Washington State Exemptions

Washington State Massage Laws and Relevant Code

We do not recommend practicing healing arts in Washington State unless you are an NAIC Authorized FullOpen Blessed Member and or Licentiate.

WASHINGTON Board of Massage Therapy

Authority to regulate massage practitioners — Limitations: RCW 35.21.692, 35A.82.025, and 36.32.122.

Finding — Purpose — 2012 c 137: “The legislature finds that protecting the public health and safety from the harms of human trafficking has become more difficult and complex, with severe consequences for the victims and the public. The purpose of this legislation is to provide additional tools so that the regulatory agency has authority to make reasonable inspections of the premises in which services subject to this chapter are being provided in order to determine whether the services are being provided in compliance with this chapter and to support state investigations of human trafficking and other illicit activity.” [2012 c 137 § 1.]

The purpose of the law has nothing to do with therapy! It is to protect from human trafficking… which is criminal and illegal already in every state with major enforcement provisions.

(6) “Massage” and “massage therapy” mean a health care service involving the external manipulation or pressure of soft tissue for therapeutic purposes. Massage therapy includes techniques such as tapping, compressions, friction, reflexology, Swedish gymnastics or movements, gliding, kneading, shaking, and fascial or connective tissue stretching, with or without the aids of superficial heat, cold, water, lubricants, or salts. Massage therapy does not include diagnosis or attempts to adjust or manipulate any articulations of the body or spine or mobilization of these articulations by the use of a thrusting force, nor does it include genital manipulation.

Licensure or certification required.
(1)(a) No person may practice or represent himself or herself as a massage practitioner without first applying for and receiving from the department a license to practice. However, this subsection does not prohibit a certified reflexologist from practicing reflexology.

    (b) A person represents himself or herself as a massage practitioner when the person adopts or uses any title or any description of services that incorporates one or more of the following terms or designations: Massage, massage practitioner, massage therapist, massage therapy, therapeutic massage, massage technician, massage technology, massagist, masseur, masseuse, myotherapist or myotherapy, touch therapist, reflexologist except when used by a certified reflexologist, acupressurist, body therapy or body therapist, or any derivation of those terms that implies a massage technique or method.

     (2)(a) No person may practice reflexology or represent himself or herself as a reflexologist by use of any title without first being certified as a reflexologist or licensed as a massage practitioner by the department.

     (b) A person represents himself or herself as a reflexologist when the person adopts or uses any title in any description of services that incorporates one or more of the following terms or designations: Reflexologist, reflexology, foot pressure therapy, foot reflex therapy, or any derivation of those terms that implies a reflexology technique or method. However, this subsection does not prohibit a licensed massage practitioner from using any of these terms as a description of services.

     (c) A person may not use the term “certified reflexologist” without first being certified by the department.

Most this codicil represents that terms which may not be used by an “Unlicenced Person” . Interesting separation for Refloxology Certification through department as well.  Notice the emphasis of  Derivations of “those” terms which implies a massage technique or method! That means that it is discretionary for any officer to interpret whether the terms you might use in infinite variety of expression might be implying a so called massage technique or method. We believe this to be overly broad and unenforceable as unconstitutional as well.

This chapter does not apply to:

(1) An individual giving massage or reflexology to members of his or her immediate family;

(2) The practice of a profession by individuals who are licensed, certified, or registered under other laws of this state and who are performing services within their authorized scope of practice;

(3) Massage or reflexology practiced at the athletic department of:

  (a) Any institution maintained by the public funds of the state, or any of its political subdivisions;

 (b) Any primary or secondary school or institution of higher education;

 (c) Any school or college approved by the department of health by rule using recognized national professional standards; or

 (d) Any nonprofit organization licensed under RCW 66.24.400 and 66.24.450;

(4) Students enrolled in an approved massage school, approved program, or approved apprenticeship program, practicing massage techniques, incidental to the massage school or program and supervised by the approved school or program. Students must identify themselves as a student when performing massage services on members of the public. Students may not be compensated for the massage services they provide;

(5) Students enrolled in an approved reflexology school, approved program, or approved apprenticeship program, practicing reflexology techniques, incidental to the reflexologist school or program and supervised by the approved school or program. Students must identify themselves as a student when performing reflexology services on members of the public. Students may not be compensated for the reflexology services they provide; or

(6) Individuals who have completed a somatic education training program approved by the secretary.

