In the 2007 Texas Legislature, attempts were made to require a massage therapy license for therapeutic professionals who were appropriately trained in their respective modalities, but not specifically regulated under a state health care licensing board such as massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, nursing, etc.
Due to issues and concerns raised in the legislative committee hearings, the original proposed bills were stopped in committee and did not pass. However, a last-minute amendment was added to another massage therapy bill, HB 2644.
As written, HB 2644 states that a person may not, for compensation, perform, or offer to perform, a service with a purported health benefit that involves physical contact with a client unless the person holds a massage therapy license or is licensed under another law to perform the service.
An additional subsection to the massage therapy statute states that the Texas Department of State Health Services may issue a license, or licenses, separate from the massage therapy license which would address other modalities such as energy healing therapy.
What This Means Now
On July 19, 2007, the following information was provided by the DSHS Massage Therapy Licensing Program staff member who is managing the provisions of HB 2644:
Although the amended HB 2644 allows for new forms of licensure for specialty practices, The Dept of State Health Services does not plan to create these at this time. The Department also does not plan to legally enforce this act against unlicensed practitioners at this time.