Therapy has been licensed as a medical profession in the
state of Ohio since 1916, remaining unchanged until 1975,
with additional changes in 1992.
The Scope of Practice for massage therapists was changed to
its current form in 2004. Following is the Scope of Practice
as it currently is written into Ohio law.
NEW SCOPE OF PRACTICE: MASSAGE
Massage therapy is the treatment of disorders of the human
body by the manipulation of soft tissue through the
systematic external application of massage techniques
including touch, stroking, friction, vibration, percussion,
kneading, stretching, compression, and joint movements
within the normal physiologic range of motion; and
adjunctive thereto, the external appliction of water, heat,
cold, topical preparations, and mechanical devices.
massage therapist shall not diagnose a patient's condition.
A massage therapist shall evaluate whether the application
of massage therapy is advisable. A massage therapist may
provide information or education consistent with that
evaluation, including referral to an appropriate licensed
health care professional, provided that any form of
treatment advised by a massage therapist falls within the
scope of practice of, and relates directly to a condition
that is amenable to treatment by, a massage therapist. In
determining whether the application of massage therapy is
advisable, a massage therapist shall be limited to taking a
written or verbal inquiry, visual inspection including
observation of range of motion, touch, and the taking of a
pulse, temperature and blood pressure.
No person shall use the words or letters "massage
therapist," "licensed massage therapist," "L.M.T." or any
other letters, words, abbreviations, or insignia, indicating
or implying that the person is a licensed massage therapist
without a valid license under Chapter 4731, of the Revised
A massage therapist may treat temporomandibular joint
dysfunction provided that the patient has been directly
referred in writing for such treatment to the massage
therapist by a physician currently licensed pursuant to
Chapter 4731, of the Revised Code, by a chiropractor
currently licensed pursuant to Chapter 4734, of the Revised
Code, or a dentist currently licensed pursuant to Chapter
4715. of the Revised Code.
All persons who hold a certificate to practice massage
therapy issued pursuant to section 4731.17 of the Revised
Code shall prominently display that certificate in the
office or place where a major portion of the certificate
holder's practice is conducted. If a certificate holder does
not have a primary practice location, the certificate holder
shall at all times when practicing keep the wallet
certificate on the holder's person.
Massage therapy does not include:
application of ultrasound, diathermy, and electrical
neuromuscular stimulation or substantially similar
practice of chiropractic, including the application of a
high velocity-low amplitude thrusting force to any
articulation of the human body;
use of graded force applied across specific joint surfaces
for the purpose of breaking capsular adhesions;
prescription of therapeutic exercise for the purpose of
rehabilitation or remediation of a disorder of the human
treatment of infectious, contagious or veneral diseases
prescribing or administering of drugs; and
performing of surgery.
As used within this rule:
does not prohibit a massage therapist from performing
massage therapy inside the mouth or oral cavity; and
devices" means any tool or device which mimics or enhances
the actions possible by the hands that is within the scope
of practice as defined in section 4731.17 of the Revised
Code and this rule.