Scope of practice of Massage Therapy in Florida by definition
In Florida Chapter 480 is the Massage Therapy Laws governing our profession. Chapter 480 defines Massage Therapy as: Massage means the manipulation of the soft tissues of the human body with the hand, foot, arm or elbow, whether or not such manipulation is aided by hydrotherapy, including colonic irrigation, or thermal therapy, any electrical or mechanical device, or the application to the human body of a chemical or herbal preparation. So what modalities can a license massage therapist provide citizens of Florida?
If you look at the first part of the definition it states massage means the manipulation of the soft tissue of the human body. This means most modalities of hands touching the body. common hands on modalities of massage therapy include: Swedish or basic massage, myofascial, neuromuscular, cranial sacral therapy, sports massage, medical massage, orthopedic massage, shiatsu, pregnancy massage, reflexology and many other modalities. The definition does not attempt to name every modality because they are too numerous to mention and new modalities are constantly being created.
The Florida Board of Massage has stated that if you are touching human beings in the State of Florida for therapeutic reasons, the minimum licensure required from the Department of Health is a Massage Therapy license.
The word Hydrotherapy means the use of water as a therapeutic modality. Massage Therapists can include hot and cold packs in their treatments. Some spas include water treatments that include showers and baths. Foot baths can be administered before a massage as a way to help the customer relax before the massage.
The use of ice therapies vary greatly as a massage modality. Cool or ice baths can be administered to relieve pain and reduce inflammation of soft tissue. Ice massage and the application of ice packs to injured tissue can be very therapeutic.
In the massage definition thermal therapies introduce heat to the body. In clinical treatments ultrasound can be applied to deep tissues of the body that the hands cannot reach. Both hot packs and hot stones are applied to the body to reduce discomfort and bring soothing relief to minor aches and pains.
Electrical and mechanical devices often included in massage therapy treatments include electrical stimulation equipment and thumpers and vibrators. Electrical stimulators come in many forms and can be used for many different outcomes. Electrical Stimulation and Ultrasound require additional training beyond the required basic massage therapy training.
Mechanical devices may include resistive bands used to stress an area where massage is being administered and help reeducate muscles and joints after the massage.
The last parts states a massage therapist may apply chemical or herbal preparations to the human body. Many massage lotions, creams and oils may be applied to the customer while receiving a massage. These oils, lotions and creams help relax and can effect healing when applied appropriately. Some massage therapist study to create their own oils, lotions and creams.
I believe the definition of massage therapy in the State of Florida is one of the best in the United States. It allows massage therapists to gain employment or create self employment in various environments where touch is appropriate and therapeutic.
A massage therapy student after graduating from a Board of Massage Therapy approved school and receiving their license can choose to work for an employer of choose self employment. A massage therapist can choose how many hours they want to work and in what environment they would be happy working in.
Massage therapists can set up a quite relaxing room to de-stress customers or could set up a more medically oriented massage practice.
Each massage therapy student is exposed to various massage modalities in school and is required to participate in student clinic, where they learn to apply massage modalities to the general public.
The Central Florida School of Massage Therapy is designed to prepare its students for the real life expectations of a Licensed Massage therapist employed in Florida.
Our students refer to their experience at the Central Florida School of Massage Therapy as a life evolving experience. A start at a new rewarding career!!!