May 20. 2021
Over the past week Executive Orders have been signed by Governor Tim Walz. We have spent time
reviewing what this means for massage therapists practicing in Minnesota. This is a summary of how
these EOS relate.
Yours in Health,
AMTA MN Board
Executive Order 21-21 signed May 6, 2021
Effective on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 11:59 pm, Executive Orders 20-23, 20-28, 20-39, 20-43, 20-46,
20-51, 20-58, 20-86, 20-101, and paragraphs 6 and 7 of Executive Order 21-11, as amended by
paragraph 1 of this Executive Order, are rescinded. All other provisions of Executive Order 21-11
remain in full force and effect, except as modified or superseded by the following amendments. a.
Executive Order 21-11 is amended by the following additions (indicated by underlined text): 13.
Requirements for all businesses.
All businesses in Minnesota are required to have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (“Plan”) and implement
that Plan. Each Plan must provide for the business’s implementation of the requirements set forth in
guidance available on the Stay Safe Minnesota website (https://staysafe.mn.gov).
Executive Order 21-23 signed May 14, 2021
7. Paragraph 7.c.v of Executive Order 21-11, as amended by Executive Order 21-21, is amended by the
following deletion (indicated by strikethrough): v. Barbershops, salons, and other Establishments
Providing Personal Care Services must limit occupancy to the number of individuals at any one time for
whom physical distancing of six feet can be maintained. Workers, customers, and clients must follow all
requirements, including face-covering requirements, as set forth in the applicable guidance available on
the Stay Safe Minnesota website (https://staysafe.mn.gov).
For the most current guidelines, please see Covid-19 Preparedness plan documents (insert link)
What this means is that May 28th all mask mandates with the exception certain types of business have
the mask mandate lifted. For Establishments Providing Personal Care Services we must maintain a
preparedness plan, observe social distancing and face mask covering requirements at a minimum.
Please keep in mind that local governments may enforce mask mandates.
(face covering guidelines from the CDC)
February 25, 2021
We realize there have been concerns and questions regarding the steps 1) current massage therapists practicing in Minnesota as well as 2) massage students currently enrolled in a massage educational program would need to take to be licensed by a Minnesota state board.
Currently Practicing Minnesota Massage Therapists
Please note that any massage therapist applying for licensure via License by Prior Experience (i.e., grandfathering) only needs to submit an application and be in compliance with the following requirements found at lines 7.2-7.14.
To be eligible for licensure as a massage therapist or Asian bodywork therapist an applicant must submit to the board:
A completed application on a form provided by the board that includes:
the applicant's name, Social Security number, home address and telephone number, and business address and telephone number;
a list of credentials held by the applicant in this state or in any other jurisdiction;
a description of any jurisdiction's refusal to license or credential the applicant;
a description of all professional disciplinary actions initiated against the applicant in this state or any other jurisdiction;
any history of drug or alcohol abuse;
any misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony convictions; and
any other additional information requested by the board;
New Applicants Prior to January 1, 2027
Applications for a massage therapy license who are new to Minnesota or are currently enrolled in a massage education program before January 1, 2027 will need to meet the following requirements under Subdivision 2 (a) lines 8.9-8.22.
Education and training requirements for massage therapy licensure.
An applicant for licensure as a massage therapist under subdivision 1 whose application is received by the board before January 1, 2027, must submit to the board proof of satisfactorily completing a postsecondary program that meets the requirements in subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (2), and includes education and training in:
(4) massage therapy;
(5) massage therapy history, theory, and research;
(6) professional ethics;
(7) therapeutic interpersonal communications and standards of practice;
(8) business and legal practices related to massage therapy; and
(9) supervised practice demonstrating safe use of equipment and supplies.
New Applicants On or After January 1, 2027
Applications for a massage therapy license who are new to Minnesota or are currently enrolled in a massage education program on or after January 1, 2027 must meet the requirements under Subdivision 2 (b) lines 8.23-8.31.
An applicant for licensure as a massage therapist under subdivision 1 whose application is received by the board on or after January 1, 2027, must submit to the board proof of satisfactorily completing a postsecondary massage therapy program that meets the requirements in subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (2), and either:
(1) has programmatic accreditation for massage therapy training programs from an
agency recognized by the United States Department of Education; or
2) includes at least 625 contact hours of education and training composed of 500 contact
hours of synchronous or asynchronous classroom instruction in the areas listed in paragraph
(a) and 125 contact hours of supervised student clinical practice.
February 17, 2021
Representative Pinto introduced our bill in the house, it is assigned as HF 1275.
Hearings have not been scheduled yet, but will be soon.
We will keep you informed on the progress of our Bill in both the Senate and House.
February 16, 2021
SF 1074 posted to the MN legislative website. 2.17.21 the Bill Draft will be introduced into the Senate.
Please look for notices from AMTA MN by email, and social media to know when and which committee SF 1074 will be read next and how to show your support for Licensing Massage Therapy and Asian Bodywork Therapy.
