CHAPTER 384a
MASSAGE THERAPISTS

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-206a. Definitions.
Sec. 20-206b. Practice restricted to licensed persons. Qualifications. Application and renewal. Fees. Exceptions. Medical referral required. Title protection.
Sec. 20-206d. Exempt activities.
Sec. 20-206g. Advertising by massage therapists. Requirements and prohibitions.
Sec. 20-206h. Enforcement within available appropriations.

      Sec. 20-206a. Definitions. As used in subsection (c) of section 19a-14, and sections 20-206a to 20-206g, inclusive:

      (a) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Public Health.

      (b) "Department" means the Department of Public Health.

      (c) "Massage therapist" means a person who has been licensed to practice massage therapy under the provisions of sections 20-206a to 20-206f, inclusive.

      (d) "Massage therapy" means the systematic and scientific manipulation and treatment of the soft tissues of the body, by use of pressure, friction, stroking, percussion, kneading, vibration by manual or mechanical means, range of motion and nonspecific stretching. Massage therapy may include the use of oil, ice, hot and cold packs, tub, shower, steam, dry heat, or cabinet baths, for the purpose of, but not limited to, maintaining good health and establishing and maintaining good physical and mental condition. Massage therapy does not encompass diagnosis, the prescribing of drugs or medicines, spinal or other joint manipulations, nor any service or procedure for which a license to practice medicine, chiropractic, natureopathy, physical therapy, or podiatry is required by law.

      (e) "Massage" shall have the same meaning as "massage therapy", as defined in subsection (d) of this section.

      (P.A. 88-362, S. 6; P.A. 92-202, S. 1, 5; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 07-35, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 92-202 amended Subsec. (c) to substitute "licensed" for "certified", effective June 1, 1993; P.A. 93-381 replaced department and commissioner of health services with department and commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 07-35 made definitions applicable to Secs. 20-206a to 20-206g, changed "Connecticut licensed massage therapist" to "massage therapist" and replaced "20-206c" with "20-206f" in Subsec. (c) and added Subsec. (e) defining "massage", effective January 1, 2008.

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      Sec. 20-206b. Practice restricted to licensed persons. Qualifications. Application and renewal. Fees. Exceptions. Medical referral required. Title protection. (a) No person shall engage in the practice of massage therapy unless the person has obtained a license from the department pursuant to this section. Each person seeking licensure as a massage therapist shall make application on forms prescribed by the department, pay an application fee of three hundred dollars and present to the department satisfactory evidence that the applicant: (1) Has graduated from a school of massage therapy offering a course of study of not less than five hundred classroom hours, with the instructor present, and, at the time of the applicant's graduation, was either (A) accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or by a state board of postsecondary technical trade and business schools, or (B) accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, and (2) has passed the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Passing scores on the examination shall be prescribed by the department.

      (b) Licenses shall be renewed once every two years in accordance with the provisions of section 19a-88. The fee for renewal shall be two hundred dollars. No license shall be issued under this section to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint in this or any other state or jurisdiction. Any certificate granted by the department prior to June 1, 1993, shall be deemed a valid license permitting continuance of profession subject to the provisions of this chapter.

      (c) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the department may issue a license to an applicant whose school of massage therapy does not satisfy the requirement of subparagraph (A) or (B) of subdivision (1) of said subsection (a), provided the school held, at the time of the applicant's graduation, a certificate issued by the Commissioner of Education pursuant to section 10-7b and provided the applicant graduated within thirty-three months of the date such school first offered the curriculum completed by the applicant. No license shall be issued under this subsection to a graduate of a school that fails to apply for and obtain accreditation by (A) an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, or (B) the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation within thirty-three months of the date such school first offered the curriculum.

      (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section and subdivision (1) of this subsection, the department may issue a license to an applicant who submits evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that the applicant (A) was enrolled, on or before July 1, 2005, in a school of massage therapy that was approved or accredited by a state board of postsecondary technical trade and business schools or a state agency recognized as such state's board of postsecondary technical trade and business schools, (B) graduated from a school of massage therapy with a course of study of not less than five hundred classroom hours, with the instructor present, that at the time of the applicant's graduation was approved or accredited by a state board of postsecondary technical trade and business schools or a state agency recognized as such state's board of postsecondary technical trade and business schools, and (C) has passed the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Passing scores on the examination shall be prescribed by the department.

      (d) Each person licensed pursuant to this section has an affirmative duty to make a written referral to a licensed healing arts practitioner, as defined in section 20-1, of any client who has any physical or medical condition that would constitute a contraindication for massage therapy or that may require evaluation or treatment beyond the scope of massage therapy.

