District of Columbia Massage Requirements

District of Columbia massage requirements establish the educational and examination requirements for an individual to become a massage therapist in the district.  In Washington DC individuals who practice massage therapy are considered Licensed Massage Therapists and must graduate from a board approved  school and pass a board approved national examination. 

In order to operate a massage school District of Columbia massage requirements include approval from the Department of Education.  In order to instruct massage students at a massage school in the District of Columbia must be a licensed massage therapist.  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 District Columbia Board of Massage Therapy.

District of Columbia Massage Requirements

Regulatory Board

District of Columbia Board of Massage Therapy

Department of Health
899 North Capitol Street, NE
First Floor

Washington, DC 20002

Phone   (877) 672-2174
Fax        (202) 727-8471

To see the District of Columbia State Laws & Rules go to:

District of Columbia Board of Massage Therapy

Find District of Columbia Massage Schools


Application & Initial License $262.00
Renewal $177.00

Education requirements:

500 hours from Board approved or accredited school


National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine NCCAOM

Federation of State Massage  Therapy Boards MBLEx

CEU requirements

12 hours biennially

Page last Update 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. 

District of Columbia Municipal Regulations
Chapter 75 Massage Therapy

District of Columbia Massage Requirements Excerpts


7599.1 As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed:

Act - means the D.C. Health Occupations Revision Act of 1985, effective March 15, 1986 (D.C. Law 6-99; D.C Official Code § 3-1201.01 et seq.).

Applicant - means a person applying for a license to practice massage therapy under this chapter.

Approved School - means any institution or training program which meets the requirements of § 7502.1.

Board - means the Board of Massage Therapy, established by § 215(a) of the Act (D.C. Official Code § 3-1203.15(a)).

Full time - means working at least 37.5 hours per week. Client contact while performing massage therapy must comprise at least sixteen (16) of those 37.5 hours.

Incidental use - means soft tissue manipulation performed as part of movement reeducation, energy healing, or other modality in which the soft tissue manipulation is not the central aim of the treatment, but is performed occasionally to facilitate the non- massage therapy practice.

Massage techniques - means any touching or pressure with the intent of providing healing or therapeutic benefits through soft tissue manipulation. Massage techniques include, but are not limited to, Rolfing, Neuromuscular Therapy, Shiatsu or acupressure, Trigger Point massage, Trager, Tui na, Reflexology, Thai Massage, deep tissue massage, Myofascial Release, Lymphatic Drainage, Craniosacral, Polarity, Reiki, Swedish Massage, and Therapeutic Touch. Massage techniques may be Title 17 District of Columbia Municipal Regulations Updated October 18, 2013 14

performed in any postural position including seated massage and techniques performed on clothed clients.

Massage therapist - means a person licensed to practice massage therapy under the Act.

Sexual activity - means any direct or indirect physical contact or connection by any person, or between persons, which is intended to erotically stimulate either or both persons or which is likely to cause such stimulation. As used herein, sexual activity can involve the use of any device or object and is not dependent on whether penetration, orgasm, or ejaculation occurs.

Substantially full time - means working at least twenty-eight (28) hours per week. Client contact while performing massage therapy must comprise at least twelve (12) of those 28 hours.

Supervision - means oversight by a supervisor who is available on the premises or by vocal communication, either directly or by a communications device, and within one (1) hour of travel time of the supervisee.

Supervisor - means a massage therapist who is licensed under the Act and in good standing in the District of Columbia, who assumes legal, ethical, and professional responsibility for the conduct of a student or applicant performing massage therapy under his or her charge.

Therapeutic - means having a positive affect on the health and well-being of the client.

Training - means in-class instruction from an approved institution pursuant to § 7502.1. Apprenticeships, internships, correspondence courses or any other out-of-class experience are not considered training, but are considered experience.

7599.2 The definitions of §4099 of Chapter 40 of this title are incorporated by reference into and are applicable to this title.

Resources and References for District of Columbia Massage Requirements


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