a resource to FSMTB Member Boards and Agencies, massage and bodywork professionals, and massage school staff to support public protection. Readers are encouraged to refer to and use the FSMTB Guidelines for Practice with COVID-19 Considerations within the confines of the regulatory structures of their respective states.

The FSMTB Guidelines for Practice with COVID-19 Considerations references Standard Precautions and CDC protocols and adapts them to the specific practice environment of massage and bodywork. Whenever possible, this document reflects specific CDC recommendations to provide guidance on facility cleanliness and sanitation, facility policies and procedures, and requirements for massage practitioner hygiene.

“For public protection, it is important to support regulated professionals who are informed and can exercise professional judgment that is not clouded by misinformation and fear,” said FSMTB Executive Director Debra Persinger, PhD.

The FSMTB recognizes that some customization and flexibility are necessary to allow these concepts to be of assistance in each jurisdiction and practice setting. The recommendations and guidelines do not replace any directives or guidance provided by federal or state agencies, regulatory boards, or other authorities having jurisdiction. Where conflicts occur, the stricter requirement will apply.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. The document will be modified as necessary when further relevant information becomes available.

“The Board of Directors extends its sincere appreciation to the members of the Practice Guidelines Task Force who worked diligently to research and prepare the Practice Guidelines and to share best practices for massage and bodywork therapists, all while working from home during the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said FSMTB acting Board President Craig Knowles.

About Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards

Established in 2005, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) is an autonomous, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization comprised of state regulatory boards and agencies that regulate the massage therapy profession. All revenue collected by the organization is used to enhance FSMTB programs, maintain and improve the quality of the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) and provide support to FSMTB Member Boards in fulfilling their responsibility of protecting the public. For more information, please visit fsmtb.org.