Human Services

Massage Therapy


The Arlington County Board voted to repeal Chapter 49 of the Arlington County Code on November 29, 2011. Since 1979, Chapter 49 provided local guidance for massage regulation in Arlington County. This local law was in place prior to any massage requirements at the state level. The decision to repeal Chapter 49 was based on the determination that the Virginia Department of Health Professions, Board of Nursing already provides the standards and due diligence needed for Massage Therapy regulation. A separate, local permitting process duplicates these state efforts.


Questions related to Massage Therapy in Arlington

1. Do I need a permit to practice massage therapy in Arlington County?

As of November 29, 2011 massage therapists do not require a separate permit to practice in Arlington County. All massage therapists need to maintain Massage Therapy certification as determined by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

2. What should I do with my Massage Therapy permit?

You no longer need to display or keep your Arlington County Massage Therapy permit.

3. Where can I find information about Massage Therapy Certification?

Massage therapists need to be certified by the Virginia Department of Health Professions, Board of Nursing. Information can be found on the Board of Nursing's website. The Board of Nursing's Laws and Regulations page contains laws and regulations related to massage therapy certification. The Board of Nursing's Forms and Applications page contains links to application forms.

You may contact the Virginia Department of Health Professions at 804-367-4515 to request information be mailed to you or by email to You may also send your request in writing to:

Department of Health Professions
Board of Nursing
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463

4. What about Massage Technicians?

The Commonwealth of Virginia does not offer certification for Massage Technicians. Virginia offers title protection only to Massage Therapists. If you choose to call yourself something other than a Massage Therapist you do not need to be certified by the Virginia Board of Nursing to practice massage in Virginia.

Section 54.1-3008 (A) (7) of the Code of Virginia indicates it is a class 1 misdemeanor to claim to be a certified massage therapist, massage therapist, or designation tending to imply he/she is a certified massage therapist or massage therapist unless certified by the Board of Nursing.

5. Where can I get additional information about practicing massage therapy in Arlington County?

If you have additional questions or concerns about massage therapy practice in Arlington County, please contact the Environmental Health Program at 703-228-7400. For general questions about Massage Therapy, please contact the Virginia Department of Health Professions at 804-367-4515.

Last Modified: July 31, 2013
2100 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201 Tel: 703-228-3000 TTY: 703-228-4611