Vermont is unique in it’s massage licesning process as it does not require a license to practice massage therapy professionally. Vermont requires that anyone who wants to give hands on therapies such as massage and bodywork (defined in their laws) must register with the State of Vermont.
The law requires a one-time disclosure be made to clients during your first meeting. Registrants are required to disclose the following:
- Their professional qualifications and experience
- Actions that constitute unprofessional conduct
- How to file a complaint with OPR
- How to get more information about the profession and registered professionals from OPR
Actions that constitute unprofessional conduct can be found at 26 V.S.A. Section 5427 and 3 V.S.A. Section 129a.
Title 26: Professions and Occupations
Chapter 105: Massage Therapists, Bodyworkers, And Touch Professionals
Subchapter 001 : General Provisions
(Cite as: 26 V.S.A. § 5401)
4)(A) “Massage” and “Bodywork” mean systems of structured touch that are:
(i)(I) applied to the superficial, soft or deep tissue, muscle, or connective tissue of another person by manual means, including friction, gliding, rocking, tapping, kneading, and nonspecific stretching; or
(II) designed to affect the energy fields of the body for the purpose of promoting and maintaining health and well-being; and
(ii) provided to clients in a manner in which the clients have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
(B) Massage and bodywork may include the use of therapies such as heliotherapy or hydrotherapy; the use of moist, hot, and cold external applications; and the use of oils or other lubricants.
(C) Neither massage nor bodywork include the diagnosis of illness, disease, impairment, or disability.
(5) “Massage therapist, bodyworker, or touch professional” means a person who holds a registration from the Office to practice massage or practice bodywork or both. (Added 2019, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 29, eff. April 1, 2021.)
To register with OPR, a massage therapist, bodyworker or touch professional need only complete the application and submit the fee for registration. Applicants do not need to provide documentation of qualifications, examination(s), or education. As required by law, the application will ask other questions regarding compliance with taxes and child support, criminal convictions, pending criminal charges and any professional discipline.
An applicant that holds, in good standing, a massage therapist, bodyworker or touch professional license or authorization to practice in another U.S. or Canadian jurisdiction, is eligible to register for practice in Vermont by submitting a “verification of licensure”.
No exam scores are needed to obtain a registration. You do not need to have scores sent to OPR.
You must register with the Office as a massage therapist, bodyworker and touch professional if:
- (a) you are providing services in exchange for consideration (i.e., receipt of anything of value in exchange for services); AND
- (b) your practice involves any structured touch (regardless of how minimal or infrequent) that is “designed to affect the energy fields of the body for the purpose of promoting and maintaining health and well-being”; AND
- (c) your clients “have a reasonable expectation of privacy” (for example, your clients do not have clothes on, are in a private room, etc.) while receiving services.