Florida just took a major step forward with recognizing massage as an accepted approach to pain management. The state passed a new law that requires the Department of Health to develop and publish an online educational pamphlet on the use of non-opioid alternatives for pain, including massage therapy. The publication will need to include information about the advantages of each non-opioid approach, with references on its efficacy.

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) applauds the foresight of this legislature which will make a difference in how the residents of Florida view their options for pain care and management, with a clear endorsement of massage therapy.

Nationally, in February of 2019 the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pension Committee (H.E.L.P) held a hearing on the opioids crisis in the country, which was focused on approaches to pain other than opioids. AMTA’s representative attended the session where testimony was given on the importance of nonpharmacological approaches to pain (including massage therapy) and the need for more insurance carriers to cover these approaches. Those referring to the value of massage therapy and the challenges of lack of insurance coverage included Halena Gazelka, M.D., Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Director, Mayo Clinic Inpatient Pain Service. She stated, “…we want to offer services like massage therapy, but have issues with reimbursement.”

AMTA continues to engage with health organizations, and federal and state agencies to discuss how the latest science supports massage therapy an alternative to opioids for pain management.

Source: AMTA National

HB 07/2019