5.20.010 – Definitions

As used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section.

EMPLOYEE.  Any person over 18 years of age, other than a massage therapist, who renders any service in connection with operation of a massage establishment and receives compensation from the owner or operation of the establishment or from its patrons.

LICENSEE.  The owner and/or operator of massage establishment.

MASSAGE or PRACTICE OF MASSAGE.  Any method of applying pressure on or friction against, or stroking, kneading, rubbing, tapping, pounding, vibrating, touching or stimulating, the external parts of the body, by another individual, with the hands, any body part, or with the aid of any mechanical or electrical apparatus or appliances, with or without such supplementary aids as rubbing alcohol, liniments, antiseptics, oils, powders, creams lotions, ointments or similar preparations.

MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENT.  Any establishment having a fixed place of business where any person, firm, association, or corporation engages in, or carries on, or permits to be engaged in or carried on, any of the acts of massage as defined herein.


  1.  Any person who, for any consideration, engages in the practice of massage as defined herein and provides proof of the following:
    1. Evidence of a professional license issued by the State of Illinois authorizing the practice of massage therapy under the Massage Licensing  Act (225 ILCS 57/1 et seq.)
  2. The persons described in 5.20.040 shall not be considered to be massage therapists for purposes of this chapter, when practicing massage within the scope of their vocation, employment, course of study or volunteer services.

OUTCALL MASSAGE SERVICE.  Any business, the function of which is to engage in or carry on massages for compensation at a location designation by the customer or client rather than at a massage establishment.

PATRON.  Any person who receives a massage under such circumstances that is reasonably expected that he or she would pay money or give any other form of consideration therefore.

PERSON.  Any individual, partnership, firm association, limited liability company, joint stock company, corporation or combination of individuals of whatever form or character.

PREMISES.  The area depicted in the License Application.

RECOGNIZED SCHOOL.  A recognized school means any school or educational institution licensed to do business as a school or educational institution in the state in which it is located, or any school recognized by or approved by or affiliated with the American Massage Therapy Association, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, or the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, and which has for its purpose the teaching of the theory, method, profession, or work of massage, which school requires a resident course of study before the student shall be furnished with a diploma or certificate of graduation from such school or institution of learning following the successful completion of such course of study or learning.

SEXUAL OR GENITAL AREA.  The genitals, pubic area, anus, or perineum of any person, or the vulva or breasts of a female.

(2014-M-42: § 1; 2016-M-31: § 2)