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  • 14 Oct 2023 10:10 PM | Robbin Blake (Administrator)

    On 9/18/23, the Department of Health (DOH) processed the CR-103 which made it possible for them to send out official details about the new Health Equity CE requirement. DOH created a new section dedicated to the Health Equity CE requirement on the Massage Therapist FAQs page. For details, click the link below and scroll down to the Health Equity section towards the bottom of the page:

    DOH Health Equity FAQs for Massage Therapists

    Starting in your first, full continuing education (CE) reporting cycle after January 1, 2024, all LMTs must complete a minimum of two hours of CE training in health equity per reporting period. See Part 15 of chapter 246-12 WAC. (Part 15 is very last section at the bottom of the page)

    The biggest misunderstanding we hear about is when your first Health Equity CE is due. LMTs must complete 2 hours of health equity starting their first full CE reporting cycle after January 1, 2024. For example, if a person's CE is due on 3/1/24, then their first health equity 2 hour requirement would be due by their first full reporting period which would be 3/1/26.

    Currently there are limited health equity classes available.  But over the next year there should be quite a bit more offered and more geared towards massage therapists versus classes aimed at the generic healthcare professional.  The Department of Health is required to offer a limited amount of free Health Equity CE by the same law that created the health equity requirement for DOH regulated professions.  To see what free Health Equity classes the DOH is offering, click the link below:

  • 13 Oct 2023 10:43 PM | Robbin Blake (Administrator)

    Since the start of this year, we are seeing that some LMTs are sometimes incorrectly interpreting the 8-hour "in person" massage technique requirement to include any class taught in a physical classroom, to include lecture classes.  Since a lecture by definition does not involve the direct application of massage technique, a lecture class does not satisfy the 8-hour in person, directly supervised application of massage technique continuing education requirement.

    WAC 246-830-475 Subsection 2a states:

    (2) The following categories of continuing education are mandatory:

    (a) A minimum of eight hours must be in person and directly supervised involving the participation of the direct application of massage therapy as defined in RCW 18.108.010; and

    In essence, 246-830-475 Subsection 2a is stating

    • that all LMTs are required to complete 8 hours of in person (in a physical classroom, not online)
    • directly supervised (an instructor teaches and remains in the classroom) 
    • involving the participation of the direct application of massage therapy as defined in RCW 18.108.010 (directly applying a massage technique).

    After you fully read a class description of a CE class, if you are unsure if the class you want to take is lecture or qualifies as a massage "hands-on" class, we recommend that you ask the instructor or host of the class to get clarity.

    However, in person lecture classes related to the topic of massage can be used to satisfy the "remaining" hours portion of our 24 hour CE requirement.  24 total CE hours minus 8 hours in person "hands on" minus 4 hours ethics minus up to 4 hours CPR still leaves at least 8 remaining hours of CE class. 

    For complete continuing education WAC details, click on the link below:

    WAC 246-830-475 Continuing Education

  • 4 Jan 2023 9:42 PM | Robbin Blake (Administrator)

    When Governor Inslee ended the COVID state of emergency in Washington State at the close of October 2022, the masking requirement has continued to remain in effect for healthcare providers, to include massage therapists.

    The proclamation on masking was issued by the Department of Health Secretary, Dr. Umair Shah, and was amended on 10/27/22 to continue masking requirements for healthcare.  Regardless of whether you practice in your home, a private office, a gym, a spa, a hotel or any other environment, when your room is being used for massage, everyone within the room is required to be masked -- yourself, your client and any third party that may be sitting in the room (family member, interpreter, etc).  The few exceptions are detailed in the proclamation.  To read the Secretary of Health's proclamation on masking for healthcare, click on this link:  Once you are on the page, just click on the link titled, The "Secretary of Health Mask Order" in the second paragraph to read the actual proclamation, which is a pdf.

    Questions? If you, your employer, or landlord have questions about masking and social distancing for health care providers/facilities, please contact: John Stebbins, CSP, CIH -- L&I -- Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) -- (206) 515-2870.

  • 4 Jan 2023 9:05 PM | Robbin Blake (Administrator)
    The Department of Health (DOH) has a "verify your license" program that you can access from the "Massage Therapist" page on the DOH website.  You can generally find this page by doing a search for "wa state board of massage" in your favorite browser.  However, the link for the page is:

    At the top of the Massage Therapist page, is a section called "We Can Help You".  Click on the link for "Verify Your License (Provider Credential Search)" which is: 

    If you forget when your CE is due, you can use this link to look it up.  If you want to check to see if a massage license is active, expired or if there has been some form of enforcement action attached to a healthcare provider's license, you can find it on this website.

  • 4 Jan 2023 7:19 PM | Robbin Blake (Administrator)

    Historically, there have been 5 members on the Board of Massage -- 4 licensed massage therapists and 1 public member.  The number of members was recently increased by state legislation to include another licensed massage therapist and a massage school educator (potentially a massage school owner or instructor).  Meetings are currently held every other month and generally last 3-6 hours.

