Montana has joined a growing roster of states that regulate massage therapy, with the signing of house bill 662 by Governor Brian Schweitzer this week. The law provides for licensure of the state’s massage therapists and establishment of a board to implement the law.

Currently, 42 states, the District of Columbia and four Canadian provinces offer some type of credential to professionals in the massage and bodywork field – usually licensure, certification or registration.

According to a statement released by Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals:

“House bill 662, providing for the state licensing of massage therapists, was signed into law by Governor Schweitzer on May 5, 2009. The new law goes into effect immediately. However, applications for state licenses will not become available until a Board of Massage Therapy is appointed then writes rules and regulations to implement the law. There is no action for you to take at this time. ABMP will continue to keep members informed.
 
“In order to qualify for licensure, existing practitioners will need to sign an affidavit stating that they have engaged in the practice of massage therapy for at least 100 hours in Montana. Practitioners would be able to qualify under this provision until July 1, 2012.
 
“After July 1, 2012, applicants must have completed a minimum 500-hour massage therapy program and pass an exam approved by the Board.
 
“Once a massage therapist is licensed, he or she will have to complete 12 hours of continuing education every two years for license renewal.
 
“Practices exempt from massage therapy licensure, as long as practitioners do not practice or advertise that they practice massage therapy, include: movement education, structural integration, and reflexology.
 
“The Board of Massage Therapy will be comprised of one member of the public, one licensed health care provider, and three massage therapists. ABMP encourages members looking for a meaningful volunteer experience within the massage profession to apply for a position on the board. Board members will be reimbursed for mileage driven, are required to be residents of Montana, and to have practiced massage therapy for at least three years.”
 
You can apply for a position on the board by going to https://app.mt.gov/cgi-bin/governor/appointment.cgi.
 
To read the new law go to http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2009/billpdf/HB0662.pdf.

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