If passed, an Illinois bill will allow chiropractors and other doctors to hire assistants not licensed as massage therapists to perform massage. The bill has passed the state senate and is on its way to the house. Massage therapists are vigorously fighting the bill.

Illinois requires that massage therapists be licensed.

A synopsis of SB318 reads: “Amends the Medical Practice Act of 1987. Provides that nothing in the Act shall be construed to limit the right of persons licensed under the Act to delegate tasks or duties to licensed or unlicensed personnel who have the training or experience to perform the tasks or duties so delegated. Effective immediately.”

A statement on the website of the Illinois chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA-IL) notes that “AMTA-IL members, leaders and other concerned representatives have been working diligently to halt the passage of
legislation that, if passed, will undermine the scope and essential functions bestowed upon us through the Massage Licensing Act.”

AMTA-IL is encouraging the state’s massage therapists to contact their representatives and encourage them to vote the bill down.

Massage therapists not affiliated with AMTA-IL have also set up a petition on The Petition Site: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/safehealthcare

—Karen Menehan