Reminder

  • Training in the energetic healing arts does not intend to include instruction, nor develop the skills necessary, for a healing facilitator to work with the general public.
  • If it is the practitioner’s intent to work with the general public in a role of healing facilitator, it is highly suggested one pursue a course of study to gain any certifications necessary to do so.
  • The completion of energetic healing arts training does not provide license or certification for hands-on bodywork.
  • Consider statutes and rules can be in flux, it is the responsibility of each individual to understand and comply with any current associated state or local law.
  • A petition for a declaratory statement of practice exemption can be made to any overseeing regulatory body.
  • Short code to share page: http://goo.gl/tPykAS

Disclaimer. No Legal Advice Intended. The contents of this website are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions.

Last update/review July 2018

State

Mandate

Statute

Contact

Alabama

• Massage Therapy Practice Act Alabama Board of Massage Therapy

334-420-7233

Alaska

Current legislative watch

Technique Exemption
[1]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act
Board of Massage Therapists

907-465-3811

Arizona

Energy Field Exemption
[2]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Arizona State Board of Massage Therapy

602-542-8604

Arkansas

• Massage Therapy Practice Act

• Rules and Regulations

Arkansas State Board of Massage Therapy 

501-683-1448

California

Requires Unlicensed Disclosure • Health: Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Practitioners California Massage Therapy Council

916-669-5336

Colorado

Requires Unlicensed Disclosure • Massage Therapy Practice Act

C.R.S. 6-1-724 Colorado Natural Health Consumer Protection Act

Connecticut

Current legislative watch

• Massage Therapy Practice Act Massage Therapist Licensure

860-509-7603

Delaware

• Massage Therapy Practice Act Division of Professional Regulation

302-744-4500

Florida

Requires
License
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Florida Board of Massage Therapy

850-245-4161

Georgia

Current legislative watch

Touch Exemption
[3]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Georgia Board of Massage Therapy

844-753-7825

Hawaii

• Massage Therapy Practice Act Professional and Vocational Licensing

808-586-3000

Idaho

Touch Exemption
[4]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Idaho Board of Massage Therapy

208-334-3233

Illinois

Practice Exemption
[5]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Massage Licensing Board

800-560-6420

Indiana

Technique Exemption
[6]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act State Board of Massage Therapy

317-234-8800

Iowa

Touch Exemption
[7]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Board of Massage Therapy

515-281-0254

Kansas

Current legislative watch

No Statewide Acts
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Introduced

Kentucky

Touch Exemption
[8]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Board of Licensure for Massage Therapy

502-782-8808

Louisiana

• Massage Therapy Practice Act Board of Massage Therapy

Maine

Practice Exemption
[9]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Massage Therapy Licensure

207-624-8624

Maryland

• Massage Therapy Practice Act State Board of Massage Therapy Examiners

410-764-2400

Massachusetts

Current legislative watch

Practice Exemption
[10]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Board of Registration for Massage Therapy

617-727-1747

Michigan

Practice Exemption
[11]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Board of Massage Therapy

517-373-1820

Minnesota

Requires Unlicensed Disclosure

• Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practices
(Chapter 146A)

Office of Unlicensed Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practice

651-201-3721

Mississippi

Practice Exemption – excludes soft tissue contact
[12]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act

• FAQ – Rules

• FAQ – Expanded

Board of Massage Therapy

601-732-6038

Missouri

• Massage Therapy Practice Act Board of Therapeutic Massage

573-522-6277

Montana

Individual must seek and qualify for practice exemption • Massage Therapy Practice Act

• Practice Exemption Worksheet

Board of Massage Therapy

406-841-2370

Nebraska

• Massage Therapy Practice Act Board of Massage Therapy

402-471-2117

Nevada

Requires Unlicensed Dislosure • Massage Therapy Practice Act

• Wellness Services 
NRS 629.580

Board of Massage Therapists

775-687-9955

New Hampshire

Practice Exemption
[13]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Advisory Board of Massage Therapy

603-271-3608

New Jersey

Current legislative watch

Requires License • Massage and Bodywork Practice Act

• Regulations

Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy

973-504-6520

New Mexico

Requires Unlicensed Disclosure • Massage Therapy Practice Act

• Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act

Massage Therapy Board

505-476-4622

New York

Practice Exemption
[14]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act

• FAQ

Office of Professions – Massage Therapy

518-474-3817

North Carolina

Technique Exemption
[15]
• Massage Therapy and Bodywork Practice Act

• Practices requiring licensure

Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy

919-546-0050

North Dakota

Practice Exemption
[16]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act

• Century Code

Board of Massage

701-667-9378

Ohio

• Massage Therapy Practice  Medical Board – Massage Licensing Division

614-466-3934

Oklahoma

• Massage Therapy Practice Act Board of Cosmetology and Barbering Advisory Board on Massage Therapy