[2012 c 137 § 8; 2002 c 277 § 2; 1997 c 297 § 3; 1995 c 198 § 16; 1987 c 443 § 5; 1975 1st ex.s. c 280 § 5.]
Finding — Purpose — Rules — Effective date — 2012 c 137: See notes following RCW 18.108.005.

Item “d)” under above apparently exempts nonprofit organization licensed as a Liquor retailer 66.24.400? and or a Private Club selling liquor 66.24.450?
Washington State Massage Law is not competency based. Qualification is by written exam.

Important Note! Indigenous Medicine, Healing, Therapy and or Counseling, Ayurveda, Yoga, Yoga Therapy, SomaVeda Integrated Traditional Therapies®: Thai Yoga etc. legitimate native and ONACS authorized medicine and healing practices are NOT what is referred to in the listed Massage definitions and scope of practice. Read more on What is Thai Yoga?

 SomaVeda® Thai Yoga is a form of Chirothesia and not regulated by nor under the jurisdiction of the Washington State Board of Massage Therapy and or any other secular licensing board in this state. What is Chirothesia?

Inspection of premises by secretary.
(1) For the purposes of ascertaining violations of this chapter and chapter 18.130 RCW, the secretary or authorized representative has the authority to inspect, within reasonable limits and in a reasonable manner, the premises of any massage or reflexology business establishment during hours such business is open. If the secretary is denied access to any premises or establishment the secretary may apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for a warrant authorizing access to such premises or establishment for such purposes. The court may, upon such application, issue a warrant for the purpose requested.

     (2) This section does not require advance notice of an inspection.

Although in the Washington Constitution it very strongly protects the rights to privacy. Anyone who applies for a state massage license gives up that right! Right to privacy, freedom of association etc. are set aside voluntarily under this license. The state is given the right to invade, enter your home or business anytime, for any reason they deem :reasonable” , furthermore they are entitled to engage warrants, armed police and use of force to do so. It is not well explained what they can do once they knock your door down and forcefully enter but considering the use of Swat team style tactics to do so, I would imagine they would physically restrain, and then seize records etc. as they would if it were a drugs trade or “Human Trafficing” case as that is what the Washington Massage Law is to control by definition.

ONACS Authorized Full, Open and or Licentiate Members are Ordained Ministers and Tribal Organization Healing Practitioners and Care Providers/ Counselors, eligible to conduct all ceremony, render sacred services and administer all sacraments and sacramental substances. Under Washington State rules they are defined as “Clergy”.

Definition of Clergy:
Sec. 5. RCW 26.44.020 and 2000 c 162 s 19
(11) “Clergy” means any regularly licensed or ordained minister,
priest, or rabbi of any church or religious denomination, whether
acting in an individual capacity or as an employee or agent of any
public or private organization or institution.

It is clear that ONACS Authorized Blessed Full Members as ordained ministers, Tribal Organization Health Care Providers and clergy of the Oklevueha Native American Church meet this definition.

Clergy Privilege (Priest -Penitent Privilege)

As Robert Catz and Jill Lange detail, “Clergy-Communicant Privilege arose in response to the traditional ‘Seal of Confession’ required by the Catholic Church. The privilege disappeared during the English Reformation, but later reappeared both in England and in the United States. One explanation for its existence is that preserving confidential communications made in the interest of spiritual rehabilitation or solace is deemed to ‘overbalance the possible benefit of permitting litigation to prosper.’ Today, the privilege is recognized by statute in nearly every state. Generally, the privilege applies to ministers, priests, and rabbis; it is doubtful whether lay officials or self-designated ministers would be protected.” ( http://epic.org/privacy/privileges/#Clergy )

Washington State ruling Clergy/ Penitent Privilege:  http://www.churchlawandtax.com/cltr/1995/november-december/penitent-privilege-not-applicable-when-religious.html

The clergy/penitent privilege attaches only to “ confessions[.]”  RCW 5.60.060(3).  “Determination of the definition of ‘confession’ ․ is to be made by the church of the clergy member.”  Martin, 137 Wash.2d at 787, 975 P.2d 1020.  “[T]he religious entity, and not the courts, should ‘decide what types of communications constitute confessions within the meaning of a particular religion.’ ”  Martin, 137 Wash.2d at 786-87, 975 P.2d 1020 (quoting Martin, 91 Wash.App. at 628, 959 P.2d 152).

