Board of Massage Licensure

Peer Assistance

The Board of Massage Licensure has contracted with the Tennessee Professional Assistance Program, to assist in safeguarding health care consumers in Tennessee by providing a consultation, referral, and monitoring program for Massage Therapy Practitioners whose practice is impaired or potentially could be impaired due to the use of alcohol or drugs, or a psychological or physiological condition.

Facts about Chemical Dependency and Health Professionals

·        Chemical dependency is a chronic, progressive illness that can be treated effectively. As with all chronic illnesses, the earlier the identification and treatment, the better the prognosis.

·        Chemical dependency can be simply defined as the continued use of alcohol or other mood-altering drugs even after negative consequences have been experienced. Negative consequences can be in the form of problems at work, damaged relationships, legal charges, and many others.

·        Approximately one out of every ten health professionals has, or will develop, a serious problem with alcohol or some other mood-altering chemical substance at some time in their career.

·        Health professionals may face a higher risk of chemical dependency because of the stress of their profession; knowledge regarding the dosage and effects of mood-altering drugs; the tendency to self-diagnose and self-prescribe; and practical experience focusing on others' needs instead of their own.

·        Warning signs and symptoms of a drug or alcohol problem may include any or all of the following: mood swings, inappropriate behavior at work, frequent days off for implausible reasons, non-compliance with acceptable policies and procedures, deteriorating appearance, deteriorating job performance, sloppy and illegible charting, errors in charting, alcohol on breath, forgetfulness, poor judgment, poor concentration, and frequent untruthfulness.

·        The hallmark sign of chemical dependency is DENIAL. Denial is a psychological defense mechanism that most people use subconsciously to keep themselves from realizing how serious a problem really is. Professionals with chemical dependency are experts at minimizing their problem and convincing others that everything is "under control."

Objectives of the Peer Assistance Program

·        Protect health care consumers from potentially unsafe practitioners

·        Offer treatment options, monitoring, and advocacy to practitioners, employers, and health profession students on chemical dependency

Benefits of the Peer Assistance Program

·        Protection of the public by early intervention and removal of the impaired practitioner from practice

·        An alternative to disciplinary action is available to the practitioner - no report is made to the Board of Massage Licensure if the practitioner is compliant with treatment recommendations and the Peer Assistance Program contract.

·      Advocacy for the practitioner with employers, potential employers, and the Board of Massage Licensure if needed.

Eligible Massage Therapy Practitioners

·        Massage Therapy Applicants as referred by the Board of Massage Licensure

·        Massage Therapists and Massage Establishment Operators

To Make a Referral

·        CALL 615-726-4001

·        A referral to TnPAP can be made confidentially by an employer, employee assistance program professional, a co-worker, practice partner, family member, friend, or the practitioner him/herself.

·        The person making the referral needs to provide objective information including times, dates, and incidents that support the allegation of impairment.

·        Information is kept confidential unless the practitioner is referred by the licensing board and/or is noncompliant with the program requirements. 

Contact the Peer Assistance Program to:

·        Obtain more information about the program

·        Ask general questions about impaired health care professionals

·        Consult with program staff about a specific professional with a suspected problem

·        Report a health care professional with a suspected or identified problem

·       Provide chemical dependency education to schools, professional associations and other organizations through access to e-learning (

Link to Access the TnPAP Educational Video for Approved Tennessee Massage Schools - Refers to cost and expectations when requesting enrollment in TNPAP services 

Tennessee Professional Assistance Program
545 Mainstream Drive Suite 414
Nashville, TN 37228-1210

Phone:  615-726-4001
Toll Free: 800-776-0786
Fax:  615-726-4003