Town of Middleton, MA
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Middleton 3-12-2003. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 300-1 Authority.

In accordance with the authority granted by MGL c. 140, §§ 51 and 53, as amended, the Board of Health of the Town of Middleton hereby establishes the following terms, conditions, rules and regulations for the practice of massage and/or vapor therapy.

§ 300-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
Approved by the Board of Health of the Town of Middleton in accordance with accepted standards.
A course or courses in the art and science of massage therapy, polarity therapy, somatic practices and body work movement. The course of independent study must be accredited and accepted as a reliable education program for massage therapist, polarity therapist, somatic practitioner or other traditional and nontraditional program as previously identified. The applicant shall provide documentation that this course includes a minimum of 500 hours of study which has met the standards of a nationally recognized and accepted massage therapy association or a course of study which has been accepted by a national certification board.
Board of Health of the Town of Middleton.
A range of disciplines in which structured touch or movement is applied to affect the soft tissue, joints, skeletal and nervous systems of the human body, in a manner consisting of, but not limited to, kneading, pressing, rocking, holding, guiding deep pressure, deep friction, and joint mobilization by manual means, including the use of the hand, foot, arm, or elbow. In addition to structured touch, somatic practices may also include directing a person in the performance of movement or exercise and may be accompanied by verbal instruction, discussion or consultation.
Study in massage therapy taking place in one or any combination of the following: a class setting, a one-on-one student-instructor setting or in a direct supervision setting with a supervisor present for observation of work. The course of study shall include but not be limited to the subjects of technique, anatomy and physiology, client practice, communication skills, business practices, and ethics, including practitioner-client boundaries. The candidates must demonstrate successful completion of their national certification exam and certification to practice their particular massage therapy as previously defined.
The room or group of rooms, office, place of business, or premises where massage is practiced or where vapor therapy is given.
The manipulation of soft tissues, muscles and joints consisting of, but not limited to, rubbing, stroking, pressing, kneading, tapping, vibration and friction, by manual means, including the hand, foot, arm, or elbow, or mechanical or electrical means, or by range of motion and stretching, for the purpose of improving circulation, enhancing muscle relaxation, reducing stress, relieving pain and enhancing health and well-being. "Massage and/or vapor therapy" shall also include the use of oils and lotions or similar preparations used in such practice and hydrotherapy and heliotherapy treatments, including but not limited to ice and hot and cold packs.
A female or male who practices massage.
Any person or entity, firm, association, partnership, corporation or combination of persons who provide or permit to be provided massage therapy, bodywork, movement and education at a location other than an establishment which has been licensed or which should be licensed under this regulation, including but not limited to private homes, businesses and sports events.
Any person submitting satisfactory evidence of having completed a minimum five-hundred-hour course of study in massage therapy which meets the standards of a state or national professional association or institution who for compensation, hire or reward engages in the practice of massage therapy.
A male or female who practices somatic therapy.
Any person having accumulated fewer than 500 hours in his or her course of study in massage therapy, gaining practical experience in massage therapy within a training facility or school and under the supervision of a licensed practitioner for the purpose of meeting curriculum requirements and/or for compensation, hire or reward.
Any premises or facility used to train individuals to become professional practitioners of massage therapy.

§ 300-3 Exemptions.

These regulations shall not apply to the following individuals while engaged in the regular performance of the duties of their respective professions:
Physicians, chiropractors, osteopaths, podiatrists, or physical therapists who are duly licensed to practice their respective professions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
School athletic trainers.
Nurses who are registered or licensed under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Barbers and beauticians who are registered under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, except that this exemption shall apply solely to the massaging of the neck, face, scalp, and hair of a customer or client for cosmetic or beautifying purposes.
Any person licensed to practice massage by any city or town in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may, at the written request of a physician, attend patients in the Town of Middleton without taking out an additional license.
Establishments. These regulations shall not apply to hospitals, nursing homes, convalescent homes, home health agencies or other similarity licensed institutions.

§ 300-4 Expiration of permits.

Permits shall automatically expire on January 31 of each year. Applications for renewal must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the expiration date and, when appropriate, must include six continuing education units (CEUs) from an accredited and nationally recognized body.

§ 300-5 Requirements for individual license.

