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Massage Today
February, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 02

Arizona Massage Therapists Press for Licensure

HB 2111 Introduced to State Legislature

By Editorial Staff

On February 15, 2001, Arizona Representative John Huppenthal (R, 6th district) introduced House Bill 2111 to the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives.

The bill calls for the establishment of a state board of massage therapy, along with specific requirements for massage therapists with regard to education, scope of practice and requirements for licensure. A brief summary of some of the main points noted in the bill are listed below.

Please note that the bill has not yet passed the Arizona House or Senate, and that the provisions detailed below are incomplete exerpts drawn from the original, unamended version of the bill as of February 15, 2001. To view the complete text of the bill as introduced by Rep. Huppenthal, please visit

  • The bill includes provision for a board of massage therapy consisting of three members appointed by the governor. Members must have at least five years experience performing massage in the state at the time of their appointment, and must meet all requirements for licensure prior to taking office.
  • The board will carry out a variety of functions, including but not limited to: evaluating the qualifications of candidates for licensure; issuing licenses to those who meet set requirements; adopting rules for ethical and professional conduct governing massage in the state; and establishing state educational requirements with regard to massage therapy training. This will include setting standards for existing and new massage schools within the state.
  • New massage therapist candidates must complete a minimum of 700 classroom hours of supervised instruction in massage at a board-approved school, and pass an examination administered by a board-approved, accredited national board.
  • A grandfather clause will apply to massage therapists already in practice. In such instances, individuals may apply for a license without meeting the above requirements if they have completed at least 200 hours of approved education and training and have practiced as a massage therapist in the state for at least three years prior to the passage of the bill. Applicants licensed in other states for at least five years may also receive licensure in Arizona if the board deems its requirements equivalent with that state, or if the applicant holds current certification from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) or other agency that meets the educational standards required by Arizona board.

Arizona is one of 20 states not currently licensed. At last count, 30 states and the District of Columbia have established regulations and laws licensing massage therapy, with Mississippi the last state to become licensed. (Editor's note: See "Licensure Comes to Mississippi" in the May 2001 issue of Massage Today, available on line at

Massage Today will report on the progress of this bill as it travels through the Arizona legislature. Look for updates in an upcoming issue.


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