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 . 83 What Can You Do to Engage in the Process? By Laura Embleton and Nancy Potter • Get in touch with us, your ABMP Government Relations team! Call us at 800-458-2267 or email gr@abmp.com. Let us know what regulation-related issues are concerning you, and also what's working. Tell us what you're hearing in your state, city, or town regarding massage legislation and regulation—past, present, or future. Let us know if we can help advocate on your behalf. • Get involved! Get the contact information from your state's massage therapy board at www.abmp.com/practitioners/ state-requirements, find out when the next board meeting is, and attend. Learn about what your state's board is thinking about and planning for, especially with regard to rules and legislation. Submit public comments to let the board know your opinions. Apply for a board seat, attend meetings of massage coalitions, and get to know other massage professionals in your area. • Want to work on local issues? When your city is looking at local regulation of massage therapists, engage with your city council. Educate your city decision makers about what legitimate massage therapy practice is and looks like. Attend council meetings and public hearings when issues involving massage therapy are being discussed. What If I Am Moving to a State that Has No Massage License? The number of states that do not require licenses is dwindling. Only a handful remain. States without licensing may still regulate massage or massage establishments at a local level. THE FUTURE OF LICENSE PORTABILITY In 2017, the Council of Nursing Boards (similar to FSMTB) announced the creation of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC, www.ncsbn.org/nurse-licensure-compact.htm). The goal of the NLC is to increase access to care (telehealth or disaster response) while maintaining public protection at the state level. Under the NLC, nurses can practice in other NLC states without having to obtain additional licenses. About 30 states currently take part in the new compact. Is something similar to this possible in the massage field? With regulations currently all over the place, it is hard to imagine that a similar compact could exist for massage professionals anytime soon. However, wide acceptance of the MBLEx certainly has opened the door to the possibility of license portability. Only time will tell whether it becomes a reality. Note 1. Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, "Mission and History," accessed November 2018, www.fsmtb.org/about-fsmtb/mission-and-history. Ivy Hultquist is a licensed massage therapist in both Iowa and Florida. She has 12 years of experience as a massage continuing education provider, specializing in Florida massage licensing (www.advancedmassagetechniques. com/florida-massage-license).

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