Health and Beauty

Massage Therapist Outer Banks

Cook bill specifies English requirement for massage therapists

“We’ve had cases where a non-(English) speaking therapist could not understand when the client was saying ‘stop’ and ‘you’re hurting me’,” said Dianne Layden, a member of the board from Belvidere.

“By state statute, the therapist must do a written assessment where they speak with the client about surgeries, medical conditions, what not to touch, etc.,” said Layden.

She said that someone who cannot speak English cannot communicate with their clients, and would not be able to act quickly if an emergency arises during treatment.

State law already requires an applicant to complete training at a board-approved school and pass a competency assessment exam, according to a May 2016 letter from the board’s chairperson Holly Foster and legislative liaison Charles Wilkins, to now-former Sen. Fletcher Hartsell Jr., R-Cabarrus, and Cook.

It was assumed that the applicant would already be proficient in English to complete the certification classes and the exam, the letter said so it was not included in existing statutes.