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16 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k n ove m b e r/d e ce m b e r 2 0 2 3 A few weeks ago, an Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) member from Minnesota reached out to the ABMP Government Relations team to inquire about legislation enacting massage licensure in their state. Like many professionals in Minnesota, this member had questions, concerns, and excitement about the state's potential move toward licensure. "Am I exempt because of legacy?" "Will I have to take continuing education?" "What does this mean if I move to a different state?" Her questions are neither unique to Minnesota nor to new licensing laws. Instead, these questions will likely be common themes across many states and legislatures in 2024. The upcoming year could see two states introduce legislation enacting statewide licensure (Minnesota and Kansas), while others may adopt the Interstate Massage Compact, and some could tweak existing massage statutes, including core education and continuing education. While many of these questions have yet to be ironed out, ABMP has longstanding positions we will advocate for and continue to elevate. Where new wrinkles arise, we will seek member input, keep you apprised of developments, and work together to elevate the massage profession. MASSAGE LICENSURE ABMP supports state licensure for massage therapy, and we will actively support potential legislation in Kansas and Minnesota. In short, licensure professionalizes massage therapy and provides increased public protection (for professionals and consumers) by establishing basic education requirements and defining a scope of practice. While some may see licensure as a barrier, ABMP sees an opportunity to elevate the profession. ABMP supports basic requirements for licensure, but we know every state's context is different. For example, while ABMP supports continuing education (as you will read later), legislation in Minnesota will likely not initially include continuing education requirements, though Kansas ABMP LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY Policy Issues Facing Massage Therapy in 2024 By Lance Hostetter will. In Minnesota, the massage community working to advance licensure decided continuing education was not essential to include in its laws; Kansas decided its laws should outline requirements for continuing education. CONTINUING EDUCATION ABMP historically supports continuing education. We believe in lifelong learning that refreshes techniques and supports knowledge building that updates professionals' understanding of ethics, laws, and massage essentials. ABMP also believes that continuing education requirements should be reasonable and fair. This means we believe in a sweet spot that doesn't burden professionals with too many required hours in too short a time period; instead, continuing education should be completed in regular intervals (e.g., every two or three years) and include 6–18 hours (with a minimum of two hours in professional ethics). ABMP offers its members more than 750 hours of CE for free at

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