The courts usually strictly construe testimonial privileges, but they should not so construe the word “confession” in the clergy/penitent privilege.  Martin, 137 Wash.2d at 789, 975 P.2d 1020.  “A broad interpretation of ‘confession’ would ‘minimize the risk that [RCW 5.60.060(3) ] might be discriminatorily applied because of differing judicial perceptions of a given church’s practices or religious doctrine [.]’ ”  Martin, 137 Wash.2d at 789, 975 P.2d 1020 (quoting State v. MacKinnon, 288 Mont. 329, 337, 957 P.2d 23, 28 (Mont.1998)).   In Martin, we found a communication was a “confession” because the clergy member receiving the communication considered it to be a confession.  91 Wash.App. at 628, 959 P.2d 152.

Example: North Carolina, in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 8-53.2, provides that “no priest, rabbi, accredited Christian Science practitioner, or a clergyman or ordained minister of an established church shall be competent to testify in any action, suit or proceeding concerning any information which was communicated to him and entrusted to him in his professional capacity, and necessary to enable him to discharge the functions of his office according to the usual course of his practice or discipline, wherein such person so communicating such information about himself or another is seeking spiritual counsel and advice relative to and growing out of the information so imparted, provided, however, that this section shall not apply where communicant in open court waives the privilege conferred.” ( http://law.onecle.com/north-carolina/8-evidence/8-53.2.html )

Under ONACS church doctrine, a confession included an expectation of confidentiality. We emphasize the need to maintain confidentiality as to matters shared in church or home cells.  We expect confessions disclosures) to remain confidential as a matter of church doctrine as evidenced by both our established doctrine, Articles of Religious Practice, member agreements and waiver / consent forms. This confidentiality is absolutely necessary in furtherance of our faith and being able to expose, explore and mediate the root causes of all illnesses and conditions which we believe to be factors in both generating and in maintaining a condition of optimal health, and wellness of Spirit , mind and body.

Pastoral, ministerial, clergy, medicine person Confidentiality is an ethical and legal responsibility: http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201002/ejonline_201002_Pastor_Confid_.cfm

 Definition of Practitioner of healing Arts:
(3) “Practitioner of the healing arts” or “practitioner” means a
person licensed by this state to practice podiatric medicine and
surgery, optometry, chiropractic, nursing, dentistry, osteopathic
medicine and surgery, or medicine and surgery or to provide other
health services. The term “practitioner” includes a duly accredited
Christian Science practitioner: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That a
person who is being furnished Christian Science treatment by a duly
accredited Christian Science practitioner will not be considered, for
that reason alone, a neglected person for the purposes of this chapter.

Since it is unlawful and unconstitutional for government to respect or prefer any religion over another. We (ONACS) claim all rights of authorized Christian Science practitioners without prejudice.

ONACS Opinion

Washington State Laws and code strictly specify that they are to protect the “PUBLIC”. That means in the secular or public domain. ONACS SomaVeda Integrative Traditional Therapies®: Thai Yoga/ Thai Massage members are part of a Native American tribal organization and a legitimate recognized church. Services are between members and between our sacred medicine persons and members and no services are performed on the public. That means the healing services, therapies and private counseling we do is not under the jurisdiction of the State of Washington. This goes for other states as well.

Communication and exchange of confidential information and spiritual counsel within the context of our Native American Church and the practice of our ceremonies is clearly confidential and protected activity by State of  Washington statute and by other relevant Federal Law, Code and precedent. (AIRFA, RLUIPA, Boylle Decision, 42 USC Chapter 21B, more legal…)

ONACS Native American Ministers in Washington State do not offer the practice of medicine, massage and or massage therapy. We do offer Native American Church authorized Pastoral, Clerical, Ministerial, Priestly Counseling and therefor are not compelled to apply for similar but secular licensing. The Thai Yoga and other healing modalities we practice are by definition and church/ tribe doctrine Chirothesia and not “practice of manipulation of soft tissue”. All contact with other church members is an extension of divine hand of God and Spirit as an ct of expressing practically our love.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended that ONACS Church member Pastors, clergy, ministers and medicine men and women only perform sacerdotal and or ceremonial indigenous, traditional healing/Chirothesia in the context of their regular “pastoral care and duties” as authorized and according to our recognized practices to avoid confusion.

