Louisiana massage requirements establish the educational and examination requirements for an individual to become a massage therapist in the state. In Louisiana individuals who practice massage therapy are considered Licensed Massage Therapists and must graduate from a board approved school and pass a board approved examination. A business must obtain a Massage Establishment License and hire Licensed Massage Therapists in order to offer the service of massage. Massage laws were enacted in Louisiana in 1993. The following information is offered as an assistance to those considering a career as a massage therapist. The information should be verified by consulting the Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy.
Louisiana Regulatory Board
Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy
To See Louisiana State Laws & Rules go to:
Application Fee $75
Licensure Fee $125
Renewal Fee $125
Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards
Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination MBLEx
12 hours annually
Page last Updated June 16, 2015
The National Certification Examination for Licensure is no longer offered as of November 1, 2014 and National Certification will no longer be offered as of December 31, 2016. Those who are Nationally Certified will need to upgrade their Certification to Board Certified. Please go to NCBTMB.org for further information on Board Certification.
As used in this Chapter:
(1) "Advertise" or "advertising" means to publish, display, or disseminate promotional
information and includes but is not limited to the issuance of any card, sign, or direct mail, or in
any newspaper, magazine, publication, or any announcement or display via any televised,
computerized, electronic, or telephone networks, magnetic signs, or media. "Advertise" shall not
include the following:
(a) Telephone directory information including white pages, yellow pages, and any Internet
publication made by the phone directory company in which one is listed.
(b) Building signs identifying the location, unless the building sign contains promotional
(2) "Board" means the Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy.
(3) "Department" means the Department of Health and Hospitals.
(4) "Inactive status" means the status in which a licensed massage therapist has, pursuant to the
provisions of this Chapter, notified the board of intent to voluntarily cease activity as a massage
therapist for a period of time not to exceed five years.
(5) "Lapsed license" means a board-issued license which has not been renewed for a period of
more than two years and the holder of the license has not taken inactive status.
(6) "Licensee" means any person or business that has a professional or establishment license
issued by the board.
(7) "Massage establishment" means any place of business that offers the practice of massage
therapy and where the practice of massage therapy is conducted on the premises of the business.
A place of business includes any office, clinic, facility, or other location where a person or
persons engage in the practice of massage therapy. The residence of a therapist or an out call
location which is not owned, rented, or leased by a massage therapist or massage establishment
shall not be considered a massage establishment, unless the location is advertised as the
therapist's or establishment's place of business. The term "massage establishment" shall not
include physician offices, physical therapy facilities, chiropractic offices, or athletic training
facilities, whether or not they employ, contract with, or rent to massage therapists, or institutions
of secondary or higher education when massage therapy is practiced in connection with
employment related to athletic teams.
(8) "Massage therapist" means a person who engages in the practice of massage therapy for
(9) "Person" means an individual, corporation, association, or other legal entity.
(10) "Practice of massage therapy" means the manipulation of soft tissue for the purpose of
maintaining good health and establishing and maintaining good physical condition. The practice
of massage therapy shall include advertising or offering to engage in the practice of massage
therapy and holding oneself out or designating oneself to the public as a massage therapist or
massage establishment. The practice of massage therapy shall include effleurage (stroking),
petrissage (kneading), tapotement (percussion), compression, vibration, friction (active/passive
range of motion), stretching activities as they pertain to massage therapy, Shiatsu, acupressure,
reflexology, and Swedish massage either by hand, forearm, elbow, foot, or with mechanical
appliances for the purpose of body massage. Massage therapy may include the use of lubricants
such as salts, powders, liquids, creams with the exception of prescriptive or medicinal creams,
heat lamps, hot and cold stones, whirlpool, hot and cold packs, salt glow, body wraps, or steam
cabinet baths. It shall not include electrotherapy, laser therapy, microwave, colonic therapy,
injection therapy, or manipulation of the joints. Equivalent terms for massage therapy are
massage, therapeutic massage, massage technology, body work, or any derivation of those terms.
As used in this Chapter, the terms "therapy" and "therapeutic" shall not include diagnosis, the
treatment of illness or disease, or any service or procedure for which a license to practice
medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, or podiatry is required by law.
(11) "Professional Massage Therapy Association" means a statewide organization or statewide
chapter of an organization which meets all of the following criteria:
(a) Either directly, or through the parent organization, qualifies as a tax exempt nonprofit
organization under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(6).
(b) Within Louisiana, offers a voting membership to licensed massage therapists who practice or
reside in Louisiana and who maintain their voting membership in good standing.
(c) Within Louisiana, is administered by a governing body composed of officers democratically
elected by the organization's voting membership within Louisiana.
(12) "Writing" shall be a written communication transmitted either by United States mail or by
electronic means such as e-mail.
Acts 1992, No. 753, §2, eff. Sept. 1, 1992; Acts 2012, No. 605, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2013.
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