Delaware General Assembly







BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Title 24, Delaware Code by adding a new chapter to read as follows:

"Chapter 53. Massage/Bodywork Practitioner Act §5301. Short Title

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "The Professional Massage/Bodywork Practitioner Act."

§5302. Declaration of Purpose.

Recognizing that the practice of massage/bodywork is a privilege and not a natural right of individuals, it is hereby deemed necessary as a matter of policy in the interests of public health, safety and welfare to provide laws and provisions covering the granting of that privilege and its subsequent use and control, and to provide regulations to the desired end that the public health shall be promoted and that the public shall be properly protected against the unprofessional, improper, unauthorized and unqualified practice of massage/bodywork, and from unprofessional conduct by persons certified to practice massage/bodywork in this State.

§5303. Requirements For Practice of Massage/Bodywork.

No person shall claim to be a state-certified massage/bodywork practitioner in this State, or use in connection with his or her name, by verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card or in any other way represent himself/herself to be a state-certified massage/bodywork practitioner, or claim or imply that he/she is a state-certified massage/bodywork practitioner registered under this Chapter, or to advertise any title or description tending to convey the impression that he/she is a certified massage/bodywork practitioner without having first obtained from the Committee on Massage/Bodywork Practitioners a certificate to practice massage/bodywork and a current active registration therefor as provided within this Chapter.

§5304. Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Chapter, shall have the meaning ascribed to them, except for where the context clearly indicates a different meaning.

Application Fee" means the amount to be charged for an application that shall approximate and reasonably reflect all costs necessary to defray the expenses of the Committee as well as the proportional expenses incurred by the Division of Professional Regulation in its services on behalf of the Committee.

"Certified Instructor" means a practitioner who is qualified for certification in the State of Delaware under this Chapter and has practiced professionally for five (5) years, or who has been certified as an instructor by a national organization.

"Committee" means the Committee on Massage/Bodywork Practitioners which shall assist the State in the regulation of massage/bodywork practice.

"Division" means the Division of Professional Regulation of the Department of Administrative Services of Delaware.

Massage/Bodywork" means systems of activity applied to the
superficial or deep tissue, muscle or connective tissue by means of applying pressure with hands, feet, arms or elbows in non-pathological conditions. Such application may include, but is not limited to friction, stroking, rocking, tapping, kneading or non-specific stretching whether or not aided by massage oils. Massage/bodywork practices are designed to promote general
relaxation, improve joint mobilization, or relieve stress and muscle tension, and to enhance a general sense of well-being in the client.

"State Certified Massage/Bodywork Practitioner" means any person who is practicing massage/bodywork certified under this chapter but excludes any person who is certified or licensed in this State by any other law engaged in the profession or occupation for which he or she is certified or licensed, and any person engaged in an occupation which does not require a certificate or certification, including but not limited to, physical education teachers, athletic coaches, health or recreation directors, instructors at health clubs or spas; martial arts, water safety and dance instructors, coaches, and practitioners of techniques which may involve touch but which do not require disrobing or the application of lubricants, when acting within the scope of activity for which they are trained; or massage/bodywork students practicing within the scope of their course of study.

§5305. Committee on Massage/Bodywork Practitioners; Qualifications; Terms of Office; Prohibition on Compensation.

The Committee on Massage/Bodywork Practitioners is hereby established. It shall consist of seven (7) members who are residents of this State and shall be appointed by the Governor. A member who was initially appointed to fill a vacancy, may succeed himself of herself for only 1 additional full term. Each term of office shall expire on a date specified in the appointment except that each member shall serve until his or her successor is duly appointed. Members of the initial Committee shall be appointed in such a
manner that the terms of 4 members shall expire in 1994, and that the terms of the remaining 3 members shall expire in 1995. Thereafter, appointments shall be made for a term of 3 years. A member of the Committee shall be eligible for reappointment, but a member shall not be appointed to serve more than 2 consecutive terms. Members of the committee shall serve without compensation.

Four (4) members shall be massage/bodywork practitioners, certified to practice in Delaware with a maximum of one member from the same national organization or school. The remaining three (3) members shall be from the general public, who are not massage/bodywork practitioners and are not in any way; connected to the practice of massage/bodywork either monetarily or by their immediate family relations.

The Committee shall meet at least quarterly or more often as
required. The location of the meetings shall be determined by the Division, but shall be within the boundaries of the State. All meetings shall be opened to the public.

§5306. Powers and Duties of Committee.

The Committee on Massage/Bodywork Practitioners shall have the authority to:

Compile a list of schools and certified teachers, the training of which shall be equivalent to the educational requirements as set forth in §5307, and to be used as references sources in the certification process. Recognized schools and teachers may teach any method of massage/bodywork including, but not limited to Alexander technique, Therapeutic technique, Feldenkrais, Hellerwork, Oriental Bodywork, Rolfing, Trager, Bioenergetics and Shiatsu;

Grant or deny certification to an applicant in accordance with the qualifications criteria set forth in this Chapter;

Establish an application fee for applicants and registrants, to help underwrite the costs and to support the activities of this Committee, with the concurrence of the Division;

Formulate rules and regulations to carry—out the intent of this Chapter;

Receive complaints from practitioners and from the public concerning practitioners, or concerning practice of the profession; to request the Division investigate such complaints and to take appropriate action within its powers as the Committee deems appropriate;

Suspend, revoke or reinstate the certification of a massage/bodywork practitioner who has been found to be in violation of this Chapter.

