2016 Licensure Bill Updates

March 14, 2016

It is done! Massage Therapists in the Commonwealth of Virginia made a huge step forward this weekend when Governor Terry McAuliffe signed house bill, HB 562. This bill elevates the profession of Massage Therapy from certification to State License.

One may ask, ‘What’s the big deal?’ It would be easy to overlook, but now, those who practice massage therapy legally have title protection. Title protection doesn’t sound that sexy, but it is. This change in title demonstrates that the Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes there is a required amount of training to perform this service. Having a State License indicates there is a National Exam that measures competency and verifies that at a state level, the person calling themselves a massage therapist is qualified, safe and meets a minimum standard. 

Can you imagine going to a Dentist or a Psychologist who didn’t have a state license? Most people wouldn’t leave their child at a unlicensed daycare center. But there is more. Another bonus of having a State License is a higher level of credibility

Now, the newest clients seeking massage therapy to manage their pain or relieve deadly stress can feel safer, rest easier, knowing that they will be working with a State Licensed professional. In fact, existing clients also benefit, as they will realize a deeper level of confidence when sharing with a friend or spouse that their massage therapist holds a State License.

This is a big win for the profession and for all legitimate massage therapists practicing in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

March 6, 2016

Breaking news: House bill, HB 562, successfully passed thru the State House of Delegates and State Senate. The bill directly affects Massage Therapists in the Commonwealth of Virginia elevating the title from “Certified” to “Licensed.”  Currently the bill sits on Governor McAuliffe’s desk waiting on a final signature.

We are excited that our massage therapy licensure bill, passed thru both the House of Delegates (93-3) and the Senate.(34-5) Its easy to see that even legislators believe this bill makes sense to improve public safety and advance the profession.

THANK YOU  to all of you who called your Senator’s “Capitol” phone number on Monday morning, February 22 your voice was heard! We believe that your efforts are the reason we are in such a favorable position. 
Blessings and many thanks for your advocacy…

February, 2016

We are proud to announce that bill HB 562 passed through the Senate with a vote of 34-5!

The last step is for Governor McAuliffe to sign the bill into law. This wouldn’t have happened without you. Thank you, each and every one, who took time to call your representatives. You made this happen. We’d also like to thank the AMTA-Va Board, and leadership team. A heartfelt congratulations and thank you to  Becky Bowers-Lanier, our Legislative Chair, who championed this bill and saw it the whole way through. Stay tuned. More information in the coming weeks and months. 
You may be asking , “Why do we need a license?” States that do not have the ability to regulate a profession that is not formally recognized. Legal recognition of massage therapy through licensure enables a state to take disciplinary actions against non-compliant practitioners. Professional licensure laws thereby enhance public safety. Wanna read more? Here are a few other points about the importance of licensing: https://www.amtamassage.org/regulation/Why-We-Need-Massage-Therapy-Regulations.html



January, 2016

Our massage therapy licensure bill, HB 562, was heard in the House Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. It unanimously moves forward with a vote of 22-0.

We thank you for your help in contacting YOUR delegate to ask for him or her to vote yes on HB 562. Our bill was heard three times on the floor of the House of Delegates, beginning Wednesday, January 27th. The final vote took place Friday, January 29, 2016 passing with a vote in the State House of Delegates by 93 to 3! Now on to the State Senate.

We worked with our colleagues from Virginians for Health Freedom to craft an amendment that exempts energy work from the requirements for licensure, and we’re grateful for their support for massage therapist licensure. Our thanks go out to Del. Roxann Robinson, who thoroughly described what the bill is intended to do.  We also want to thank American Institute of Healing Therapies in Richmond Virginia for their participation early on Tuesday morning. Their presence demonstrates the commitment we all share to elevate the profession.

Next steps? The bill has been sent the state Senate for consideration. That will include assignment to a committee, committee deliberation, and then a floor vote in the Senate. So stay tuned. More to come. And thank you so much for your advocacy!



November 30, 2015

Calling all members to join us in a conference call on the proposed licensure bill for massage therapists and how you can help to make licensure a reality!

Mark your calendars to attend one of two conference calls on December 9th at 7 p.m. or December 13th at 6 p.m. Download a Powerpoint presentation and follow along with the call!

Why is your participation important?
Your legislators (state senator and delegate) depend on you to keep them in office, and they listen to you when you talk with them about issues of importance.
What will I learn in the conference call?

We’ll discuss the following:
• What the bill will do, if passed by the General Assembly.
• How your scope of practice and matters related to your practice and regulation will be affected.
• How you can help.

To participate, what do I have to do?
• Dial in to the call. 712-432-0926 passcode 287820#
Download the Powerpoint beforehand and follow along during the call.
Download the “Fact Sheet” on licensure. You will need to take a copy of this when you visit with your legislators.

Please plan to join Becky Bowers-Lanier (chapter advocacy consultant) and Jana Laird (chapter president) in the call!