      (e) No person shall use the title "massage therapist", "licensed massage therapist", "massage practitioner", "massagist", "masseur" or "masseuse", unless the person holds a license issued in accordance with this section or other applicable law.

      (f) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner may issue a license to an out-of-state applicant who submits evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of either: (1) (A) A current license to practice therapeutic massage from another state or jurisdiction, (B) documentation of practice for at least one year immediately preceding application, and (C) successful completion of the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork; or (2) (A) graduation from a school of massage therapy offering a course of study of not less than five hundred classroom hours, with the instructor present, and, at the time of the applicant's graduation, was either (i) accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or by a state board of postsecondary technical trade and business schools, or (ii) accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, and (B) successful completion of the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

      (P.A. 88-362, S. 7; P.A. 92-202, S. 2, 5; P.A. 93-296, S. 2, 10; P.A. 94-210, S. 24, 30; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1, S. 121, 130; P.A. 95-328, S. 1, 4; P.A. 97-213, S. 11, 13; P.A. 98-166, S. 8, 9; P.A. 99-126, S. 1; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4, S. 49, 58; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3, S. 21; P.A. 04-221, S. 35; P.A. 07-35, S. 2; 07-217, S. 85.)

      History: P.A. 92-202 amended Subsec. (a) to add provisions that no person may practice after October 1, 1993, without a license, to raise the fee to $300, to add a renewal fee of $100 and to make provisions for those currently practicing under certificates and amended Subsecs. (b) and (c) to replace "certified" with "licensed", effective June 1, 1993; P.A. 93-296 amended Subsec. (a) to extend date from October 1, 1993, to February 1, 1994, and to add Commission on Massage Training Accreditation/Approval, inserted new Subsec. (b) re exceptions to Subsec. (a) requirements and relettered former Subsecs. (b) and (c) accordingly, effective June 29, 1993; P.A. 94-210 amended Subsec. (a) to change February 1, 1994, to June 30, 1994, effective June 9, 1994; May 25 Sp. Sess. 94-1 amended Subsec. (a) to add February 1, 1994 as end date for meeting Subdiv. (1) or (2) requirements, effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 95-328 expanded acceptable accrediting agencies in Subsec. (a) to include those recognized by a state and added as an alternative examination one approved by the American Massage Therapy Association prior to July 1, 1995, effective July 13, 1995; P.A. 97-213 amended Subsec. (a)(1) to substitute "graduated from a school of massage therapy offering" for "successfully completed", required that, for purposes of Subparas. (A) and (B), school be accredited at the time of the applicant's graduation, rewrote provisions and made technical changes, amended Subsec. (a)(2) to delete exception for certain applicants prior to June 30, 1994, and added new Subsec. (e) to allow commissioner to issue license to certain applicants who apply not later than October 1, 1997, effective June 26, 1997; P.A. 98-166 amended Subsec. (e) by deleting reference to licensure based on a foreign degree prior to October 1, 1997, added new Subdiv. (1) re Connecticut license based on foreign license, certification or training, renumbered former Subdiv. (1) as Subdiv. (2) allowing Connecticut licensure based on foreign license, certification or training provided application is prior to October 1, 1998, effective June 4, 1998; P.A. 99-126 amended Subsec. (a)(1)(A) by replacing "and approved by the American Massage Therapy Association" with "or by a state board of postsecondary technical trade and business schools" amended Subsec. (a)(1)(B) by replacing "Training Accreditation/Approval" with "Therapy Accreditation", amended Subsec. (a)(2) by replacing "an examination prescribed by the department or has passed a national certification examination approved by the American Massage Therapy Association prior to July 1, 1995" with "the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork", divided Subsec. (a) into Subsecs. (a) and (b) and relettered the remaining Subsecs., amended Subsec. (b) by changing "state or territory" to "state or jurisdiction", amended Subsec. (c) by dividing qualifications into Subdivs. (1) and (2), deleting "and either accreditation or approval by" in Subdiv. (1) and replacing "Training Accreditation/Approval" with "Therapy Accreditation" in Subdiv. (2), amended Subsec. (f)(1) by replacing "a license, certification or training with focus on" with "a current license to practice", deleted former Subsec. (f)(2) that allowed licensure based on foreign license, certification or training, deleted former Subsec. (f)(3) that allowed licensure based on licensure as a nurse with certification as a neuromuscular therapist or by the National Certification Board for Massage and Body Work, added new Subsec. (f)(2) re documentation of practice for at least one year immediately preceding application, added new Subsec. (f)(3) re successful completion of the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and made technical changes; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4 amended Subsec. (f) by changing "applicant" to "out-of-state applicant", designating existing Subdivs. (1) to (3) as Subdivs. (1)(A) to (1)(C) and adding new Subdiv. (2) re alternative licensing requirements, effective July 1, 2001; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3 amended Subsec. (b) by changing license renewal from annually to biennially and increasing renewal fee from $100 to $200, effective January 1, 2004; P.A. 04-221 amended Subsec. (c) by designating existing provisions as Subdiv. (1), making a technical change therein, and adding Subdiv. (2) re alternative qualifications for licensure, effective June 8, 2004; P.A. 07-35 deleted Connecticut licensed massage therapist and added massage therapist, licensed massage therapist, massage practitioner, massagist, masseur or masseuse in Subsec. (e), effective January 1, 2008; P.A. 07-217 made technical changes in Subsec. (c)(1), effective July 12, 2007.

