We are glad you are interested in learning more and find the best massage therapist for you while also doing your part to reduce Human Trafficking and brothels disguised business as massage therapists. If we all work together in our local communities, we can have a larger impact on the reduction of illegal, harmful activities. It’s important that the general public know what to look for when getting services like massage, reflexology and more.
We’d like to share with you a few tips on how you can make sure your hard earned money is staying out of the hands of criminals, and tax dollars are not lost by the state.
As a consumer/client you have the right to know everything about the work you will be receiving and about the therapist providing it (within the limits of practice). There should be a statement of informed consent on each businesses website and you should be able to ask the therapist questions. When they explain what they are doing or what is going on in your body, be sure to ask more questions. Many schools have taught that the reasons how and why massage work has been based on traditional theories and many have not made the jump to evidence based practice.
In most states, massage therapists attend an approved massage school, pass a exam authorized by each state and pass a criminal background check. Massage therapy boards in each state create rules to support their main mission of protecting the public from harm. They set minimum requirements for education in various topics and require massage therapists to take continuing education classes to renew their license. Most states require that the massage therapists license number be included in their advertisements/website and communications and also they have to have their massage license on the wall of the office. Some require a photo on the license or that the MT carry photo ID that matches the name on the license. You can check to verify a massage license in your state.
There are many laws that say that massage therapy can only be done by a licensed massage therapist yet many brothels/sexually oriented businesses disguise themselves as massage businesses. Since the laws around massage therapists are civil laws, it is often difficult to make criminal convictions of brothels disguised as massage businesses.
Looking for a Massage Therapist
Begin with asking your friends and family members for a referral to a massage therapist that they have gone to. It is a start but not everyone will like the type or style of massage that the massage therapist provides. You can also ask your Doctor for a referral if you are having a specific health issue. Then doing a Google search (or other search engine) will give you results in your specific area. The reviews are often overwhelming so take them with the grain of salt but use them to weed out brothels disguised as massage businesses.
What can massage help with?
Massage therapy is great for helping reduce stress which is a big part of wellness. Getting in touch with your body and having an hour or so for just you can help you relax more deeply and is a big part of self-care. Massage for anxiety and depression is one of the best researched areas showing that massage can work better than talk therapies.
Massage therapy for pain is also one of the top reasons why people get massage. Physical pain from sitting too long at the computer, athletic endeavers, gardeners, hiking, biking, running, strains/sprains, sciatica, back/neck pain, herniated disks and most any musculoskeletal pain can be helped with massage therapy. It is a matter of finding the right person for you.
What type of massage should you choose?
Contrary to popular belief, the type of massage almost never matters. There are literally hundreds of types of massage, all with their own theories and methods, none of which really matter when it comes to reducing stress and relieving pain. Most any type of massage can be used to help reduce stress and reduce pain. It is more about the person you choose to work with…are they responsive to your requests, do they listen to you, do they provide place where you feel safe so you can relax?
The cost of massage therapy
Prices for massage will vary greatly in your community but the cheapest may not always be the best. There are many massage franchises that provide monthly memberships and low cost massage therapy. These low cost massage places are paying lower than average wages to massage therapists so be sure to tip these people graciously.
The highest priced massage services are not always the best either. Many massage therapist will charge more because they have more training in specialties such as clinical massage (aka medical massage), sports massage or specific methods.
Should I tip my massage therapist?
Tipping is becoming more controversial even in the restaurant business as we find that the roots of tipping comes from slavery. Many massage therapists are raising their rates to be able to pay their therapists more fairly and not have them depend on tips for their wages. Massage therapists who are employees at a spa or clinic usually count on tips for their pay as they are paid minimum wage or paid only when they actually give a massage. Many have to wait in-between sessions for clients to fill the schedule and are not paid for that time or are only paid minimum wage while they wait.
Is a Business Operating Within the Law?
Looks can be deceiving. Just because a business has a storefront, it does not automatically mean they are operating within the law. In most states there are regulations that protect consumers and prevent or monitor illicit businesses from operating storefronts. It is very difficult to find and prosecute these businesses. It’s up to you to protect yourself and your friends, family and communities.
Before you commit to a service, do your research. If a business is operating illegally, walk away and do not buy from them. You aren’t protected as a consumer, and the business may be involved in illicit practices such as labor or sex trafficking.
Look Before You Book!
Find out if the business is legitimate. Most massage businesses are but it also can be confusing. We have created a list of things to look for when trying to figure out if the business is legit or is it a borthel disguised as a massage business or coud there even be human trafficking involved. “Is This Trafficking” give some typical signs to look for when deciding if the business is legitimate.
Do you Suspect Illegal Activity?
Learn the steps you can take to report suspected trafficking and illegal activity.