They are employed by medical centers and hospitals, cancer treatment facilities and rehabilitation programs. They are partners on integrative health care teams. In practices big and small, they offer nondrug pain-relief options that are critically needed as we see the opioid abuse epidemic sweeping across our state and country.
This spring, a proposal in the Legislature would establish a process to certify that registered massage therapists and other bodywork professionals have been vetted and are bound to an enforceable standard of conduct. The measure would establish voluntary registration along with a criminal background check, providing prospective clients with peace of mind and also helping in the fight against human trafficking in Minnesota.
These requirements are overdue in our state. Background checks are standard for licensing or registration of massage therapists in 45 other states. Regrettably, Minnesota has fallen behind all of our neighbors in the Upper Midwest when it comes to this basic public safety protection.