Is it legal to provide Reiki in Florida for donations?

I can never get a straight answer on whether or not Reiki in Florida is permitted without a LMT certificate. Everyone always directs me back to an article that was posted in 2002. Anyway, so that I don’t get in trouble with the law…what if I offer my services for a "donation". Would this be ok?

Straight answer, as a massage therapist trained in FL, the answer is no. The board has defined Reiki as a form of massage, therefore it is considered massage in the State of FL, which requires a massage license. Yes, the law is strict, perhaps even excessive, but that’s the way it is.

Compensation is compensation – I wasn’t even really allowed to accept a sandwich for doing massage in FL while in massage school. Never mind an understanding of "I accept donations". Doing it for friends and family, or otherwise not accepting compensation, would make the law not apply.

As for likelihood of enforcement, if no one complains then there is minimal likelihood that the FL Massage Board will know you exist. It doesn’t make it legal. It just means that you might be able to practice quietly for years before anyone noticed or cared.

Some states have an informal understanding of not enforcing massage regulations on massage therapists – NH is currently one state that this applies. Other states have specifically written legislation that exempts Reiki Practitioners from massage regulation, my opinion (without legal training) is that the current MA regulations and some proposed NH regulations will exempt Reiki from massage regulations.

Otherwise, I have three recommendations – you can find another place to practice where the laws are in your favor. You can talk to your representatives and try to have the law changed. You can go learn lots of cool things in massage school and become a massage therapist that practices Reiki.

I chose to become a massage therapist after starting with Reiki when I wanted to do bodywork for a living. Two reasons – I learned lots of cool things I use in my practice and I will never have to wonder if I might lose my right to practice.

4 Responses

  1. INSOMNIAC Says:

    Florida Massage Board Issue
    In 1999 and 2000, the Florida Massage Board voted that Reiki is massage and that anyone practicing Reiki for compensation must have a massage license or other license to touch (such as a nursing license). This took place even though Reiki practitioners clearly explained to the Massage Board that Reiki didn’t involve massage and could be practiced without touching the body. The way the law is set up, the Massage Board has the legal authority to define massage anyway it wants and is not required to respond to reason. The board continued to define Reiki as massage, thus requiring a massage license to practice Reiki.

    Enforcement of this law is up to the Florida Department of Health (DOH), which must first receive a complaint that someone is practicing Reiki without a massage license. According to Deborah Miller, a health-freedom activist attorney practicing in Florida, the DOH could then take any of four actions: Issuing a Cease and Desist Notice; taking the practitioner to court if they don’t cease and desist; issuing a fine not to exceed $5000; and getting a civil court to impose a civil fine. They could also seek the arrest and criminal prosecution of Reiki practitioners who practice without a massage license.

    The Florida DOH has limited resources, and, as far as I know, no Reiki practitioner has had any action taken against them. But there is no guarantee this will continue. At any time a group of massage therapists or others could file a complaint and any of the above actions could be taken against Reiki practitioners in Florida. This same misuse of power could take place in any state with a massage license requirement.~
    According to this article you only need a license if you are charging a fee and a donation would not be an established fee, the article also states that no one has been charged under the controlling statute.~
    References :

  2. Crystal Waker Says:

    Straight answer, as a massage therapist trained in FL, the answer is no. The board has defined Reiki as a form of massage, therefore it is considered massage in the State of FL, which requires a massage license. Yes, the law is strict, perhaps even excessive, but that’s the way it is.

    Compensation is compensation – I wasn’t even really allowed to accept a sandwich for doing massage in FL while in massage school. Never mind an understanding of "I accept donations". Doing it for friends and family, or otherwise not accepting compensation, would make the law not apply.

    As for likelihood of enforcement, if no one complains then there is minimal likelihood that the FL Massage Board will know you exist. It doesn’t make it legal. It just means that you might be able to practice quietly for years before anyone noticed or cared.

    Some states have an informal understanding of not enforcing massage regulations on massage therapists – NH is currently one state that this applies. Other states have specifically written legislation that exempts Reiki Practitioners from massage regulation, my opinion (without legal training) is that the current MA regulations and some proposed NH regulations will exempt Reiki from massage regulations.

    Otherwise, I have three recommendations – you can find another place to practice where the laws are in your favor. You can talk to your representatives and try to have the law changed. You can go learn lots of cool things in massage school and become a massage therapist that practices Reiki.

    I chose to become a massage therapist after starting with Reiki when I wanted to do bodywork for a living. Two reasons – I learned lots of cool things I use in my practice and I will never have to wonder if I might lose my right to practice.
    References :
    Reiki Master/Teacher since 1999, Licensed Massage Therapist in MA & NH

  3. Noe Formaggioni Says:

    It?s hard to seek out knowledgeable individuals on this matter, however you sound like you know what you?re speaking about! Thanks

  4. Rosaura Swimmerhttp://www.chilggoooto.com Says:

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