Senate OKs massage therapist continuing education bill

Betty Little

June 13, 2014

The State Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Betty Little to permit licensed massage therapists from other states and countries to provide hands-on clinical instruction at continuing education programs in New York.

Mandatory continuing education for licensed massage therapists became effective in 2012.  There are presently more than 17,000 state licensed therapists who are required to complete 36 hours of continuing education every three years.

Hands-on instruction is most effective for continuing education, however, under current law, a massage therapist must be licensed in New York State to “touch” another person.  According to the American Massage Therapy Association, many of the nation’s most renowned instructors are reluctant to teach  in New York due to the inability to physically demonstrate hands-on techniques.

“This change in law would broaden the field of instructors, benefiting licensed therapists participating in the continuing education program and their clients,” said Senator Betty Little.  “Many people enjoy and benefit from massage therapy.  Limiting who can provide instruction only serves to limit the level of knowledge that licensed therapists may gain.”

Little said that a similar change in law has been made for physical therapists and occupational therapists.

The legislation passed the Assembly on June 2 where it is sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo of Binghamton.