Title 23
Health and Safety

Chapter 20.8
Licensing of Massage Therapists

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-20.8-1

§ 23-20.8-1. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) “Board” means the Rhode Island State Board of Licensed Massage Therapists as established within this chapter.

(2) “Body works” and “body-works services” means body rubs, body stimulation, manipulation, or conditioning of any part or parts of the body, spa services, and spa treatments performed by any person not licensed under this title.

(3) “Continuing education” means a course of study subsequent to the completion of, and in addition to, an approved entry-level program of massage therapy education.

(4) “Continuing education units” means an instructional period of at least fifty (50) continuous minutes per hour in a recognized or approved course.

(5) “Massage” means the systematic and scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body accomplished by the use of digits, hands, forearms, elbows, knees, or feet, hand-held tool, or other external apparatus. Massage may include the use of topical applications.

(6) “Massage therapist” means a person engaged in the practice of massage and is licensed in accordance with this chapter of the general laws of the state of Rhode Island.

(7) “Massage therapy” means the use of massage for therapeutic purposes, including, but not limited to: pain management, stress reduction, promotion of relaxation, and enhancement of general health and well-being. Massage therapy includes, but is not limited to, manipulation of soft tissue and normal movement of the body to develop an appropriate massage therapy session and the delivery of self-care and health maintenance information. Massage therapy does not encompass:

(i) Diagnosis;

(ii) The prescribing of drugs or medicines;

(iii) Spinal manipulation; and

(iv) Any service or procedure for which a license or registration is required by law, including, but not limited to, the practice of medicine, chiropractic, naturopathy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, psychotherapy, behavioral health services, or podiatry.

(8) “Practice of massage therapy” means the exchange of massage therapy services for currency, goods, or services.

(9) “Topical applications” means but is not limited to, lubricants, emollients, non-prescription analgesics, and the use of heat and cold.

History of Section.
P.L. 1978, ch. 230, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 23-58-1; P.L. 1979, ch. 39, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 23-20.8-1; P.L. 1982, ch. 407, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 273, § 2; P.L. 2008, ch. 100, art. 6, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 165, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 222, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 211, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 213, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 114, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 140, § 1.