Rossmoor Massage and Bodywork Club

Promoting massage and bodywork in Rossmoor, Walnut Creek, CA


Massage/Bodywork Laws & Regulations

All businesses operating in Rossmoor must have a valid Walnut Creek business license.

All massage therapists and bodyworkers must be either have a valid Walnut Creek massage license or be certified by CAMTC (California Massage Therapy Council).  Only therapists certified by CAMTC may call themselves “Certified Massage Therapists”, "Certified Massage Practitioner" or use the designations “CMT” or CMP".  Both Walnut Creek and CAMTC use LiveScan to check the practitioner’s criminal background.

General and professional liability insurance is very affordable because bodywork and massage are very safe practices with very low claims rates.  They are not required by law but we will only register therapists who have at least $1,000,000 per incident $2,000,000 coverage.

Traditional medicine and some forms of alternative medicine such as chiropractic are licensed by the state so you have an idea of the person’s training, what they do and what they are allowed to do by law.  Alternative practices such as acupressure, aromatherapy, ayurveda, cranial sacral therapy, culturally traditional healing practices, detoxification practices and therapies, energetic healing, polarity therapy, folk practices, healing touch, herbology or herbalism, homeopathy, iridology, body work and massage therapy, mind-body healing practices, and unlicensed traditional Oriental practices, such as Qi Gong energy healing do not have such a standard and practices vary by individual.

So how do you find someone who is right for you?  As of January 1, 2003 the California Health Freedom Act (SB577 Burton 2001-2002) helps you decide.  It requires anyone to practice any healing are to provide a formal disclosure detailing that he or she is not a licensed physician, that the treatment is alternative or complementary to healing arts services licensed by the state and that the services to be provided are not licensed by the state.  Most importantly they require that they describe the nature of the services to be provided, the theory of treatment upon which the services are based and his or her educational, training, experience, and other qualifications regarding the services to be provided.

This disclosure is designed to help you decide if the person is the right one for you.  It is also important to know that the practitioner knows the law and the limits of the scope of practice that they do.  The practitioner should keep a signed copy as proof that you have been given a disclosure and gives you a copy for your records and keeps a copy for his records. 

Here are the things that unlicensed alternative practitioners are NOT allowed to do:

The law is sometimes confusing to the public.  For example an alternative healer can practice naturopathy but not call himself a Doctor of Naturopathy or use the initials N.D unless licensed by the state.  The Doctor or Naturopathy license also extends the scope of practice beyond that allowed under the California Health Freedom Act.

If a doctor or chiropractor is providing a form of treatment that is outside of what their license allows they can still practice but need to do so under the California Health Freedom Act and provide disclosures like anyone else.

The new California massage certification act creating the CAMTC went into effect September or 2009 only controls the use of the term “Certified Massage Therapist” or ".Certified Massage Practitioner”.  Unless the new state board certifies them, they can no longer call themselves Certified Massage Therapists of use the initials CMT.  However, it does not control the practice of massage nor does it exempt massage therapist from needing to provide disclosures if they claim any health benefits or therapeutic benefit from what they do.  It does not define what massage is or what therapist can or cannot do.  That is still controlled by the California Health Freedom Act and the disclosure process.

The intent of the law is to allow people to offer a wide variety of alternative practices as long as they are not harmful to the public and allow us to make informed decisions about our health.  There is no excuse for alternative practitioners not to offer disclosures and practice within the law.  Insist on disclosures because it shows that the person cares and helps you make a better choice.

We will post the practitioner’s disclosure on this site.  If the practitioner does not have a disclosure that conforms to California Business and Professions Code sections 2053.5-2053.6 we will help them develop one.