Follow that bill
You can follow bills throughout the legislative process by signing up for MyBills, a personalized way to track House and Senate bills by number. Find more information on how to follow House and Senate bills here.
We will post any bills that are important to our profession here. Check back often and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed!
Minnesota Massage Therapy State Licensure
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) would like to take a moment to clarify an apparent misunderstanding that has been circulating on social media, of the AMTA's position on Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) in pending state legislation. Unfortunately, as is too often the case with social media posts in today's world, those messages are not accurate.
THE AMTA'S POSITION: The AMTA is not trying to make it illegal for Asian Bodywork Therapists (ABT) to practice without a massage license.
The AMTA is not pushing the inclusion of ABT in the massage therapy bill.
At the same time, the AMTA is attempting to advance OUR massage therapy bill while responding to the concerns of the regulatory agencies and the threat from an ABT professional in our state to fight against our bill if separate, full licensure for ABT was not included in our bill.
THE AMTA'S EFFORTS TOWARD LICENSURE
The AMTA, along with many other stakeholders, has been working to pass a statewide massage therapy licensure bill for many years, as Minnesota is one of only three states without any form of regulation.
During this process the Asian bodywork profession has been very involved in making certain that ABT is included in our legislative efforts.
Regulatory authorities expressed concerns to the AMTA last summer about the inclusion of ABT in the legislation because of the low numbers of ABT professionals practicing in Minnesota as compared to massage therapists and other licensed professionals in our state.
EFFORTS TO ADDRESS ABT IN THE BILL
While we were working with American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA) on a solution, an ABT professional reached out to the Minnesota House legislative author of the massage therapy draft legislation advocating ABT's inclusion in the bill. The bill's author asked the AMTA to come up with an alternative approach to address the concerns raised. This alternative approach would have allowed for an ABT practitioner to be "endorsed" as an ABT under licensure as a massage therapist, and allowed for existing practitioners to be grandfathered into licensure. This concept was included in a preliminary draft of the bill sent to key stakeholders for input.
AOBTA'S REQUEST TO REMOVE ABT "ENDORSEMENT" LANGUAGE
Key stakeholders met in December 2020.
A representative from the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA) requested that the ABT endorsement language be removed.
AMTA sent that request back to the House author who agreed that the endorsement language should be removed from the final draft.
Unfortunately, rather than share any concerns directly with us or coordinate a response with the AOBTA, an individual ABT practitioner independently responded to the draft through social media posts. This communication has led to misinformation about the bill, the process, and the legislative author's intent-all unfortunate considering the preliminary draft language was shared with the intent of addressing concerns of stakeholders.
CONCLUSION: Although the endorsement language has been removed, the AMTA has attempted and continues to advance OUR bill while responding to the concerns of the regulatory agencies and the threat from an ABT professional to fight against our bill if separate, full licensure for ABT was not included in our bill. We will continue to work with the legislative authors to advance the massage therapy licensure legislation. At this point, a decision remains to be made whether to either 1) include ABT in the bill with required separate statewide licensure for ABT distinct from massage therapy; or 2) to proceed with a bill that focuses only on massage therapy and includes no reference to ABT. It is our understanding that the AOBTA will support either of those options. We hope this clarifies the AMTA position and addresses your concerns.
UPDATED JANUARY 11, 2021
45 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands require massage therapists to be licensed, with
California maintaining a voluntary credential. Each individual state has the sole authority to license
massage therapists in their jurisdiction in accordance with local law and established national standards
and practices of the profession. In every instance of licensing, states and territories have developed a
clear set of standards and established a precise number of educational hours for a massage therapist to
gain licensure that are consistent with the best available data and research pertaining to the massage
A Licensing Bill creates a uniform scope of practice, place Minnesota on par with neighboring states and would also reduce the administrative and financial burdens massage therapists currently face from the patchwork of regulations through needing to comply with multiple city ordinances and regulations across Minnesota. A bill would provide municipal leaders with clear direction on who is eligible to practice and subsequently increase licensure portability outside of the state. Licensure provides protection for both the public and the industry, setting us apart from those elements who seek to corrupt the good name of massage and have the following impacts:
The absence of a license means that massage therapy is essentially an unregulated and largely
unrecognized profession within Minnesota. The absence of statewide license also does nothing
to prevent an individual who behaves in an inappropriate manner to move to another
municipality if a complaint is filed against them.
Allowing massage therapy professionals, who so chose, to participate in health care discussions
through the benefit of a legally defined scope of practice.
Ensuring practice act protection as Minnesota is currently one of only four states where anyone
can state that he or she is a massage therapist regardless of their actual training, length of
experience or competence without fear of legal repercussions.
Licensure for the massage therapist is a critical effort for the industry and one our organizations have
collectively been working on for decades. Please join us in increasing standards, implementing enhanced
protections and supporting licensure for all massage therapists within Minnesota!
When final language of the bill is jacketed and an official Bill number is assigned, this will be made public. Stay updated and receive the most accurate information about the bill.