By the Division of Professional Licensure

Policy #09-001

December 4, 2009


To clarify the exemption of certain people from licensure as a massage therapist while providing massage at sporting or charitable events.


Pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 112, §228, "no person shall hold himself out to others as a massage therapist or practice massage or massage therapy unless he holds a valid license issued in accordance with this chapter." The law, however, also provides an exemption for "a person giving massage in a sporting, health or other event that is non-compensatory and under the supervision of a licensed massage therapist." Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 112, §228(a)(6).

After consideration, the Board has determined that the provision of the massage services by unlicensed persons is exempt under §228(a)(6) under the following conditions:

1) The massage therapy services are only provided to participants in the sporting, health or other event;

2) The persons providing massage do not hold themselves to the public as able to provide massage therapy services to the public;

3) The recipients of the massage therapy services do not compensate the massage therapists; and

4) The persons providing massage are supervised by a Massachusetts licensed massage therapist.