NEW YORK, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Buyer beware: A professional massage therapy session does not include "personal/sexual" contact. Any solicitation to that affect may result in professional and/or criminal charges. Any person practicing massage without a license is a class E felony.
It's sad but true that there are businesses using massage as a guise for their salacious and illegal activity; thus, causing massage therapists to have to defend themselves and their practice against unsavory behavior. In fairness to the consumer, they have a right to know if they are being cared for by a licensed massage therapist.
Here are tips on how to identify and what to expect from a reputable, qualified massage therapist:
- Do choose only a credentialed professional. In the state of New York massage therapists must be licensed and registered by the State Dept of Education, Office of the Professions. The attending therapist credentials should be displayed.
- Do ask for a name referral to find a qualified professional. You may search some of the professional massage associations i.e., AMTAmassage.org or NYSmassage.org in their find a therapist locator section.
- Do Consult with your massage therapist to learn which method(s) may be most suitable to your health needs; there are many massage methods all serving a unique purpose.
- A massage therapist may not misrepresent their educational status or scope of practice.
- Do complete the medical history form including medications honestly, as there are contraindications for massage.
- Do not be upset if it is suggested your massage care be postponed and you are referred to a physician or other qualified practitioner; we're acting in your best interest.
- Massage therapy is not intended to replace appropriate medical care.
- Massage therapists do not diagnose or prescribe meds. However, they must evaluate and assess in order to determine care.
- Do speak up if something feels uncomfortable during the session, i.e., temperature, pressure. The applied pressure may vary depending on the technique used, your personal preference, body tolerance and medical condition/medications.
- Don't disrobe until the massage therapist leaves the treatment room.
- You are entitled to expect a high standard of professional and ethical conduct, courtesy, and applications.
- You are modestly covered at all times during the massage but you may leave undergarments on or ask if disposable undergarments are available. If preferred, there are methods where you may remain clothed.
- It is strictly forbidden for the massage therapist or client to engage in "personal/sexual" contact. Doing so may result in professional and/or criminal charges. In the event of any impropriety please contact your local law enforcement agency, www.AMTAmassage.org or www.NYSMMT.org.
- Be properly nourished and hydrated the day of your massage. Muscles will respond better and it will diminish residual soreness that may occur after a massage.
- You are entitled to quiet, relaxing enjoyment of your massage but it's up to you if talking relaxes you.
- Do enjoy a massage. It's more than making you feel good, a massage has an impressive range of therapeutic effects which is supported by myriad scientific research.
Gail Balas, a New York State licensed and registered massage therapist since 1989 and founder of ReNu-U Massage Therapy in 2004, is an educator and consultant. Ms. Balas served on Estee Lauder's Spa Dream Team serving the Oscar Nominees, serves on the advisory board for the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, a professional member of the AMTA, NYSSMMT, ILTF and APA. An advocate of preventive care and healthy choices, Ms. Balas has worked in gyms, spas, chiropractic and at athletic events, including the Olympic trials/USA Mobile Games. Ms. Balas has worked with many companies for special promotional events and has used massage as a vehicle to promote wellness and personal care. She has earned many advance certifications, including pregnancy care and sports massage. Visit her website www.feelrenewed.com or call 212-755-1607.
SOURCE ReNu-U Massage Therapy, PC