What Can Cause Disciplinary Action Against a Massage Therapist

Massage Therapy consists of manipulation of the soft tissue within the body with the hands, feet, elbow and arms in order to treat certain ailments and release stress. There are certain techniques that are used by the massage therapists to achieve results, but if the techniques are not applied properly, there can be dangerous consequences for the patient. This is why the Massage Practice Act was passed to protect the patient and regulate the practice of giving massages.

Since the patient is in a vulnerable position when getting a massage, the Board of Massage Therapy lays down some ground rules which determine which actions can elicit disciplinary action against a therapist or an establishment. Steer clear from doing the following things to avoid rejection of licensure and disciplinary action against you:


  1. Using bribery or fraudulent misrepresentation in order to get licensed.
  2. Being convicted of a crime that directly relates to the massage practice in any jurisdiction. In this case, a plea of nolo contendere is also taken as a conviction.
  3. Incorporating false, misleading, or deceptive advertising and marketing strategies.
  4. Advertising in such a way that portrays the intent to engage or attempt to carry out sexual misconduct which is unlawful and prohibited in massage practice.
  5. Hiring, aiding or advertising unlicensed individuals to practice massage in your establishment.
  6. Compromising your skill as a massage therapist due to an illness, drug abuse, alcoholism, or anything else that impairs judgment and brings ability to practice massage. The Department of Health has the authority to force massage therapists to submit to mental and physical examinations upon probably cause. If the therapist fails to comply, it will be taken as an admission of guilt, unless it was due to circumstances beyond their control. However, if you are kept from practicing because of this, you may resubmit yourself on designated intervals to prove your ability to practice massage.
  7. Displaying repeated malpractice, or failing to practice massage with the level of skills and competence required and expected of you.
  8. Going beyond the scope of your licensure and performing activities and tasks which you are known not to be qualified to perform.
  9. Delegating your responsibilities to individuals who are not qualified or licensed to perform said responsibilities.
  10. Violating lawful orders issued by the department or the board as a result of a previous disciplinary hearing, or ignoring a lawfully issued subpoena by the department.
  11. Not allowing the department to carry out investigations and inspections at your premises during business hours.
  12. Failing to meet cleanliness and safety standards in regards to the equipment and premises of a massage establishment.
  13. Carrying out a massage practice at a location or site that is not licensed as a massage establishment, unless it is the house or office of a client, a sports event, a convention or a trade show.


If the board finds that you have carried out any of the above acts, then they will have the right to reject, suspend or revoke your license. Furthermore, if you have been proven to have acquired a license through fraud or misrepresentation, or are a license holder guilty of deceit, gross negligence, incompetency, or misconduct in your practice, the board may also deny any future attempts to obtain a license and submit you to disciplinary proceedings thereafter.


The relationship between a client and a massage therapist is one of trust, respect and honesty, and this needs to be maintained through these rules and regulations in order to make the massage practice a success.