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 This office will be closed Monday, May 25, 2020 in observance of Memorial Day.

Be safe and stay healthy!

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COVID-19 Information

The Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy ("LBMT") is an active member of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards ("FSMTB"). The LBMT, like Massage Therapy Boards in other states, has been receiving numerous inquiries from massage therapists and massage establishments as to guidelines and protocols that should be followed once individuals and businesses engaged in the practice of massage therapy are permitted to reopen.  In response to requests from its Members, the FSMTB has recently issued "Guidelines for Practice with COVID-19 Considerations"  ("Guidelines") which are recommendations and guidelines for massage and body work practitioners to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  The FSMTB relied on numerous resources to develop the Guidelines and has authorized its Member Boards to use the Guidelines as deemed appropriate to regulate the practice of massage therapy for the benefit of the public.  The "Guidelines for Practice with COVID-19 Considerations" document can be accessed at fsmtb.org.

In making the Guidelines available on its website and as noted in the Guidelines document itself, therapists and establishments should be aware that the recommendations and guidelines in this document as well as other recommendations of the LBMT do not replace any directives or guidance provided by any federal or state agencies, regulatory boards or authorities having jurisdiction.  The LBMT has previously posted on its website references to guidelines and directives issued by the Louisiana Department of Health as well as other agencies recommended by the Louisiana Governor's office.  While the LBMT believes that the FSMTB Guidelines are a valuable source of information, the LBMT cannot independently verify the effectiveness of or enforce the procedures and policies recommended.  Following the guidelines is not intended by either FSMTB or the LBMT to be a guarantee that a therapist or client will not contract the virus.  However, compliance with the FSMTB guidelines and well as following other recommendations implemented by state and federal authorities will demonstrate reasonable efforts were taken to protect both the client and the therapist from exposure to COVID-19 and should potentially offer a defense against any claims of negligent conduct. 

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Proclamation 58 JBE 2020 provided that "Massage Establishments" are to remain closed at least until June 5,2020 or until further orders are issued.  A "Massage Establishment" is defined in La. R.S. 37:3552 (7) as follows:

"Massage Establishment" means any place of business that offers the practice of massage therapy and where the practice of massage therapy is conducted on the premises of the business.  A place of business includes any office, clinic, facility, or other location where a person or persons engage in the practice of massage therapy.  The residence of a therapist or an out-call location which is not owned, rented, or leased by a massage therapist or massage establishment shall not be considered a massage establishment, unless the location is advertised as the therapist's or establishment's place of business.  The term "massage establishment" shall not include physician offices, physical therapy facilities, chiropractic offices, or athletic training facilities, whether or not they employ, contract with, or rent to massage therapists, or institutions of secondary or higher education when massage therapy is practiced in connection with employment related to athletic teams.

The Board office sought clarification on the issue and has been advised that the most recent proclamation ordering closure applies only to "Massage Establishments" that are open to the public. The order would not apply to massage therapists who perform services at specific offices/facilities which are excluded from statutory definition of a "massage establishment" and are otherwise allowed to operate under the recent proclamation. In addition, it appears the emergency authority under which the proclamation was issued would not prohibit a licensed massage therapist from providing massage services on an out-call basis at a location that was not open to the general public.

A massage therapist electing to provide services on an out-call basis or at offices/facilities which are not considered a "massage establishment" should practice the state's recommended safety and sanitary guidelines to protect themselves and their clients.  Those guidelines can be referenced at https://ldh.la.gov/coronavirus and https://opensafely.la.gov .

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 Another Proclamation by Governor Edwards is expected on Thursday, May 14th, according to his announcement on Monday when he stated Massage Establishments are to remain closed.  Information can be found on the Governor's website (https://gov.louisiana.gov ) including the https://opensafely.la.gov/ site where businesses can register to receive notifications and guidance for safely opening or operating your business.  

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Renewal Date Extension

Governor Edwards recently issued Proclamation 58 JBE 2020 which extends the shutdown of certain non-essential services, including specifically massage establishments and spas (Section 2 (E)), through June 5, 2020.  Section 3 (I) of Proclamation 59 grants state departments and agencies the authority to extend "non-essential deadlines for a period of no longer than 30 days." In view of the fact that massage establishments must remain shut-down under the Governor's order through at least June 5, 2020, the Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy has elected to exercise the authority granted under Proclamation 59, Section 3 (I) to extend the deadline for the licenses with the original expiration date of March 31, 2020 extended to April 30, 2020 to May 15, 2020, to May 30,2020 will now be extended to June 30, 2020, which is the maximum allowable period authorized by the Governor's order.

As a reminder, therapists that intend to resume their practice once the Governor lifts the shut-down, should seek to renew before the new extension period expires (June 30, 2020) in order to avoid a late fee.

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While LBMT does not have jurisdiction to mandate the operation of your business, the board would encourage all therapist and establishments to follow the State's guidelines on public health.  For information on those guidelines, please visit http://ldh.la.gov/coronavirus/  

The website will be updated when new information is available.

The LBMT staff will be available to assist you as this COVID-19 pandemic allows.  Please address any questions to admin@labmt.org 

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It's Time to Renew Licenses!
January 1st - March 31st is the time to renew all Professional Licenses, Establishment Licenses and Establishment Registrations. Please renew as early as possible to receive your license by April 1st in order to be in compliance with the law to work.  
Please see extension stated above.

 Notes / Reminders:  All applications (renewal and new) must be dated within 30 days of LBMT Office receipt.  Applications dated prior to 30 days of receipt will be returned to the applicant unprocessed.

When submitting online applications, an email confirmation will be received at the email address listed on your account.  If you do not receive an email, the application was not received for processing.  Please contact the office if you have questions.

First-Year Professional Licensees - When renewing online, you must attach a document stating "First year of licensure - no CEs required" in the area where CEs are required on the application.  The document may be a "Word" doc you created.

If you have taken more CEs than you are able to attach to the renewal application, please attach all that you can and send an email to admin@labmt.org with all of your CEs attached.

The expiration date for all Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy licenses is March each year.

Renewal season is January 1st - March 31st each year.  Remember to renew early to receive your license by April 1st in order to work and be in compliance with the law.

Continuing Education for 2020 renewal must be taken 04/01/2019- 05/30/2020.  If you have questions, please contact the office. Please verify your CE Certificate contains all information as specified in LAC, Title 46, Part XLIV, Chapter 37, 3703 (C) (2) to avoid application denial. 

You may find the above information in La. R.S. 37:3551,et seq., Chapter 57 and LAC, Title 46, Part XLIV ("Louisiana Law" tab, Practice Act/Rules and Standards). Please review all information in the Practice Act and Rules. It is important for all Massage Therapists and Establishments to be aware of all laws that govern the profession.

LBMT takes its role of public protection seriously; but, can only act within its authority as a regulatory board.  If you feel an establishment or a therapist is violating the LMT Practice Act you may file a complaint on our website or with the local authorities.  We as a board will not file a complaint with the local law enforcement; but, encourage you to do so if you desire criminal prosecution.