California Massage Therapy Laws Could Cause Increased College Enrollments

Back in the late 1990’s, Palo Alto California decided to implement ordinances meant to curb the misuse of massage parlors in the city and created a voluntary licensing system with little oversight.

This year, the city is expected to vote on updated ordinances that would enforce oversight laws, allowing the state to step in as a regulatory agency while minimizing massage therapy school training hours.

If the city of Palo Alto chooses to update the city ordinance, more people would be required to gain state licensing for any massage services. They would also have an alternative to state licensing procedures allowing them easier access to massage therapy schools. As it stands, massage therapy school and licensing through the state is expensive and time-consuming.

A state law in 2009 created an agency that could actually result in increased enrollments at massage therapy schools: the California Massage Therapy Council. Under that law massage therapy schools had to provide 500 hours of training for massage therapist certification or 250 hours of training for massage practitioner certification.

Under the new ordinance in Palo Alto, the requirements will be 200 hours for massage therapy practitioners. This is more cost-effective for some and might fit into the schedules of full time working adults who want to attend massage therapy school.

Some local businesses that are practicing partial massage (foot massage) without certification see the law as mitigating. They are worried that their labor force will leave for greener pastures and about losing laborers who can’t afford the education, since all will now be required to comply with the state mandate for massage therapy school training.

While some companies are not happy about the prospect of change, Palo Alto massage therapy schools should realize that this is an opportunity to campaign for new enrollments. If they offer a feasible flexible schedule for citizens, they are likely to see an increase in enrollments.


  1. SocialSave says:

    California Massage Therapy Laws Could Cause Increased College Enrollments…

    A Palo Alto ordinance update could spell and increase in stuent enrollments for local massage therapy schools….