Governor M. Jodi Rell today signed a public health bill into law that establishes criminal penalties for individuals who practice massage therapy without a state license, a measure intended to stem the growth of establishments that promote illegal activities under the guise of massage businesses.
“Those who try to deceive the public or run an illegal business they promote as legitimate will face jail time and costly fines,” the Governor said. “Simply put, if you don’t have a state health license that says you are a certified massage therapist, don’t tell the public you do. This law is more than just truth in advertising; it is sound health policy and ensures the public gets the highest standard of care.”
House Bill 5883, An Act Concerning The Unlicensed Practice of Massage Therapy, makes it a Class C misdemeanor for anyone to engage in the practice of massage therapy or use the title “massage therapist” without a license from the state Department of Public Health. It would be punishable by up to three months in prison and a fine of up to $500.
The Governor said the new law will protect the public by making it easier for police to identify and apprehend individuals illegally practicing massage in Connecticut. In recent years, establishments have opened in a number of cities and towns and purport to offer massage therapy but have little or nothing to do with legitimate massage businesses. Many town ordinances regulating these local establishments are outdated, and some as written, have the potential to promote illegal activities.