405-521-2441

Oregon

Requires Credentialing
[17]
• Massage Therapy Practive Act

• Administrative Rules

Board of Massage Therapists

503-365-8657

Pennsylvania

Practice Exemption
[18]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act Board of Massage Therapy

717-783-7155

Rhode Island

Unlicensed Practice Protected • Massage Therapy Practice Act

• Unlicensed Health Care Practices

Department of Health – Massage Therapy

South Carolina

Touch Exemption
[19]
• Massage and Bodywork Practice Act Massage and Bodywork Panel

803-896-4588

South Dakota

• Massage Therapy Practice Act

• Rules

Board of Massage Therapy

605-224-1721

Tennessee

Technique Exemption –  excludes soft tissue contact
[20]
• Massage Therapy Practice Act

• Reiki and Energywork Policy Statement

Board of Massage Licensure

615-253-2111

Texas

Requires License • Massage Therapy Practice Act

• Administrative Rules

Massage Therapy Licensing Program

512-463-6599

Utah

• Massage Therapy Practice Act DOPL Massage Therapy

801-530-6628

Vermont

No Statewide Acts

Virginia

• Massage Therapy Practice Act Board of Nursing

(804) 367-4515

Washington

• Massage Therapy Practice Act Board of Massage Therapy

800-525-0127

West Virginia

• Massage Therapy Practice Act Massage Therapy Licensure Board

304-558-1060

Wisconsin

Current legislative watch

Requires Credentialing
[21]
• Massage and Body Therapy Practice Act Massage Therapy and Bodywork Therapy Affiliated Credentialing Board

608-266-2112

Wyoming

No Statewide Acts

[1] Alaska Sec. 08.61.080. Exceptions to application of chapter.

  • Sec. 08.61.080.(6) person only performing techniques that do not involve contact with the body of another person;
  • Sec. 08.61.080.(7) person only performing techniques that involve resting the hands on the surface of the body of another person without delivering pressure to or manipulating the person’s soft tissues;

[2] Arizona 32-4221. Licensure; persons and activities not required to be licensed

  • 32-4221.B. This chapter does not apply to:
  • 32-4221.B.6. When the customer is fully clothed, the practice of techniques that are specifically intended to affect the human energy field.

[3] Georgia § 43-24A-19. Exceptions

  • 43-24A-19. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect, restrict, or prevent the practice, services, or activities of:
  • 43-24A-19.(8) A person who uses touch to affect the energy systems, polarity, acupoints, or Qi meridians, also known as channels of energy, of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics, provided that his or her services are not designated or implied to be massage or massage therapy;

[4] Idaho 54-4003.  EXEMPTIONS.

  • 54-4003.(2)  Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit, prevent or restrict:
  • 54-4003.(2)(g)   The practice of any person in this state who uses touch to affect the energy systems, acupoints or qi meridians, or channels of energy of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession, provided that their services are not designated or implied to be massage or massage therapy. Such practices include, but are not limited to, polarity, polarity therapy, polarity bodywork therapy, Asian bodywork therapy, acupressure, jin shin do®, qi gong, reiki and shiatsu.

[5] Illinois (225 ILCS 57/25) Sec. 25 Exemptions

  • (225 ILCS 57/25) (e) Nothing in this Act prohibits practitioners that do not involve intentional soft tissue manipulation, including but not limited to Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Reike, and Therapeutic Touch, from practicing.

[6] Indiana IC 25-21.8-4-5 Scope of practice

  • IC 25-21.8-4 Sec. 5. This article does not prohibit the following:
  • IC 25-21.8-4 Sec. 5.(4) An individual’s practice in one (1) or more of the following areas that does not involve intentional soft tissue manipulation:
    (A) Alexander Technique. (B) Feldenkrais. (C) Reiki. (D) Therapeutic Touch.

[7] Iowa 152C.9 Exemptions.

  • 152C.9 This chapter shall not apply to the following persons:
  • 152C.9. 7. Persons engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics in which touch is limited to that which is essential for palpitation and affectation of the human energy system, provided that the practices performed or services rendered are not designated or implied to be massage therapy.

[8] Kentucky 309.352 Scope of KRS 309.350 to 309.364.

  • KRS 309.350 to 309.364 shall not preclude:
  • 309.352(6) Persons engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics in which touch is limited to what is essential for palpation and affecting of the human energy system, provided that their services are not designated or implied to be massage or massage therapy. These practices include but are not limited to polarity therapy;

[9] Maine 32.127 §14307. EXEMPTIONS TO REGISTRATION OR CERTIFICATION

  • 32.127 §14307.2. Other exemptions. This chapter does not apply to the activities and services of individuals who practice other forms of tissue work exclusive of massage therapy, such as rolfing, Trager, reflexology, Shiatsu, Reiki and polarity, if those practitioners do not use the title “massage therapist” or “massage practitioner,” unless they choose to meet the requirements of this chapter.

