Massage therapy and the Affordable Care Act

Massage therapy and the Affordable Care Act

The massage community, and everyone that supports and uses massage, owes a great debt of gratitude to the authors of a new paper on the safety and effectiveness of massage in the treatment of a myriad of medical conditions. This paper was a Herculean effort carried out and submitted to the Office of the Insurance commisioner on behalf of the massage community  to defend massage as safe and effective treatment in a medical environment.  The Affordable Care Act requires each state to formulate and implement a plan to create a healthcare exchange.  This research was compiled in an effort to secure the inclusion of massage in these future health care exchanges.

If you are a massage therapist please consider making a contribution to the Massage Therapy Foundation. If you are a massage therapist in Washington state and are not a member of the AMTA-WA please consider joining and getting involved with keeping and strengthening massage as an integral part of medical and wellness care in the state of Washington.  As far as I can tell no other group is working this hard in our state for our profession.

Many thanks to all involved with this project.

Click Here to see the document in its entirety.

Project funded by American Massage Therapy Association-WA

Massage and the affordable care act

Massage and the Affordable Care Act

Project Coordinators: Marybeth Berney, LMP, President, AMTA-WA
Diana L Thompson, LMP, Past President, Massage Therapy Foundation

The Authors:

Marissa Brooks, MPH, LMP
Michael Hamm, LMP, CCST
Benjamin Erkan, BA
Diana L Thompson, LMP, Past President, Massage Therapy Foundation
Kenneth Pfaff, HFWLS, HPCUHGS, Head Librarian, The Grotto Library


  1. Great job, thank you!

    • Thank you, Tianne:) We are just trying to do our part.

    • You are welcome Megan. Everyone in our profession benefits from the labors of the Massage Therapy Foundation. I support the foundations efforts in every way and look forward to what the future will yield.

  2. This is monumental in working toward the acceptance of massage as more than a luxury. I think I will send it to the governor’s office in my state to help educate and possibly generate a discussion about massage therapy and other CAM modalities. It would be great if there was a link to share this information via Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    • I am waiting for the OK from the sponsors of the work to hit facebook with it. I am glad you found the information helpful. My son, Benjamin, is one of the authors. I am very proud and grateful for the effort he, and the others involved in the project, put forth on behalf of our profession.

  3. Thanks… Am curious about when was the document written/submitted? I live in NY and was looking at the essential health benefits mandate and massage therapists are not listed. Although Chiropractors and acupuncturists were there… we were not. We are categorized as Health care providers but are not listed as a stand alone provider in the health insurance law. Wish I knew about this last year instead of now (January 2013)

    • Hello Tracy,
      The Document was originally written and compiled in early September 2012. Our local Washington state AMTA chapter has “feet on the ground” in our state capitol and reacted quickly to a last minute request from our state insurance commissioner. Not being listed as a stand alone insurance provider is an issue that concerns many of us. In Washington state we have an “Every Category of Provider Law” which requires insurance to cover the services of all medical providers that are practicing within their scope of practice. I think a national strategy would be a good idea. Are you active in your local AMTA chapter? As far as I can tell the AMTA is the only group that actively lobbies on our behalf. I would encourage you to join and become active. The fact that you have already read parts of the law puts you in the top 1% of folks that are knowledgeable and share our concerns.
      In Good Health,
      BJ Erkan

  4. This was posted by Julie Onofrio. It is worth the read. I will be writing a follow up article when i get the time. I just spent the past two days in Olympia talking to our elected reps and have to digest some of the info before I write about it. Julie, please leave a comment with your name in the future. I am happy to send folks over to your website. :)



  1. 2013 – Getting Massage Covered by Health Insurance - [...] this paper created by AMTA WA  and submitted to the WA State Office of the Insurance Commissioners to help …

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