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Massage therapists frustrated as NYS declassifies industry, removes them from ‘Phase 3’

Licensed massage thereapists across the state are up in arms over New York’s decision to not include them in ‘Phase 3’ of reopening.

They believe that given the precautions they can take – that massage therapists should have been allowed to open in ‘Phase 2’.


Licensed massage therapy is a Title VIII licensed medical profession in New York. But when the shutdown happened, LMTs were reclassified as personal services.

“We were the only medical profession in the entire category that was declassified, and then turned into personal services,” said LMT Michael Riley, owner of Vitality Massage to 13WHAM. “To be declassified just gives people that mentality that this is more of a luxury item than a valid medical service.”

He said there is a way it can be done safely and effectively for everyone involved.

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