California Massage Law


SB 731 (Oropeza 2008) is a title act reserving the titles "certified massage therapist", "certified massage practitioner" or "CMT".  It requires that the person meet specific requirements and be certified with the state board to use such titles.  It also allows certified practitioners to practice in cities that would otherwise require a city license.  It does not prohibit people from doing massage or bodywork without the certificate nor does it describe the scope of practice nor does it entitle certificate holders the right to perform any specific types of massage or bodywork.  It just restricts the right to use the specific titles.  This also does not allow therapists to do any form of therapy without providing a disclosure as is required by the California Health Freedom Act and abiding to its scope of practice.  

To ensure a wide variety of healthcare options California does not license many forms of alternate healthcare practitioners or massage therapists.  Licensing has the drawback in that it limits what practitioners can offer to what is dictated by law.  As of January 1, 2003 California law (Business and Professions Code sections 2053.5-2053.6) allows unlicensed practitioners to provide safe alternative treatments within defined limits .   Ask for a written disclosure from your unlicensed healthcare practitioners.  You can use it to determine if they can provide the right treatment for you.  The disclosure process was enacted by SB577 (Burton 2002) also know as the Health Freedom Act.  

For more information for both clients and practitioners on writing and using disclosures the following information was provided by California Health Freedom Coalition.

Finding good healthcare for your needs is a problem.  I suggest that you find someone you trust and expect that they will devote part of their time keeping in touch with what is going on in the industry and knowing who the good practitioners are.  

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