Each individual applicant must:
In his or her initial application and renewal application submit, under the pains and penalties of perjury, to the Board a notarized and completed application form containing all information therein requested. False statements in said application shall be grounds for denial, suspension or revocation of a license.
Be 18 years of age or older.
Provide a written statement from a licensed physician certifying that the applicant is free of any communicable diseases and has undergone a satisfactory physical examination including a negative Mantoux test taken within 45 days prior to this application date and the annual renewal date of his or her license to practice in the Town of Middleton.
Submit a permit fee as determined by the current Board fee schedule.
Have completed a minimum 500 hours of study at a nationally recognized school of massage and be of good standing with any national certification board; provide a certificate of graduation from a nationally accepted and recognized institute and/or evidence of membership with a national certification board. For those individuals who lack formal training the requirement of formal training will be waived if the application is filed within six months after adoption of this regulation and the applicant shall have five or more years of documented experience and the ability to maintain the required continuing education units (CEUs) for license renewal.
Provide a recent front-face photograph, two inches by two inches.
Include a commitment to adhere to the code of ethics of the national organization(s) governing the profession of which the applicant must be a member in good standing.
Submit three written references from unrelated persons.
Provide a certified police query.
Be certified in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
Provide proof of adequate liability insurance.

§ 300-6 Requirements for establishment license.

Every establishment for the giving of massage shall meet the following requirements:
Each applicant must submit, under the pains and penalties of perjury, to the Board a completed and notarized application form containing all information therein requested. False statements in said application shall be grounds for denial, suspension or revocation of a license.
Every licensee shall notify the Board prior to any change of name, address or ownership. Permits are not transferable and become null and void on any change in ownership.
Every licensee shall permit the Board, Health Inspector and Police Department to inspect her or his place of business at any time to the maximum extent permitted by law.
Each applicant must submit three written references from unrelated persons.
The applicant is to provide a certified police query.
Each applicant must provide proof of adequate liability insurance.

§ 300-7 Rules and regulations for individual practitioners.

Every professional practitioner conducting work in the Town of Middleton shall agree to use the following guidelines in the conduct of massage and aroma therapy. Practitioners shall:
Not touch or work with a client when either the client or practitioner is afflicted with a communicable disease, including but not limited to skin fungus, skin infection, skin inflammation, skin eruption, or skin lesion (i.e., cut), that could be spread through the massage therapy.
Wash hands thoroughly with proper soap or disinfectant and hot water immediately before and after performing a massage or vapor therapy session.
Maintain a sufficient level of personal cleanliness and be clothed in clean and appropriate attire.
Not administer massage or vapor therapy to a minor without consent of the minor's parent or guardian.
Take all precautions for proper hygiene within the facilities.
Not diagnose disease, prescribe medicine or perform any procedure that requires a license from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including but not limited to psychotherapy and chiropractic.
Prominently display in the main seating area, entranceway or in each practice room the license to practice massage or vapor therapy issued by the Board of Health.
Maintain a record of dates, names and addresses of all patrons. This record shall be made available to the Board or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in the event of a communicable disease believed to have been brought to, or transmitted through or from, the massage or vapor therapy practitioner or establishment.
Follow all rules set forth in these regulations and conduct themselves in accordance with the standards of their accrediting state or national professional association.
Use universal precautions in the prevention of all communicable diseases.
Notify the Board at least 14 days prior to any change of name, address, or ownership.

§ 300-8 Rules and regulations for establishments.

Every operator of an establishment for the giving of massage or vapor therapy shall meet the following requirements.
The operator shall:
Notify the Board at least 14 days prior to any change of name, address, or ownership.
Operate only under the name or designation specified on the license.
Not employ or cause to be employed as a massage practitioner any person who does not have a license or permit for the practice of massage therapy from the Board or whose massage therapy license or permit has been suspended.
Not perform or allow to be performed an illegal act on the premises. A violation of this subsection may be grounds for revocation, suspension or modification of the massage therapy license.
Not serve alcoholic beverages in the portion of a building that the Board determines is being used for the purpose of giving massage therapy.
Not operate X-Ray, fluoroscope, diathermy or other similar equipment unless licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to practice a profession requiring the use of such equipment.
Provide a minimum of one toilet room containing a toilet and sink. The toilet room shall be provided with toilet paper, liquid hand soap and paper towels in a fixed dispenser.
All rooms used for massage therapy shall be clean and easily cleanable, well lighted, adequately ventilated and properly heated in accordance with local and or state regulations.
If shower facilities are not provided, the operator shall post conspicuously at the reception area of the facility a sign which shall read as follows. The letters in the first two lines shall be at least one inch in height. Hypoallergenic soap, water and rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl, by volume) must be available in the establishment at all times when a shower is not provided.
Notice To Massage Clients
This establishment does not provide a shower for use after massage. If you believe you are allergic to lotions, oils or powders, please notify the massage therapist prior to the massage. They will not be used. If requested, the massage therapist will use rubbing alcohol or soap and warm water to remove oils, lotions or powder used during massage.
The sign referred to Subsection C shall not be required in establishments where techniques are performed on clients fully clothed (e.g., oriental bodywork, polarity therapy, etc.) or where techniques are performed that do not use oil.
All areas of the establishment, including the furniture and equipment therein, shall be kept in sanitary condition at all times. All massage therapy tables, mattresses, etc., shall be easily cleanable. All surfaces used for massage therapy shall be properly cleaned and sanitized after each massage therapy session.
All robes, sheets, towels, etc., supplied by the establishment which may come in direct contact with the body shall be mechanically washed with detergent and mechanically dried after each use. Single-service items are acceptable and shall be used once.
The current license of the massage therapy establishment and current licenses or permits of all massage therapy practitioners conducting massage therapy therein must be displayed in a conspicuous place.
All licensed establishments shall file an application for renewal not less than 30 days prior to the expiration of their licenses, whereupon their existing licenses shall not expire until the Board has finally determined the renewal application's status.

