Massage Law Law and Legal Definition

Massage refers to the mobilization of the soft tissue which may include skin, fascia, tendons, ligaments, and muscles, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining good physical condition. The term shall include effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, compression, vibration, stretching, heliotherapy, superficial hot and cold applications, topical applications, or other therapy which involves movement either by hand, forearm, elbow, or foot, for the purpose of therapeutic massage. Massage therapy may include the external application and use of herbal or chemical preparations and lubricants such as salts, powders, liquids, nonprescription creams, mechanical devises such as T-bars, thumpers, body support systems, heat lamps, hot and cold packs, salt glow, steam cabinet baths or hydrotherapy. The term includes any massage, movement therapy, massage technology, myotherapy, massotherapy, oriental massage techniques, structural integration, or polarity therapy. The term does not usually include laser therapy, microwave, injection therapy, manipulation of the joints, or any diagnosis or treatment of an illness that normally involves the practice of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, podiatry, nursing, occupational therapy, veterinary, acupuncture, osteopathy, orthopedics, hypnosis, or naturopathics.

Massage therapists and massage schools are licensed under state laws, which vary by state. If a person is unlicensed, they may not:

  1. Advertise that he or she performs therapeutic massage or related touch therapy modalities.
  2. Hold himself or herself out to the public as a massage therapist, using any name or description denoting himself or herself as a massage therapist, or purporting to have the skills necessary to perform massage therapy
  3. Practice massage therapy.