Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hey, Oregon LMT's! Got questions?!

Massage law is constantly changing! It can be very hard to stay current!

When I was a student, the guidelines regarding the washing of massage linens stated that water temperature must be 140 degrees Fahrenheit with bleach or 160 degrees without bleach.

My dear friend, who I feel is finding such gentle purpose, has started massage school at East-West College of the Healing Arts. In her first few days of class, I hear that the instructor is drilling into them that you must wash linens with bleach!

I got all fired up! I don't have white sheets and I don't use bleach! Never have! I was ready to storm the castle doors and ask what the heck was going on!

I knew that wasn't true.

And, as that energy subsided, I started thinking.... well, maybe perhaps my assumption wasn't true. How can I find out?

So, I contacted Diana Nott, the Law Enforcement Coordinator at the Oregon Board of Massage and simply asked. Just a quick email. I received an equally quick response.

Here it is...


Currently the Rules state that all soiled linens shall be washed with bleach in a clothes washing machine which provides a hot water temperature of at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit. (OAR 334-020-0050(5))

That said, the Board has voted to adopt new rules which, if all goes as planned, will take effect July 1, 2009. Those new rules state simply that all soiled linen must be laundered in a manner that eliminates the risk of spreading parasites, communicable diseases and infections and laundered in a manner that removes all residue of topical preparations.

I hope this helps.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you.

Diana Nott
Law Enforcement Coordinator
Oregon Board of Massage Therapists


I was wrong. My initial reaction was unfounded. They had changed the massage law and it slipped under my radar. In my years of private practice, I had missed an important change.

And, it's a change I don't agree with. But, as the above text shows, others don't want to just wash their beautiful purple, green gold, lilac, flower-patterned, polka-dotta linens with bleach. We're not all white. We LMT's choose colors in our practice that reflect our unique inner world. The rule is changing soon.... back to balance. Back to harmony.

There's been demand for solutions that put little stress on our earth. The language of the new law is beautiful, unregimented. Yet, the new rule holds client and massage therapist safety firmly in mind, while allowing room for how you want to run your practice. Us massage therapists... heck, every being... every human being you meet is precious and rare beyond comparison. We're all snowflakes!

The Oregon Board is here to answer questions pertaining to massage therapists. They're here to help. They work tirelessly to continue to refine, broaden and clarify massage and bodywork law.

If you have questions... if you're a student and you feel the teacher is off base or if you've been practicing for years... question. It never hurts to ask and get a second point of view. Contacting the OBMT will give you clear insight in a timely manner.

For questions about current Oregon massage law, contact Diana Nott at

Blessings and love,
Hamid : )

Hamid LMT - Massage therapist in Portland, Oregon


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