The Number of Massage Licenses Suspended in Florida Now Almost Doubled

Monday, October 1, 2012

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

The Florida Secretary of Health announced on September 27, 2012, that he has now signed 161 emergency suspension orders (ESOs) for massage therapists in Florida. The suspension orders are aimed at massage therapists who allegedly obtained their licenses to practice through a transcript-buying scandal at the Florida College of Natural Health. Officials believe the scheme could be linked to human trafficking.

On September 20, 2012, state authorities originally suspended 81 massage therapists’ licenses. Click here to read the blog post on that story.

No Evidence of Human Trafficking Yet.

An article on the Florida Current stated law enforcement officials have connected the massage therapy industry to prostitution and human trafficking in the past, but so far, in these 161 cases there is no evidence of such acts.

To read the entire article from the Florida Current, click here.

Department of Health (DOH) is Committed to Retaining the Integrity of the Massage Therapy Industry.

For the past week the Florida Secretary of Health has surveyed the transcript security procedures followed by the 197 Florida massage therapy schools. He worked to compile a report of the best practices regarding background checks of students, auditing of transcripts and computer security.

To read the press release from the Florida Secretary of Health, click here.

This report will be presented at the October 25, 2012, meeting of the Florida Massage Therapy Board.

To read the complete Florida Massage Therapy Schools Transcript Integrity Report, click here.

DOH Requesting Suspended Massage Therapists to Voluntarily Relinquish Licenses.
According to one massage therapist whose license was suspended in the original sting, she received a notice of investigation letter from the DOH. Included in the letter was a Voluntary Relinquishment of License form.
There is a blog on our website that talks about the consequences of having a massage therapy license revoked or relinquishing a license upon notice of an investigation. Click here to read this prior blog.

As I indicated previously, a voluntary relinquishment in a situation like this is treated the same as a disciplinary revocation. The licensee will be reported to the NPDB and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).

The NCBTMB will then take action to revoke your NCBTMB certification. The licensee will probably never work in any area of healthcare again after this.

To learn more on the collateral effects of voluntary relinquishment of your massage therapy license, click here.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced with Department of Health (DOH) Investigations of Massage Therapists.
The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to massage therapists in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, licensing matters and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.
To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at


Call, James. “More Massage Licenses Suspended in Probe of Links to Prostitution, Human Trafficking.” the Florida Current. (September 27, 2012). From:

Armstrong, John. “Statement from State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong on Massage Therapy Survey Report.” Florida Department of Health. (September 27, 2012). From:

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

Tag Words: Massage therapy, massage therapist, licensed massage therapist, Department of Health (DOH), DOH investigation, Florida College of Natural Health, Florida Board of Massage Therapy, license investigation, informal hearing, formal hearing, fake massage therapist, defense attorney, defense lawyer, massage therapy defense, licensure defense coverage, administrative complaint, administrative charges, rehabilitation investigation, sports medicine therapy, back pain investigation, neck pain investigation, shoulder surgery investigation, physical therapy, neuromuscular therapy, advanced therapy, trigger point therapy, human trafficking, emergency suspension order (ESO)

"The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.



Response to: The Number of Massage Licenses Suspended in Florida Now Almost Doubled
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Sean says:

What a bunch of crap. Please focus public health in a needed area such as increased education, obesity prevention, drug abuse and health and education for children. I have never received anything but a stellar massage from various Asian massage parlor a in Florida, around the country and oversees. I say you are ridiculous to focus on this crap. Sean

Response to: The Number of Massage Licenses Suspended in Florida Now Almost Doubled
Thursday, May 19, 2016

Helpful ideas - I am thankful for the points . Does anyone know where my business might be able to get access to a sample USPS PS 2591 copy to complete ?

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