House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Health Care & Wellness Committee
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Concerning the licensure and certification of massage therapists and reflexologists.
Sponsors: Representatives Kraft, Wylie, Harris, Cody, Vick and Hoff.
Hearing Date: 1/25/19
Staff: Alyssa Patrick (786-7296) and Jim Morishima (786-7191).
Massage Therapy Licenses.
Massage therapy is a health care service involving the external manipulation or pressure of soft tissue for therapeutic purposes. Massage therapists are required to become licensed. The Secretary of Health (Secretary) issues the license to applicants who are at least age 18 or older and provide proof of:
successful completion of a course of study in an approved massage program, transfer program, or approved apprenticeship program; and
successful completion of an examination administered or approved by the Washington State Board of Massage.
Reflexology is a health care service in which a practitioner applies alternate pressure with thumb and finger techniques to reflexive areas of the lower one-third of extremities, feet, hands, and outer ears based on reflex maps. Reflexologists are required to be certified. Certificates are issued by the Secretary to applicants who are at least age 18 or older and provide proof of:
successful completion of a reflexologist course of study approved by the Secretary; and
successful completion of an examination administered or approved by the Secretary.
Display of Licenses and Certifications.
Both massage therapists and reflexologists must have their respective licenses or certificates on display at their places of business or wherever they practice.
Summary of Bill:
Beginning January 1, 2020, massage therapists and reflexologists must have a government-issued photo identification on his or her person at all times when practicing massage therapy or reflexology. The photo identification must have the same name as the massage therapy license or reflexology certification.
Fiscal Note: Requested January 18, 2019
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.