§5307. Qualifications of Applicants.

Upon application to the Committee, a massage/bodywork applicant may be certified for a period of two (2) years if the applicant meets either of the following qualifications of subsection a) or b):

(a) Education: Successful completion of a five hundred (500) hour course of supervised study by a school or certified instructor in the field of massage/bodywork with a curriculum including no less than:

Fifty (50) hours of anatomy;

Fifty (50) hours of physiology;

Three hundred (300) hours of technique and theory in a specific massage/bodywork modality, to include a cardiopulmonary resuscitation training program accredited by the State.

One hundred (100) hours of elective courses pertaining to the field of massage/bodywork practice; or

(b) Examination: Successful completion of an examination

administered by a school or national organization whose curriculum meets the standards of educational requirements equivalent to those specified in §5307.

§5308. Reciprocity.

Upon payment of an appropriate application fee, the Committee shall waive the examination, education or experience requirements and grant a certificate to any applicant who shall present proof of current certification or license as a massage/bodywork practitioner in another state, the District of Columbia, or territory of United States which requires standards for certification/licensing considered by the Committee to be equivalent to the requirements for certification under this Chapter.

Upon receipt of an application for reciprocity, the Committee shall contact each jurisdiction which has previously certified/licensed the applicant, to determine whether or not there are disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against the applicant': In the event a
disciplinary proceeding or an unresolved complaint is pending, the applicant shall not be certified until the proceeding or the complaint has been resolved in the applicant's favor.

5309. Provisional Certification.

Upon acceptance of an application by the Committee, a massage/bodywork applicant may be provisionally certified by the Committee to practice massage/bodywork for an intial period of not more than two (2) years, which may be renewed for another two (2) year period, while pursuing courses of study necessary to comply with the eligibility provisions and qualifications of this Chapter. An applicant for provisional certification shall meet the following requirements:

(1) Has completed a basic massage/bodywork course of study with a minimum of three hundred (300) hours of instruction with a school or instructor; and Has fewer than the five hundred (500) hours of education specified in this Chapter; and

Is engaged in the practice of massage/bodywork in the State of Delaware at the time of the enactment of this Chapter.

§5310. Ineligibility.

Any person who has been convicted in any jurisdiction of a crime involving sexual abuse or a felony involving violence may not apply for a certificate under this Chapter.

Any person who has been convicted of a felony, professionally
penalized or convicted of drug addiction, or who has been penalized or convicted of a willful violation of any confidential communication, or who has been professionally penalized or convicted of fraud within the last five (5) years may not apply for a certificate.

§5311. Professional Conduct.

A certified massage/bodywork practitioner shall:

(I) Represent herself or himself and his or her practice accurately and ethically and perform only those services for which he or she is certified.

(2) Keep all client information strictly confidential unless written permission is given by the client, or ordered by the court.

Failure to comply with these standards constitutes professional misconduct and may result in certification suspension, or certification revocation by the Committee, in accordance with the Delaware Administrative Procedures Act.

§5312. Advertising.

Any applicant certified by the Committee is entitled to advertise as "Delaware State Certified", and is entitled to advertise only the specific type of massage/bodywork certification which the applicant received from his or her school or national organization.

Any person found to have engaged in false advertising in connection with massage/bodywork may be fined in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Committee, and enjoined from further false advertising.

§5313. Denial, Suspension or Revocation of Certification.

The following actions by a certified massage/bodywork practitioner or applicant may result in refusal to certify, suspension of certification or revocation of certification by the Committee:

Advertising and/or claiming to be a state-certified
massage/bodywork practitioner as defined by this Chapter without a valid certificate;

Attempting to procure a certification to practice
massage/bodywork through fraud, bribery or misrepresentation;

Commission of two or more incidents of negligence or misconduct in massage/bodywork practice;

Practicing massage/bodywork, as defined in this Chapter, while judgment is impaired by the use of drugs or alcohol;

Conviction in any jurisdiction of a felony or misdemeanor
involving sexual abuse or a felony involving violence;

Prescribe, or diagnose, or in any way represent himself or

herself as practicing medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, or psychotherapy unless he or she is licensed or certified to do so by his or her State or County.

(2) Any person aggrieved by a violation of this Chapter by any certified massage/bodywork practitioner or applicant shall file a complaint with the ommittee which shall request that the Division investigate the complaint. If the allegations of the complaint are true and constitute a violation of this Chapter, the Committee shall deny an application for certification, suspend certification or revoke certification, as appropriate.

§5314. Administrative Procedures.

All procedures under this Chapter shall be governed by the Delaware Administrative Procedures Act.

§5315. Continuing Education.

As a condition precedent to the renewal of the two year certification, a massage/bodywork practitioner must file with the Committee evidence of completion of at least twelve (12) hours of study in the field of massage/bodywork practice during the immediately preceding two years which may include but are not limited to conferences, seminars and classes."

Section 2. Amend §8810(a), Chapter 88, Title 29 of the Delaware Code, by adding a new subsection (29), which subsection shall read as follows;

'(29) Committee on Massage/Bodywork Practitioners, as set forth in Chapter 53 of Title 24; and'; and redesignating present subsection (29) as new subsection (30).'"

Section 3. Amendment of Adult Entertainment Establishment Statute.

Amend §1602(2)e, Chapter 16, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by adding the words 'massage/bodywork practitioner' after the word 'physician,' as the same appears in said section.

Approved April 27, 1992.