[10] Massachusetts Part I, Title XVI, Chapter 112, Section 228

  • Part I, Title XVI, Chapter 112, Section 228(b) Nothing in this section shall prevent or restrict the practice of a person who uses touch, words or directed movement to deepen awareness of patterns of movement in the body, or the affectation of the human energy system or acupoints or Qi meridians of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics, but such services shall not be designated or implied to be massage or massage therapy. Such practices shall include, but not be limited to, the Feldenkrais Method; Reflexology; The Trager Approach; Ayurvedic Therapies, Rolf Structural Integration, Polarity or Polarity Therapy; Polarity Therapy Bodywork; Asian Bodywork Therapy that does not constitute massage as defined in this chapter; Acupressure; Jin Shin Do; Qi Gong; Tui Na; Shiatsu; Body-Mind Centering and Reiki. These exempt practitioners may use the terms “bodywork”, “bodyworker” and “bodywork therapist” in their promotional literature.

[11] MI 333.17957 Massage therapy; license required; exceptions.

  • 333.17957.(b) The affectation of the human energy system or acupoints or qi meridians of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics and as long as those services are not designated or implied to be massage or massage therapy. These practices include, but are not limited to, all of the following: (i) Polarity or polarity therapy. (ii) Asian bodywork therapy. (iii) Reiki. (iv) Shiatsu.

[12] Mississippi Can I practice Reiki in Mississippi without a Massage Therapy license?

  • YES. ONLY if you practice the modality of Reiki independent of any other modality as no touch or manipulation of the client’s soft tissue is involved.
  • NO. If you are practicing Reiki with any other form / modality of massage or bodywork, then a Mississippi massage therapy license is required because the other modalities which involve touch or manipulation of the client’s soft tissue is being performed. 10.3.2013

[13] New Hampshire Title XXX 328-B:10 Exemptions; Application of Chapter.

  • 328-B:10 III. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent or restrict the practice of any person in this state who uses energy or superficial touch to affect the energy systems of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics, provided that their services are not designated as or implied to be massage or massage therapy. Such practices include, but are not limited to, polarity therapy, therapeutic touch, Bowen therapy, and reiki.

[14] New York Massage Therapy Questions and Answers

  • Page 38 Do persons who practice Reiki, the Alexander Technique, or the Feldenkrais Method require a license as a massage therapist?No. But if persons practicing these techniques claim that they are diagnosing or treating any human pain, disease, disorder or physical condition, they must be licensed in a profession that is authorized to diagnose or to provide treatment.

[15] North Carolina Title 21 Chapter 30 Rules and Regulations

  • .0203 EXEMPTIONS FROM LICENSURE
  • .0203(a) Persons who are utilizing certain therapeutic techniques may claim exemption from licensure pursuant to G.S. 90-624 (6) or (7) only by meeting one of the following criteria:
  • .0203(a)(1) Such persons are practicing techniques that are defined by national organizations that meet the criteria for exemption set forth in either G.S. 90-624 (6) or (7); or
  • .0203(a)(2) Such persons are practicing techniques that do not involve any contact with the body of the client; or
  • .0203(a)(3) Such persons are practicing techniques that involve resting the hands on the surface of the client’s body without delivering pressure to or manipulation of the soft tissues.
  • .0203(c) Pursuant to G.S. 90-623, such exempted practitioners may not hold themselves out to be a massage and bodywork therapist; they may not utilize or promote themselves or their services using such terms as “massage, massage therapy, bodywork, bodywork therapy,” or any other derivative term that implies a soft tissue technique or method.

[16] North Dakota 43-25-04. Exemptions.

  • 43-25-04. Exemptions.
    The following persons are exempt from this chapter:
  • 43-25-04.6. Any individual practicing healing by manipulating the energy field or the flow of energy of the human body by means other than the manipulation of the soft tissues of the human body, provided that the individual’s services are not designated or implied to be massage or massage therapy. For purposes of this subsection, a light touch or tap is not a manipulation of the soft tissues of the human body.

[17] Oregon Board of Massage Therapists Administrative Rules 334-010-0027.

