Letter Regarding Upcoming Massage Legislation in Minnesota

Dear (Head of Movement to get Massage Licensed in Minnesota),

I am writing to you about the legislation effort ALMT is championing to bring about MN state licensure for massage therapists. I attended a meeting awhile back that you led, sharing the process and requesting help from massage therapists to see it through.

I am concerned about a few things and request your response to these concerns before I can honestly and whole-heartedly support your organization’s efforts. These have come from discussions with other MT’s and from thinking back to the earliest attempts that I can recall to make such legislation happen.

First, it appears that this legislation has been prewritten without much of our input. I wonder if the AMTA didn’t write it quite awhile ago and then tweak it as they go from state to state?  I don’t recall being asked for input and I have asked many therapists that I know if they were. Their responses have all been a resounding “no”. The meeting I attended just asked for my support to get it passed and to encourage other therapists to do the same. It appears that it has been brought in by people outside of the state with an agenda to get legislation in place, not to tailor anything to our needs. What does the legislation really say? Can I get a copy of it?
How many massage therapists have you actually contacted in Minnesota? I venture to say it is a minority of them because Minnesota has one of the largest therapist to client ratios in the country. It’s hard to access them all, I am sure. Word of mouth is probably your main means of contact, correct?

I am very concerned about how this legislation would restrict me. It appears to be telling me how to do my work, rather than assuring prospective clients if I am ethical, honest and legal. How does limiting what I do make my chosen work field a progressive one? One small “for instance”, stretching. Does the legislation intend to limit my capacity to use stretching in my work? A muscle flexes, contracts, relaxes, and can also atrophy. If a client’s muscles only seem to know contraction mainly, am I going to be restricted from encouraging these muscles to know what stretching is and feels like (ie. assisted stretch)? Can I not encourage the client to stretch more and show him or her different stretches to help their body? Once this legislation is implemented, it would take forever to undo, so I want to know what it looks like before I agree to it hook, line and sinker. Don’t assume everyone is on board. Some people I’ve spoken to are actually feeling too paranoid to respond to your calls to action because they may be limiting their scope of practice. I remember way back that many objected to legislation like this because it was either the chiropractic or medical or physical therapy field that was going to oversee our practices and work and there was great fear of limiting our capacity and scope to do our work. Has this legislation addressed these concerns?

Please don’t read this as an attack on your hard work. I am not “yelling” at you in this email. I am voicing strong concerns and worries. It would be nice not to have to be subjected to the whims and fancies of each city for licensing, but at what price? Did you know that some cities still plan to enforce their own licensing policies anyway, despite this legislation passing? Heck, this is a source of revenue for them and many of them don’t know what the legislation entails, either. They still have their concerns about who will be practicing in their city…is this therapist ethical, honest and legal? Will this legislation calm their fears? Prostitution hiding behind massage therapy is still a huge concern. How will your legislation assure them that this will be stopped?

I thank you for responding to my email. I would appreciate a copy of the legislation or knowing where and how to go about getting a copy.


MM from St Paul, MN   April 2009


MN Massage Therapy Legislation

We finally have some info about what the proposed legislation in MN looks like here:   MN House: House File 1533 – Chief Author- Rep Jim Abeler http://wdoc.house.leg.state.mn.us/leg/LS86/HF1503.0.pdf

This is a link to the legislation as it is currently being proposed. The Senate Bill looks similar to this one. If you want to know more about it contact your legislator or check back here or post a blog with your thoughts on it!