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”
I saw this last night. It includes a few other licensed professions too.
Here is where you can look up and contact your representative to voice your concern about HSB138
This bill would deregulate Massage Therapy! 🙁
I’m completely shocked! I wasn’t a fan of licensure when it was enacted in my state, but its horrifying what could happen if all a state requires is a high school diploma.
The good news is that it has been nearly a year since it was brought up. I think there was enough of a reaction to let our representatives know that this was not a good idea.
Thanks for spreading the message about this issue, Ivy. And thanks to @Benni and @nuru massage for replying. This conversation is critical…and it demonstrates that while the profession may be led in curious ways, it is certainly built on people who care enough to deliberate and discuss. Too bad the author(s) of the bill did not do the same.
I have heard that AMTA National has written a statement in opposition of the bill, and while I have not seen it, I’m thrilled to see the organization take such a quick and specific action. Kudo’s to AMTA National and the AMTA-Iowa Chapter….and ESPECIALLY to you, Ivy. You’ve likely had a significant impact…great job!
Ivy it is your profession,best of luck you and Iowa.
I am attaching a bill that is in the Tennessee house right now. I think the massage profession is under attack from politicians. No one can understand why this bill is being considered but I’m sure it has something to do with money, taxes, or the government just wanting stick their finger in our pockets.
I love your website and follow your blog. Good luck on your trip and God Bless You and keep you safe.
Bill Would Change Administrative Oversight of Tennessee State Massage Board
House bill 2387, sponsored by Representative McCormick, would change the administrative department overseeing the massage regulatory program. On page 5 of the bill, Sections 11 and 12 would relocate Title 63-18, which is the Massage Licensure Act of 1995, from the Department of Health Related Boards (DHRB) to the Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI).
The Department of Health Related Boards currently oversees all health professions while the Department of Commerce and Insurance oversees other professional licensing programs such as: electricians, plumbers, and real estate agents.
Massage therapy is a health profession. The current administrative oversight of DHRB has worked since the state first began licensing massage therapists; there is no reason to change what is working. The massage licensure board is self-funded from licensure fees so the proposed move would not save tax dollars, streamline state government, or reduce duplication of efforts. In fact, a change in administrative oversight would require an application and process shift to conform to a new department. There has been no reason given as to why the sponsors of this bill feel an oversight change is even needed.
ABMP is opposed to this section of HB 2387 and encourages members to contact the sponsor of the bill and their own state representatives and tell them you are opposed to Sections 11 and 12 of HB 2387. Contact them by email or phone or both.
The sponsor of HB 2387 is Representative Gerald McCormick, he can be reached at 615-741-2548 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The same bill on the Senate side of the General Assembly is SB 2249, sponsored by Senator Norris and Senator Bell.
Senator Mark Norris, email@example.com or 615-741-1967
Senator Mike Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-741-1946
Find your state legislator by going to http://www.capitol.tn.gov/legislators/