A law passed in Maryland‘s 2008 legislative session mandates a title change for the state’s massage therapists. The law also adds massage-therapist members to the state board that governs massage, and changes the board’s name.

The title “Certified Massage Therapist” will become “Licensed Massage Therapist” effective Nov. 1. The state has a tiered system; the “Registered Massage Therapist” title remains as is.
The new law amends the structure of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, effective July 2009, to include three licensed
massage therapists and one additional chiropractor. Two consumer members also sit on the board.

Effective Oct. 1, 2008, the board will be renamed the Maryland Board of Chiropractic and Massage Therapy Examiners.

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)—Maryland Chapter is named in the law as the entity from which nominations for board members must come. However, the chapter will consider therapists who are not AMTA members, according to Maryland massage therapist and Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) member William Haynes, who is a volunteer liaison for ABMP’s national organization in the state. ABMP does not possess state chapters.

“While I understand the potential exclusiveness of the situation—and also allowing a private association to have possible control over a public body—I have been pleased with the current situation and that I have been able to work with the AMTA and forward information about the nominating process to non-AMTA therapists,” Haynes told MASSAGE Magazine. “My understanding is that the ABMP’s national organization is also acting to assure balanced representation.”

The three new massage-therapist members and the additional chiropractor members will begin their terms on July 1, 2009, after the Governor appoints them.

—Karen Menehan