  • 334-010-0027
    Exempt Practices
  • (1) Practitioners exempt from the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists licensing authority are defined as practitioners who:
  • (1)(a) Do not claim expressly or implicitly to be massage therapists and who limit their work to the practice of:
    • (1)(a)(A) Using touch, words and directed movement to deepen awareness of existing patterns of movement and suggest new possibilities of movement, as defined per 687.031(1)(j)(i). Examples include the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education as defined on May 16, 2011, by the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America and The Trager® Approach as defined on May 16, 2011, by the United States Trager® Association; and Registered Practitioners of Ortho-Bionomy® as defined on December 28, 2012 by the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International; or
    • (1)(a)(B) Using minimal touch over specific points on the body to facilitate balance in the nervous system, as defined per 687.031(1)(j)(ii). An example includes Bowenwork® and/ or the Bowen Technique as defined on May 16, 2011 by the Bowenwork Academy USA; or
    • (1)(a)(C) Using touch to affect the energy systems or channels of energy of the body, as defined per 687.031(1)(j)(iii). An example includes Polarity Therapy as defined on May 16, 2011 by the American Polarity Therapy Association; and
  • (1)(b) Hold an active certification from a National or International professional organization or credentialing agency that:
    • (1)(b)(A) Requires a minimum level of training specific to their discipline, demonstration of competence and adherence to an approved scope of practice and ethical standards;
    • (1)(b)(B) Maintains disciplinary procedures to ensure adherence to the requirements of the organization or agency; and
  • (1)(c) Provide contact information in the practitioner’s place of business for any organization or agency that has certified the practitioner.
  • (2) It is the exempt practitioner’s responsibility to insure they meet the criteria for being exempt and only practice within their exempt scope of practice. Practitioners may be subject to discipline by the Board if they:
    • (2)(a) Refer to themselves or imply they are a massage therapist;
    • (2)(b) Practice outside of the exempt scope of practice;
    • (2)(c) Practice without an active certification from a National or International professional organization or credentialing agency; or
    • (2)(d) Fail to provide contact information in the practitioner’s place of business for any organization or agency that has certified the practitioner.
    • (3) The State Board of Massage Therapists has the authority to verify a practitioners claimed exemption from licensure of ORS 687 under subsection (1)(j) of section 687.031. Verification may include, but is not limited to, consultation with the
    practitioners certifying organization or agency.
    • (4) Disciplines and/or Organizations seeking to be named in the exemption shall contact the Board of Massage Therapists to request a review.
    Stat. Auth.: ORS 687, SB 454
    Stats. Implemented: ORS 687.031

[18] Pennsylvania Massage Therapy Practice Act

  • Section 13. Other professions.
  • Nothing in this act shall be construed as preventing, restricting or requiring licensure of any of the following activities:
  • Section 13.(6) The practice of an individual who uses touch to affect the energy systems, acupoints, Qi meridians or channels of energy of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics. Such practices include acupressure, Asian bodywork therapy, polarity therapy bodywork, quigon, reiki, shiatsu and tui na.

[19] South Carolina INTERPRETATIONS OF THE MASSAGE PRACTICE ACT

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • D. Exemptions from Licensure
    The Department considers exempt those persons engaging in a profession with established standards and ethics in which touch is limited to that which is essential for affecting the human energy system, provided that their services are not within the scope of practice of massage/bodywork therapy as defined. Further, their services cannot be designated or implied to be massage or massage/bodywork therapy as defined.

[20] Tennessee POLICY – TENNESSEE MASSAGE LICENSURE BOARD – REIKI AND ENERGY WORK.

  • The Board has been asked whether Reiki or other “energy work” (including but not limited to “healing touch therapy,” “quantum touch therapy,” etc.) constitutes the practice of massage in Tennessee. It is the Board’s opinion that any technique that does not include any touching of the body does not meet the definition of massage in Tennessee.
  • However, the Board is aware that Reiki and other “energy work” often involves the practitioner touching the client’s body and manipulating the client’s soft tissues through various techniques. It is the Board’s opinion that any technique that does include such soft tissue manipulation constitutes the practice of massage in Tennessee, and the
    practitioner should therefore be licensed by the Board unless otherwise exempt pursuant to T.C.A. § 63-18-110.
    Adopted by the Tennessee Massage Licensure Board on February 6, 2017

[21] Wisconsin Chapter 460 Massage Therapy and Bodywork Therapy

  • Section 19. 460.03 (2m) of the statutes is created to read:
  • 460.03 (2m) (a) A person who does any of the following and who satisfies the requirements of par. (b):
    1. Uses touch, words, and directed movement to deepen a client’s awareness of his or her existing patterns of movement and to suggest to the client new patterns of movement.
    2. Uses touch to affect the energy systems of the human body.
    3. Uses touch and education to effect change in the structure of the body while engaged in the practice of structural integration.
  • (b) The person is recognized by or meets the established standards of either a professional organization or credentialing association that recognizes a person in a practice after that person demonstrates an adequate level of training and competency and adherence to ethical standards.
  • (c) A person who is exempt from licensure under this subsection may use the terms “bodywork,” “bodyworker,” and “bodywork therapy” to identify his or her practice.