Based on a review of relevant Washington State Massage Law and other relevant statute we find that the free exercise of Native American Religious Practices including indigenous, traditional, natural and spiritually based healing practices as authorized by ONACS are clearly permitted. It is very clear that Washington state has intention to honor, respect and to protect the free expression of religion and religious practice as well Personal Rights, Right to Assemble and Freedom of Speech. Although the Senate Bill 6239 is intended to address and clarify rules and positions of the state in regard to institution of marriage and recognition of same, it iterates clearly the states overall position in regard to religion and religious expression. Our practice of Religious expression is equally if not more so a genuine expression of our religion as marriage is to others. The expression of our Spirit and God ordered sacerdotal duties to perform ceremonies including healing ritual, sacred medicines and remedies, counseling and healing the sick and dieting, and the sharing of the spiritual values of love, compassion, joy and equanimity in honor of all sacred things and all sacred beings is healed as some of our core religious values and expressions thereof.

ONACS Sacred Medicine persons in the regular course of their sacred duties administering to the needy, sick and poor as well as while sharing, participating and or otherwise exercising their religious rights and responsibilities are protected as Native American religion practitioners and church members, as clergy and as practitioners of healing arts.

Do Not Advertise for “Massage, Massage Therapy, Bodywork” or any specialty or words that infer a restricted modality that infers that it is a practice of the aforementioned terms unless you have a Washington State Massage License in hand! Ignorance of the law is no defense! You must disclose your a minister as the basis for any and all services being rendered!

Please Note: Even if you have a Washington State Massage License it does NOT protect you from practicing outside of your scope of practice! For example if you are not a religious practitioner of conscience such as an ONACS Authorized Practitioner and if you market services using any of the above proscripted words such as “Massage”, “Bodywork” etc. Such as generic “Thai Massage”

Please note: Just because we allow Licensed Massage Therapist to participate or to gain Certification in SomaVeda® Thai Yoga or Thai Massage (slang), does not make or redefine our sacred medicine and or healing practices into the practice of massage!

Furthermore, ONACS member ministers, medicine men and or woman are restrained from advertising or promoting prohibited services such as massage, massage therapy, bodywork etc. to the public. It is recommended the following statement be prominently displayed on all advertising “Please note: [ ONACS Authorized Member Name] does not see or provide services to the Public. Private specialized ministerial services and or counseling provided exclusively by and to ONACS Authorized members. Active ONACS APM membership required for any and all consultations and or services, exchanges etc. (Any and all titles displayed under religious privilege unless otherwise indicated)”  We understand that uneducated persons may misconstrue, misunderstand or be confused by the legal jurisdictions, principles, rights and responsibilities that we hold as healers. So it is in every one’s vital interest to to learn the legal basis for their practice and follow all ONACS directed procedures in their particular ministry.

All ONACS ministers are directed to include laying on of hands, Chirothesia, energy and spiritual, ceremonial and sacramental modalities, natural healing, Yoga Therapy and or any other ONACS authorized healing / wellness generative and supportive modality as part of their regular duties.

There limits to what ONACS Member Practitioners can practice!

ONACS Religious, Spiritual, Alternative and or Chirothesia Healthcare Practices are not the Practice of Medicine as defined by State Law!
•[Practitioner/ Member] does not diagnose or prescribe for medical or psychological conditions nor claim to prevent, treat, mitigate or cure such conditions.
• [Practitioner/ Member] does not provide diagnosis, care, treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles.

You have constitutional rights which are listed in the legal section of this web site. Please read and understand them as law enforcement and competing secular therapist in most cases will be unfamiliar with them. Laws vary from state to state and it is important for you to understand your legal right to participate in the sacraments of the ONACS. ONACS does not support violation of the law. The ONACS does not have a legal fund to defend you but does have all of the documentation to support you in your earnest desire to participate as the spirit dictates so long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others and is in accordance with the ONACS mission statement and Authorized Participant Rules. For specific legal opinions regarding the above issues we recommend that you contact our ONACS Legal Advisors and or Counsel.

We do claim the right as the Oklevueha Native American Church of SomaVeda (Brooksville, Florida), Member of ONAC Parent organization to freely, practice, express and manifestation all sacred faith, beliefs, practices and expressions of our Indigenous, Native Tribal Organization and Church in the State of Washington. We declare the right to freely practice express and manifest all of our religious practice as we self determine under our religious and ecclesiastical jurisdiction. We restrict and forbid any agency from any interference in our expression of our protected indigenous and traditional faith, beliefs, religion and the expressions and manifestations thereof. We claim these rights granted to us under Federal and International law and by treaty convention in this Washington State and in all individual states and jurisdiction and or territories of these united states.

ONACS Members desiring a Formal Certificate of Ordination, please contact the office directly.