This is the final day the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) will accept comments on its proposed Model Practice Act.

The model practice act was born of three years’ work by an FSMTB task force comprising representatives from regulatory boards and agencies. An initial public comment period ended in June.

Today, the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) shared its feedback with the FSMTB in a document made available to MASSAGE Magazine. The AFMTE is an independent voice, advocate and resource for the massage therapy education community. 

The AFMTE’s strongest feedback on the model practice act was regarding the proposed scope of practice outlined by the FSMTB. (The proposed scope of practice reads:

A) The practice of Massage Therapy means the manual application of a system of structured touch to the soft tissues of the human body, including but not limited to: (1) Assessment, evaluation, or treatment; (2) Pressure, friction, stroking, rocking, gliding, kneading, percussion or vibration; (3) Active or passive stretching of the body within the normal anatomical range of movement; (4) Use of manual methods or mechanical or electrical devices or tools that mimic or enhance the action of human hands; (5) Use of topical applications such as lubricants, scrubs, or herbal preparations; (6) Use of hot or cold applications; (7) Use of hydrotherapy; (8) Client education.)

“In general, [the AFMTE] believes this is a limited scope of practice that takes a step backwards for many massage therapists,” the AFMTE’s feedback read. The AFMTE proposed an alternative scope of practice in its feedback.

AFMTE President Pete Whitridge, L.M.T., said he encourages the FSMTB’s taskforce to work toward a final model practice act draft that incorporates the massage industry’s feedback.

“The final draft should be vetted by industry partners and affected parties before any final approval and distribution,” Whitridge told MASSAGE Magazine. “This important document should not be finalized without full industry review, final input and support.”

The feedback and statement were prepared by the AMFTE’s board of directors, consisting of Whitridge, Su Bibik, Eric Polgar, Christa Fratantoro, Stephanie Beck, Cherie Sohnen-Moe, Stan Dawson, Gloria Lawrence and Dawn Saunders.