CHAPTER 384a*
MASSAGE THERAPISTS

      *See Sec. 19a-88b re renewal of certain professional and occupational licenses, certificates, permits or registrations which become void while the holder is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-206a. Definitions.
Sec. 20-206b. Practice restricted to licensed persons. Qualifications. Application and renewal. Fees. Exceptions. Medical referral required. Penalty for practice or use of title by unlicensed person.
Sec. 20-206c. Disciplinary action. Grounds.
Sec. 20-206d. Exempt activities.
Sec. 20-206e. Temporary permit.
Sec. 20-206f. Continuing education requirements.
Sec. 20-206g. Advertising by massage therapists. Requirements and prohibitions.
Sec. 20-206h. Enforcement within available appropriations.
Secs. 20-206i to 20-206l.

      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. Penalty for practice or use of title by unlicensed person. (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 seventy-five 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 fifty 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.

      (g) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) or (e) of this section shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor.

      (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; P.A. 09-182, S. 1; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 217.)

      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; P.A. 09-182 added Subsec. (g) re penalty for violation of Subsec. (a) or (e); June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (a) to increase fee from $300 to $375 and amended Subsec. (b) to increase fee from $200 to $250.

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      Sec. 20-206c. Disciplinary action. Grounds. The department may take any action set forth in section 19a-17 if a person issued a license pursuant to section 20-206b fails to conform to the accepted standards of the massage therapy profession, including, but not limited to, the following: Conviction of a felony; fraud or deceit in the practice of massage therapy; negligent, incompetent or wrongful conduct in professional activities; emotional disorder or mental illness; physical illness including, but not limited to, deterioration through the aging process; abuse or excessive use of drugs, including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals; wilful falsification of entries into any client record pertaining to massage therapy; failure to make a written referral, as required in section 20-206b; violation of any provisions of sections 20-206a to 20-206c, inclusive. The commissioner may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if the license holder's physical or mental capacity to practice safely is the subject of an investigation. The commissioner may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce such order or any action taken pursuant to section 19a-17. Notice of any contemplated action under said section, the cause of the action and the date of a hearing on the action shall be given and an opportunity for hearing afforded in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

      (P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; 88-362, S. 8; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 92-202, S. 3, 5; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; P.A. 99-126, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 88-230 replaced "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" with "judicial district of Hartford", effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 92-202 replaced "certificate" with "license", effective June 1, 1993; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-126 deleted reference to Subsec. (b) of Sec. 20-206b and replaced "his" with "the license holder's".

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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. 20-206e. Temporary permit. The department may, upon receipt of an application for massage therapist licensure, accompanied by the licensure application fee of three hundred seventy-five dollars, issue a temporary permit to a person who has met the requirements of subsection (a) of section 20-206b, except that the applicant has not yet sat for or received the results of the examination required under said subsection (a). Such temporary permit shall authorize the permittee to practice as a massage therapist under the supervision of a person licensed pursuant to section 20-206b. Such practice shall be limited to those settings where the licensed supervisor is physically present on the premises and is immediately available to render assistance and supervision, as needed, to the permittee. Such temporary permit shall be valid for a period not to exceed one hundred twenty calendar days after the date of completion of the required course of study in massage therapy and shall not be renewable. Such permit shall become void and shall not be reissued in the event that the permittee fails to pass the examination for licensure. No permit shall be issued to any person who has previously failed the examination for licensure prescribed pursuant to section 20-206b or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint or pending professional disciplinary action. Violation of the restrictions on practice set forth in this section may constitute a basis for denial of licensure as a massage therapist.

      (P.A. 94-210, S. 11, 30; P.A. 99-126, S. 3; P.A. 04-221, S. 12; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 218.)

      History: P.A. 94-210 effective June 9, 1994; P.A. 99-126 deleted provision re completion of a course of study satisfying requirements of Sec. 20-206b(a)(1) or (b), added provision allowing temporary license to a person who has met the requirements of Sec. 20-206b(a) but has not yet sat for or received the result of the required examination and made technical changes; P.A. 04-221 limited temporary permit to 120 days, prohibited renewal of such permit and made technical and conforming changes; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 increased licensure application fee from $300 to $375.

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      Sec. 20-206f. Continuing education requirements. (a) Each person licensed in accordance with the provisions of sections 20-206a to 20-206e, inclusive, shall complete a minimum of twenty-four hours of continuing education every four years. Such four-year period shall commence on the first date of renewal of the licensee's license after October 1, 2003. The continuing education shall be in areas related to the licensee's practice, including, but not limited to, courses offered by providers that are approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

      (b) No more than six continuing education units shall be completed via the Internet or distance learning and no more than twelve continuing education units shall be obtained from providers that are not approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. For purposes of this section, "continuing education unit" means fifty to sixty minutes of participation in accredited continuing professional education.

      (c) The Department of Public Health may require an applicant for license renewal to submit evidence of continuing education on forms that may be prescribed by the department. Each licensee shall maintain records, or certificates or other evidence of compliance with continuing education requirements for a period of six years. Failure on the part of the licensee to demonstrate that such continuing education requirements have been met shall be grounds for disciplinary action pursuant to section 20-206c.

      (d) This section shall not apply to licensees who have been continuously licensed since February 1, 1994. The continuing education requirements shall be waived for licensees applying for licensure renewal for the first time. The department may, for a licensee who has a medical disability or illness, grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements for a specific period of time or may grant the licensee an extension of time in which to fulfill the requirements.

      (P.A. 03-118, S. 3; P.A. 04-221, S. 25.)

      History: P.A. 04-221 amended Subsec. (d) by changing beginning date for continuous licensure from October 1, 1993, to February 1, 1994, effective June 8, 2004.

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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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      Secs. 20-206i to 20-206l. Reserved for future use.

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