The focus of this website is to educate the public, media, legislators, massage schools, massage students and massage therapists on the issue of illicit massage businesses that have led to giving us a bad name. We are reclaiming our name – Massage, Massage therapy, Massage Therapy Practice and working to eliminate the confusion over what massage therapists do. Massage therapists provide therapy for stress reduction and various health issues.
In order to reclaim our good name we must work to change the perception of what massage therapists do and work to change the laws to futher separate massage therapy from brothels disguised as massage businesses.
After researching this issue in depth, one of the main way to do that is to create laws in each state, city, town, county that makes it illegal for any Sexually Oriented Business (SOB) to offer massage or masquerade as any other type of business. There are already laws in place that say that, yet law enforcement are unable to investigate and prosecute these crimes.
The sex workers need to create their own movement to legalize or decriminalize it to help keep them safe and able to work freely. Many will inaccurately say that just legalizing sex work would elimate the problem of them using the word massage but it would not. The only thing that would do that is having a law that makes it so it is illegal to use that word so when a business is caught using that word without proper massage licensing, the SOB is penalized/closed and not the massage therapy profession.
Lately more news and media outlets have been using the word Massage Parlor to indicate that it is a business providing sexual services under the disguise of massage. Many state laws massage laws still have the words Massage Parlor included. The words Massage Parlor need to be defined and cleared up, but making it so SOB cannot use the word Massage should clear that up. Everyone needs to start calling it what it is— Brothels disguised as massage businesses. What wil the local communites think once they hear that?
The words Massage Parlor has already been removed from the NCAIS codes.
“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.”
Businesses that provide massage therapy services are under NAICS 621399, Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners. Massage Parlor was previously under NAICS 81299 and has been removed from the codes. The NY State Society of Medical Massage Therapists were instrumental in creating these changes.
Massage Establishment Licensing.
Many states have moved to creating massage establishment licensing laws that require massage therapists who open a business to have a specific establishment license. This does NOT do anything for the profession and does nothing but add expense.
Establishment licesning has been investigated on the website LMTBodyPolitic.com where the author includes an extensive report in this Scoping Document:Untangling Massage, Human Trafficking, and Prostitution. Deborah Kimmet, M.S., LMT, CETMB, BCTMBdeb@lmtbp.com www.LMTBodyPolitic.com
There is no research or evidence that shows that massage establishment licensing works to help untangle massage from sex work. This needs to be researched if it is to be continued or added to massage licensing laws.
The other part of this is that it is often said that human trafficking is involved in these SOB operations making it even more complicated. There have been a few reports on massage and human trafficking that have been created that are inconclusive on how much human trafficking is actually involved in these operations. More research is needed in this area to help create a plan of action.