Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2019

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Yo u r M & B i s w o r t h 2 C E s ! G o t o w w w. a b m p . c o m / c e t o l e a r n m o r e . 79 W hen you get in your car and drive to a neighboring state, your driver's license is still valid and recognized there without any need for another license. This is because states have a provision that allows licensed drivers to move freely from state to state. But is your massage license still valid when you cross a state line or move from one state to another? RECIPROCITY AND ENDORSEMENT License reciprocity—or the ability to practice your profession in one state based on holding a license in another—has different meanings for different professions. True reciprocity does not exist for massage licensees. Your state license, even your national certification, does not allow you to practice massage freely outside your state. Most of the time, a license in the new state must be obtained before you can legally work as a massage therapist. This means filling out an application, paying fees, submitting additional paperwork (license verifications, transcripts, or exam scores), and displaying a lot of patience. ABMP Government Relations: Licensing and Portability By Laura Embleton and Nancy Potter From 1996 to 2016, the primary government relations energies of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) were directed to states initially adopting statewide regulation of massage therapists. We worked for regulation fairly balanced between public protection and equitable treatment of massage therapists, including grandfathering provisions for long-established practitioners. During that period, the number of states regulating massage grew from 20 to 46. More recently, ABMP government relations staff has spent its time advocating for our members in states adopting establishment licensing laws and implementing regulations. It's a dynamic, evolving universe. ABMP never loses sight of fair, reasonable rules for massage practitioners. ABMP's position on license portability is that massage therapy licenses should be fully portable between states. However, most state massage boards are currently very concerned about fraudulent massage license applications, and, as a result, are increasingly requiring out-of-state licensees to satisfy the same license application requirements as people getting a license for the first time. We work with state massage boards whenever there is an opening to do so to increase license portability, but we face strong headwinds in the current board climate. By Ivy Hultquist

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