Like many of you, I like to keep track of current legislation in the massage field. It seems every month one state decides to do something quasi-detrimental to our profession.
I have been a happily licensed massage therapist here in Iowa for 11 years this month. I remember vividly going to the mailbox at my old apartment and getting my license out of the mailbox. It was a really good feeling. Iowa set a precedent when it began licensing massage professionals in the early nineties. Since then many, many states have followed suit and enacted laws to license massage professionals. So, it hit close to home yesterday when I was notified that a new House File (2126) was introduced in Iowa.
Iowa House File 2126 reads:
H.F. 2126 Section. Section 152C.3, subsection 1, paragraph a, Code Supplement 2011, is amended to read as follows:
a. Completion of a curriculum of massage education at a school approved by the board which requires for admission a diploma from an accredited high school or the equivalent
and requires completion of at least six hundred hours of supervised academic instruction . However, educational requirements under this paragraph are subject to reduction by the board if, after public notice and hearing, the board determines that the welfare of the public may be adequately protected with fewer hours of education.
In order to be licensed under current law, a massage therapist must complete a massage education curriculum at a school approved by the board of massage therapy requiring at least 600 hours of supervised academic instruction. This bill eliminates the 600-hour requirement.
This bill would eliminate the 600 hour requirement for massage therapists in Iowa.
From what I hear (massage therapist gossip), this bill is “not what it seems”. It was introduced by a school director that wants the “clock hours” turned into “credit hours” to meet some federal regulations, which is not the worst idea ever. However, this file was poorly written and as is, has serious consequences for our profession and public safety here in Iowa. I highly doubt it has a good chance of passing as is, but that does not mean it has zero chance of passing.
So, I am asking you to speak up and help your colleagues here in Iowa.
Please leave a comment below about why eliminating the 600 hour requirement for massage therapists would be a step backwards for the professional of massage therapy. More importantly, explain why acting on this House File would be a disservice to the citizens in Iowa that I, and my colleagues here in Iowa, are proud to serve. I will do my best to pass on this blog and comments.
Also, here is a list of the Iowa House Representatives and their contact information. Feel free to write your representative and educate them about the potential dangers of House File 2126.
Ivy Hultquist, LMT
Iowa Massage License #02648
Update 2/25/2012 – House file 2126 is now Iowa House File 2342 . It is as disappointing as HF 2126.
Update 2/26/2012 – Laura Allen LMT weighs in on the changes on her blog “A Disgrace in Iowa”