§ 300-9 Off-premises work.

All professional practitioners licensed by the Board may perform off-premises work provided that they:
Agree to meet all requirements set forth in §§ 300-8A(3), (4), (5) and (6) and 300-7.
Publicly display their professional practitioner license where conducting off-premises business.

§ 300-10 Mandatory disclosure.

No licensee shall provide any massage or bodywork without first having provided the client with a disclosure document that includes the following language in not less than twelve-point type. This disclosure shall be posted in a conspicuous place.
Disclosure Required by the Board of Health
Massage or bodywork is defined as the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and the soft tissues of the human body. Application of massage and bodywork techniques may include, but is not limited to, stroking, kneading, tapping, compression, friction, pressure and those techniques based on manipulation of the application of pressure to the muscular structure of soft tissues of the human body.
Massage or bodywork is provided for the basic purpose of relaxation, stress reduction, and relief of muscular tension.
Massage or bodywork should not be construed as a substitute for medical examination, diagnosis, or treatment. A physician, chiropractor, or other qualified medical professional should be consulted for any medical ailment.
Massage therapists are not qualified to perform spinal or skeletal adjustments or to diagnose, prescribe or treat any physical or mental illness.
Because massage should not be done under certain conditions, all known medical conditions and allergies should be disclosed to the massage therapist by the client.
Illicit or sexually suggestive remarks or advances are prohibited.
The issuance of a license for the practice of massage therapy does not constitute endorsement of the licensee or establishment by the Board.

§ 300-11 License suspension, revocation or modification; appeals.

The Board may suspend, revoke or modify a professional practitioner or establishment or temporary license or a student-apprentice practitioner or off-premises business license for any violation of these regulations or for the performance of any illegal act on the premises by serving an order in writing by any person authorized to serve civil process or by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the person(s) responsible for the violation.
The person(s) to whom an order has been served may request in writing a hearing before the Board within seven days after the order was served. Upon receipt of such petition the Board shall set a time and place for such hearing and shall inform the petitioner thereof in writing within seven days. The hearing shall be commenced not later than 30 days after the day on which the order was served. The thirty-day period may be extended if, in the opinion of the Board, the petitioner has submitted a valid and sufficient reason for such postponement.
At the hearing the petitioner shall be given the opportunity to be heard and to show why the order should be modified or withdrawn. After the hearing the Board shall sustain, modify or withdraw the order and shall inform the petitioner in writing of this decision within seven business days. The decision of the Board shall be final.
Any person or establishment whose application for a license or license renewal is denied may, within 30 days of issuance of notice of said denial, request, in writing, a hearing upon the cause or causes of said denial. The Board shall set a time and place for said hearing within a reasonable time.

§ 300-12 Enforcement.

Unless otherwise specified the provisions of this regulation shall be enforced by the Board, its agent or employees.

§ 300-13 Violations and penalties.

Whoever violates any provisions of these regulations as stated herein or prevents or hinders any member or agent of the Board or Police Department from exercising entry and inspection authority under the authority of and as pertaining to these regulations and MGL c. 140, §§ 51, 52 and 53, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100 or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Each day that these violations exist shall constitute a separate violation.

§ 300-14 Severability.

If any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of these rules and regulations shall be invalid for any reason, such invalidity shall not affect the remaining portions of these regulations. Furthermore, the Board, at its discretion, may waive any of these requirements in its sole and absolute discretion.