Contact the Board of Massage Licensure
Call (615) 253-2111 local or 1-800-778-4123 nationwide
[email protected] or [email protected]
665 Mainstream Drive, 2nd Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
63-18-104. License required.
(a) Persons or massage establishments engaged in massage for compensation shall be licensed by the massage licensure board.
(b) Any person or establishment who advertises or engages in massage for compensation without a current valid license from the massage licensure board commits a Class B misdemeanor. It is unlawful to use the word “massage” or any other term that implies massage technique or method when advertising a service by a person who is not licensed under this chapter or another chapter of state law.
(c) The practice of reflexology shall not be subject to the licensure requirements of this chapter. For the purposes of this chapter, “reflexology” means the application of specific pressures to reflex points in the hands and feet only.
0870-01-.09 (PDF) EXAMINATION. MBLEx required
0870-01-.12 (PDF) CONTINUING EDUCATION. Rules
(1) All massage therapist licensees must complete twenty four (24) hours of continuing education
every two (2) calendar years, as a prerequisite to licensure renewal. The first two year cycle
for continuing education ran from January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2004 and shall continue
on two year cycles thereafter.
(a) Continuing education credit shall only be awarded for those courses which are
approved by the Board pursuant to paragraph (5) of this Rule. The Board approves
courses for only the number of hours contained in the course. The approved hours of
any individual course will not be counted more than once toward the twenty-four (24)
hour requirement of any two-year cycle, regardless of the number of times the course
is attended or completed by any licensee.
(b) Two (2) of the twenty-four (24) hours requirement shall pertain to Tennessee statutes
and rules concerning massage therapists and establishments. The two (2) hour
courses must be approved by the Board.
(c) Two (2) of the twenty-four (24) hours requirement shall pertain to the management of
practicing massage therapy, professional ethics or substance abuse.
GENERAL RULES GOVERNING LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPISTS CHAPTER 0870-01
(Rule 0870-01-.12, continued)
August, 2017 (Revised) 18
(d) A maximum of eight (8) of the twenty-four (24) hours requirement may be completed in
any of the following multi-media formats:
- The internet;
- Closed circuit television;
- Satellite broadcasts;
- Correspondence courses;
- Videoconferencing; or
- Distance Learning.
(e) The maximum of eight (8) hours earned in multi-media formats per continuing
education cycle shall apply regardless of whether the hours are earned to comply with
the current cycle, as makeup hours for a prior cycle, or for any other reason.
(f) A licensee whose massage therapist license was retired for a portion of the two-year
cycle is required to obtain a total of one (1) hour of continuing education for each
month the license was active, except that the licensee must obtain at least four (4)
hours: two (2) hours pertaining to Tennessee statutes and rules as specified in 0870-
01-.12(1)(b) and two (2) hours pertaining to management of practicing massage
therapy, professional ethics or substance abuse as specified in 0870-01-.12(1)(c).
(2) Initial massage therapist licensees shall have their required continuing education hours pro-rated…see more
63-18-102. Chapter definitions.
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Board” means the massage licensure board;
(2) “Compensation” means the payment, loan, advance, donation, contribution, deposit or gift of money or anything of value;
(3) “Massage/bodywork/somatic” means the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body with the intention of positively affecting the health and well being of the client;
(4) “Massage establishment” means a place of business held out to the public wherein massage is practiced; and
(5) “Massage therapist” means a person who practices massage for compensation and is licensed by the board.
0870-01-.02 STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR DRAPING; PROHIBITION OF SEXUAL
ACTIVITY; PROHIBITED TREATMENTS.
(1) Proper draping technique is of the utmost importance when performing massage therapy to
ensure the comfort and safety of the therapist and the client. At all times massage therapists
must provide draping and treatment in a way that ensures the safety, comfort and privacy of
(2) Before beginning a massage, the therapist must explain to the client the draping techniques
that will be used and provide the client a clean drape large enough for the purpose of draping
the buttocks and genitalia and, in the case of female clients, the breasts. Such body parts
must remain covered except during therapeutic treatment of those specific areas, with the
exception of the genitalia, which shall always remain covered.
GENERAL RULES GOVERNING LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPISTS CHAPTER 0870-01
(Rule 0870-01-.02, continued)
August, 2017 (Revised) 3
(3) Sexual conduct, sexual activity, or sexualizing behavior involving a client is strictly prohibited
at all times. A massage therapist may not initiate, arrange for, or engage in such activities,
including if the client attempts to sexualize the relationship.
(4) Massage therapists must refrain, under all circumstances, from providing the following
treatments, which are prohibited and not within the scope of practice for massage therapists:
(a) Treatments to the anus or anal canal, including, but not limited to, colonic irrigations
(b) Cross-gender breast massage;
(c) Treatments to the genitals.
63-12-204. Liability insurance requirement.
A person practicing animal massage therapy shall obtain liability insurance in the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for the benefit of any person who is damaged because of the negligence of the person in the performance of animal massage therapy services.
63-30-108. Unauthorized practice — Violations — Penalties.
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), any person who advertises or engages in reflexology for compensation without registering with the division pursuant to this chapter commits a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine only. It is unlawful to use the word “reflexology” or any other term that implies reflexology technique or method when advertising a service by a person who is not registered under this chapter.
(b) This section shall not apply to licensed massage therapists who use reflexology techniques or methods or who advertise reflexology as a service offered to massage therapy clients.
(c) The division may, when it deems appropriate, seek such civil remedies at law or equity to restrain or enjoin any unauthorized practice or other violation of this chapter.
63-18-106. Investigation — Inspection — Revocation of license.
In order to effectuate this chapter, the board or its authorized representative is empowered to conduct an investigation of persons engaged in massage or massage establishments and to inspect the license of practitioners and establishments for compliance. The refusal of a practitioner or establishment to permit inspections shall be grounds for revocation, suspension or refusal to issue a license pursuant to this chapter.
63-12-201. Part definitions.
As used in this part:
(1) “Animal massage therapy” means the manipulation of the soft tissues of the animal body with the intention of positively affecting the health and well-being of the animal. “Animal massage therapy” does not include the diagnosis, treatment, correction, alleviation, or prevention of any animal disease, illness, pain, deformity, defect, injury, or other physical or mental condition, or otherwise constitute the practice of veterinary medicine;
(2) “Certified animal massage therapist” means a person who qualifies for, and voluntarily obtains, certification under this part; and
(3) “Registered animal massage therapist” means a person who qualifies for, and voluntarily obtains, certification under this part.