Legalities of Practicing Reflexology in California

sequoia treesCalifornia does not require state certification or licensure of Reflexologists today. Generally each city or county decides on their own business license requirements. Should you find your city or county requiring you to be licensed under massage, contact us to discuss the possibility of working to change the ordinance. Also see our FAQ page for more information on license requirements.

The Reflexology Association of California does not determine whether you can practice Reflexology or not, but works to support our member’s right to practice as a separate discipline and provides current information about our profession. RAC has been involved with legislation at the State level for years, working toward exemption for Reflexology if a statewide massage law is passed. See the list of some California cities in which Reflexologists have gained a written exemption for Reflexology in the massage ordinance. Reflexology also has its own law in four states (North Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Washington.)

As a Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioner, an important aspect of being in business and practicing Reflexology is to stay informed and aware of the health freedom movement. The use of alternative health care services is steadily growing and legislation is constantly changing.

As of 2003 with an amendment to the California Statutes Business and Professional Code Chapter 5–Medicine, Article 3, Sections 2053.5 and 2053.6 the public has the right to access unlicensed forms of alternative health care, subject to certain terms.

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This law can affect Reflexologists if a consumer should complain, or it be claimed that one is practicing medicine, diagnosing or prescribing (which can include for example, dispensing nutritional products which is outside your scope of practice as a Reflexologist).

There are two categories of compliance:

(1) Things you must not do, such as represent yourself as a doctor, etc. As a Reflexologist, this involves not diagnosing, prescribing or treating for a health condition; and (2) Things you must do, such as disclose your training in a written form with specific record keeping.

Note: Although often cited as a Health Freedom Law, this is NOT a license to practice Reflexology free from local permits. It provides only one thing—freedom from being charged with the unlicensed practice of medicine for those who comply with the restrictions and required disclosures in the law.

A sample disclosure form to use is provided for RAC Professional Members in their “Membership Guidebook.”

Protecting and expanding the right of citizens to have access to alternative medicine and natural treatments as a part of wellness care, involves all of our participation. The information provided here is provided only as a public service by RAC, and not an attorney. You are advised to read the original bill carefully for complete requirements by going to ca.gov. Click on Government and Look Up a Bill or Law. Search California Law, Business & Professional Codes, Division 2, Healing Arts, Chapter 5 (Medicine) to Article 3; License Required & Exemptions. 2050-2079. Read sections 2053.5 & 2053.6.

To learn more about how you can support grassroots organizations that have your best interest at heart, as a citizen and a practitioner, contact us.

To practice Reflexology in California does not require membership in the Reflexology Association of California or any other association. However, we recommend that Reflexologists join their State Association, obtain ARCB Certification and stay current on Reflexology news and legislative updates that can impact your Reflexology practice.

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