Call to Action: Updating NAICS Codes to Delete "Massage Parlors"

2.1.2021 - Call to Action continues

NYSSMMT continues to lead the entire massage therapy profession throughout North America to have "massage parlor" removed from NAICS.   NYSSMMT continues its effort  be in contact with the White House's Office of Management and Budget.  This is the office where the US Census is initiated for the counting of people and businesses.  The office has confirmed that they are 6 months behind on making revisions to the NAICS code and that a second comment period is still forthcoming.  NYSSMMT will continue to update the NY State massage therapy profession and beyond.



5.21.2020 - Launch as leaders of the Call to Action to remove the identification of  "massage parlor" from the classification system.   Call to Action:  NYSSMMT to call NYS LMTs to request deletion of "massage parlors" from the code 812199 - Personal Care during proposal period for 2022 release

(5.27.2020 - Our efforts received industry acknowledgement though NYSSMMT was not named in this Massage Magazine article regarding industry leadership during COVID-19)

Dear NYS Licensed Massage Therapists:

As our great Empire State begins to reopen,  NYSSMMT answers our Governor's call to REIMAGINE NEW YORK and Build. Back. Better.  The NYSSMMT community really looked forward to this call. We have been at work ever since in how to build back the New York state massage therapy industry better for post-pandemic activity.

Throughout this pandemic, from applying for COVID-19 relief to the New York State Reopening Tool Kit, some NY LMTs became acquainted with NAICS:   The North American Industry Classification System to learn how our profession is identified.  The Office of Management and Budget of the White House uses this system they developed to guide a U.S. President's vision for the country.  Per their fact sheets, please read the below description.

"North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is a system for classifying establishments (individual business locations) by type of economic activity in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Its purposes are: (1) to facilitate the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of data relating to establishments, and (2) to promote uniformity and comparability in the presentation and analysis of statistical data describing the North American economy. NAICS is used by Federal statistical agencies that collect or publish data by industry. It is also widely used by State and local agencies, trade associations, private businesses, and other organizations."

Like you, it was very alarming to discover on the NY Reopening Tool Kit, that our NAICS industry code of 621399 Massage Therapists was initially NOT listed with other health clinicians in the category and a statement of "spa/massage parlors/salons" not being permitted to open at this time being deemed non-essential was certainly heartbreaking to read.  It was heartbreaking because 1) a massage therapist was not recognized as a health professional 2) the business of "massage parlor" as the stand-in with spas and salons was clearly a poor choice by NY Empire State Development and 3) most importantly, our profession is being divided into  additional categories which misrepresents and may undercount the profession in statistical reporting.   Remember what you just read above.  The purpose of the classification system is to describe North American economic activity.

Like many NY LMTs individually and collectively, NYSSMMT contacted the Governor's Office to request the correct code be activated.  We are proud to say when the entire New York State Massage Therapy profession collectively uses its voice, change DOES happens!  We should all be proud to see that the NY Reopening Tool Kit now lists the NAICS Massage Therapists code 621399.  Separately, the 812199 Personal Care title is listed in replacement of the "spas/massage parlors/salons", however, it still should not appear in a clinician category.

Though we made a small step in New York, NYSSMMT Board of Directors clearly understands that it is still a small step on a long journey for massage therapy to be solely recognized as a healthcare profession.  Per the NAICS system, the 812199 code is still featuring "massage parlors" as an "illustrative example of a personal care business".   See below image.  That descriptor will continue to affect ALL MASSAGE THERAPISTS FROM CANADA, US and MEXICO.    NYSSMMT believes this needs to be changed and the time is now. 

We have come to learn that the NAICS System is released every 5 years which makes the 2017 current system in the process of being updated for a 2022 release.  In November 2019,  The Office of Budget and Management has charged the Economic Classification Policy Committee to begin the review and maintenance of the system.   Currently, the window to receive  REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS is now  as we just learned today that the 1st comment period closed 60 days after the initial post on the Federal Register on February 26, 2020.  Fortunately, there will be a second comment period.  NYSSMMT encourages every NY LMT to request the deletion of the word "massage parlor" from the system.  We have provided a form letter for all NY LMTs to customize to their voice and email to  For more details about the NAICS Update Process,  click here for its 4-page fact sheet to learn of the process timeline on page 1 and the way to submit your request to have "massage parlor" deleted from the system for 2022 on page 4.  There are over 15,000 NY licensed massage therapists in the State of New York.  If there were at least 100 NY LMTS who requested the removal, we can make an INTERNATIONAL difference for current and future massage therapists and the profession.

We hope that every massage therapist will take a few minutes to either email or mail their deletion request as soon as possible.  Thereafter, please share the movement to the next NY LMT.  We made a difference in New York so let's not stop there.  As you know how the song goes, " if you can make it here, we'll make it anywhere" so it's up to you, New York LMT if you want to make the difference for all massage therapists in North America.

Excelsior E Pluribus Unum!

With warm regards,

-The NYSSMMT Board of Directors