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      Sec. 20-206d. Exempt activities. (a) No provision of this chapter shall be construed to prohibit a student of massage therapy enrolled in a school of massage therapy which satisfies the requirements of section 20-206b from performing work as a required component of his or her course of study at such school, provided the student shall not hold himself or herself out as licensed as a massage therapist and shall not receive compensation for such work.

      (b) No provision of this chapter shall be construed to prohibit an instructor of massage therapy from demonstrating massage therapy techniques as a component of a course of instruction in a course, seminar or workshop, provided (1) the instruction is under the direct supervision of a licensed massage therapist; (2) the instructor is not a resident of this state; (3) the instructor does not represent himself or herself as a massage therapist; (4) the instructor is licensed or certified as a massage therapist in his or her home state, territory or country, if such licensure or certification is required; (5) the instructor does not receive compensation for massage therapy services, other than compensation as an instructor; and (6) the demonstrated massage therapy services are available only to persons enrolled in the course, seminar or workshop.

      (c) No provision of this chapter shall be construed to prohibit an out-of-state massage therapist who (1) is licensed or certified in another state whose standards for licensure or certification are equivalent to or greater than those required in this state, or (2) if licensure or certification is not required in such other state, is a member in good standing of the American Massage Therapy Association, from providing uncompensated massage therapy services during the Special Olympics or similar athletic competitions for persons with disabilities, provided such out-of-state massage therapist (A) does not represent himself or herself to be a massage therapist; (B) provides massage therapy under the supervision of a massage therapist; and (C) only provides massage therapy to persons participating in the Special Olympics or similar athletic competitions for persons with disabilities.

      (P.A. 93-296, S. 3, 10; P.A. 95-328, S. 2, 4; P.A. 05-272, S. 21; P.A. 07-35, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 93-296 effective June 29, 1993; P.A. 95-328 added Subsec. (b) re exemption for out-of-state instructors; P.A. 05-272 added Subsec. (c) to create exemption allowing out-of-state massage therapists to provide uncompensated massage therapy services during Special Olympics or similar athletic competitions for persons with disabilities under certain circumstances, effective July 13, 2005; P.A. 07-35 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (b) and deleted "Connecticut licensed" in Subsecs. (b) and (c), effective January 1, 2008.

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      Sec. 20-206g. Advertising by massage therapists. Requirements and prohibitions. (a) As used in this section, "advertise" includes, but is not limited to, the issuance of any card, sign or device to any person; causing, permitting or allowing any sign or marking on or in any building, vehicle or structure; advertising in any newspaper or magazine, or the placement of any listing or advertisement in any directory under a classification or heading that includes the words "massage", "massage therapist", "massage therapy" or "massage therapy establishment".

      (b) No person, firm, partnership or corporation shall advertise any of the services included in the definition of massage therapy in any manner using the term or title "massage", unless such services are performed by a massage therapist.

      (c) Each person who holds a license as a massage therapist shall include his or her license number in any advertisement for such person's massage therapy services that appears in a newspaper, telephone directory or other advertising medium.

      (d) It shall be a violation of this section for any person who does not hold a current license as a massage therapist to advertise massage therapy services by using the term "massage", "massage therapist", "licensed massage therapist", "massage practitioner", "massagist", "masseur" or "masseuse".

      (P.A. 07-35, S. 3.)

      History: P.A. 07-35 effective January 1, 2008.

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      Sec. 20-206h. Enforcement within available appropriations. The Commissioner of Public Health shall carry out the commissioner's responsibilities with respect to enforcement of the provisions of sections 20-206b, 20-206d and 20-206g within available appropriations.

      (P.A. 07-252, S. 49.)

      History: P.A. 07-252 effective July 12, 2007.

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