HW: Massage Therapist Deccember 23, 20009

Massage therapists view new licensing rules in positive light

SUMMER EARTHSONG has practiced massage therapy for 16 months at Rimrock Chiropractic & Creating Wellness Center. Starting April 1, those practicing massage therapy in Colorado will be required to have liability insurance, complete a criminal background check and pass a certification test.

Practicing massage therapy in Colorado is about to get tougher.

Effective April 1, all massage therapists must be registered with the state’s Department of Regulatory Agencies to legally practice.

The registration requires a massage therapist to purchase liability insurance, complete a criminal background check and pass a certification test, according to the state’s regulatory agency.

Consumers may be surprised that none of those items was previously required in Colorado.

Summer Earthsong was surprised Colorado wasn’t regulating the industry — and she is a massage therapist.

“I assumed you’d have to have something,” Earthsong said.

It wasn’t until Earthsong enrolled in college that she discovered Colorado didn’t require massage therapists to be certified or insured.

Earthsong graduated from IntelliTec College more than a year ago with 940 hours of training.

Despite Colorado not requiring a certification, Earthsong passed the certification test given by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork right after

She has practiced for 16 months at Rimrock Chiropractic & Creating Wellness Center.

The regulatory changes are welcome news for some in the local industry.

“It basically upped the level of professionalism in our field, which is a good thing,” said Patricia Nizalowski, who supervises IntelliTec College’s massage therapy department. “All our instructors are very much in favor of it.”

The state’s new massage therapy regulations will accept certification from the National Certification Board or the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.
In the 16 months she’s been practicing, Earthsong said clients have rarely asked about her qualifications.

They sometimes ask about her schooling, but not about her certifications or insurance.

Earthsong isn’t sure if that is because clients don’t care, or if they assume she is certified.

Greg Haitz, owner of Rimrock Chiropractic and Earthsong’s boss, said he hired Earthsong because she went to college and passed her certification test.

Like Earthsong, Haitz thinks the new regulations for massage therapists is a positive move.

The regulatory legislation was signed into law in June.


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