    To read what the Board of Massage does, click on this link: and then click on the first link, titled again, "Board Information".  To read more about the Board of Massage, continue to read through the remaining links.

  • 27 Sep 2022 12:30 PM | WSMTA (Administrator)

    Update to Substitute Senate Bill 5169 (Billing for PPE)

    We first brought you information about your ability to bill for PPE in the spring of 2021. The bill that allowed for this, called out an automatic end point to the ability to bill this code. At this time, the Federal Public Health Emergency has been slated to end on October 13, 2022. So, your ability to bill this code will end on that date.

    The bill language can be found here.

  • 4 Apr 2022 10:50 PM | Robbin Blake (Administrator)

    Being pregnant while working generally requires changes to be made around the workplace during the pregnancy.  Employers have certain responsibilities to provide reasonable accommodations during pregnancy, so know your rights in the workplace.

    The following link will take you to the Washington State Labor & Industries website for more details: 

  • 4 Apr 2022 10:41 PM | Robbin Blake (Administrator)

    Many massage businesses require their employees to wear uniforms or uniform shirts.  If the uniform meets certain criteria specified by Washington State Labor and Industries (LNI) then the employer is responsible for paying for the uniform.  If the the employer requires clothing to match colors within a color code, such as all employees must dress in a black shirt and pants, then the employee is responsible for the expense of the clothing.

    For full details about uniforms, please click on the following link:

  • 26 Mar 2022 11:44 PM | Robbin Blake (Administrator)

    This blog is a continuation of our posting, "March 12 Changes to Mask Mandate".  For signage and a flyer with details, click on the above link.

    The Department of Health (DOH) posted a pdf on their website titled, "Mask/Face Covering Guidance During COVID-19" (click the document title to read the article).  This document contains verification that wherever LMTs practice, that is healthcare and masking is required in a healthcare setting.

    There are a lot of links in this document from the DOH, the link that describes what qualifies as healthcare can be found at the bottom of the first page -- there are three bullets with the first bullet stating "Healthcare Settings". Click on the link in the first bullet and it will take you to "Appendix A: Glossary" at the top of page 6.  If you scroll down, you'll see that massage therapy has a specific listing.

  • 4 Mar 2022 2:52 PM | Marybeth Berney (Administrator)

    Non-Competition Agreements in the Profession of Massage Therapy

    By Annika Samuelsen, LMT

    If you are a licensed massage therapist and work as either an employee or independent contractor here in the state of Washington, your employer may have required you to sign a non-competition agreement upon hire.  Read on to inform yourself on recent changes to the enforcement of non-competition agreements that might apply to you.

    For anyone not familiar with the term, a non-competition agreement (also called “non-compete agreement'') is a contract between an employer and their employee.  For massage therapists, this is likely a clause detailed in a subsection of your terms of employment. This type of agreement prohibits an employee from working at or starting a business that is or would be in direct competition with their employer’s business.  The agreement may also specify that once employment has been ended, that the employee must not work or start a business within a certain distance of the employer, at least not until a certain amount of time has passed, otherwise they will incur a monetary penalty.

    Non-competes are used in many different professions to protect employers from losing business to their current or former employees.  Washington legislators who viewed non-competition agreements as prohibitive to economic growth and development proposed bill SB 5478, which was signed into law on May 8th 2019 and went into effect on January 1st 2020. The revised code RCW 42.62.020 details: 

    "A noncompetition covenant is void and unenforceable against the employee: [...] unless the employee's earnings from the party seeking enforcement, when annualized, exceed one hundred thousand dollars per year."

    For independent contractors, annual earnings must be greater than $250,000 per year for the non-compete to be enforceable.  Furthermore, these dollar amounts are tied to the rate of inflation, and are therefore adjusted annually.

    Note: A contract that prohibits an employee or independent contractor from actively soliciting an employer’s clients to see them at another location of business (i.e. non-solicitation agreements) is a different topic.

    What does this mean for licensed massage therapists? 

    If you signed a non-competition agreement with an employer, whether prior to or after the date this code went into effect, and your earnings are below the enforceable thresholds, your employer can no longer impose restrictions on where you work now or in the future because the contract you signed has become void and unenforceable.

    If an employer asks you to sign a non-competition agreement even though your annual earnings are below the enforceable threshold, consider directing them to the revised code and the sources listed below when you are negotiating your terms of employment.

    We want our members to be informed about the legislation that protects them so they can be satisfied with their terms of employment.  Please let us know if this information has been helpful to you, and if you would like to read more content on employment and workplace rights.


    Washington Labor and Industries has a page on non-compete agreements in their section on workplace policies (link).

    Chapter 49.62 of the revised code of Washington (RCW) details the information on non-compete agreements (link).

    RCW bill history of SB 5478 (link).

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