GREENSBORO, NC -- Massages are supposed to take you away from it all. But like with any service or product you need to know the business or person you're dealing with. Knowing who is working on you, should relax you, not add stress to your life.
Massage spa's are everywhere from hotel resorts to strip shopping centers. You can even get a chair massage in the middle of the mall. And thanks to deal sites like GroupOn and Living Social you can find a good deal too. But a story from our sister station in Florida caught our attention. Police arrested a massage therapist accused of touching clients inappropriately on several different occasions
2WTK started looking into massage therapists and criminal charges in NC. There are 7,907 licensed massage therapists in the state. In 2013, seven got in some sort of trouble for sexually-related incidents with clients.
The NC Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy is either recommending or has already revoked the license of six of those therapists. One is on probation for a year. The board ordered all seven to pay civil penalties of a thousand dollars.
The board relies on working therapists to tell them if they are charged with a crime. If the board finds out from someone other than the therapist the disciplinary action is more stringent.
The numbers of sex-related charges are small in comparison for the most common issue: therapists practicing without a current license.
That license should be clearly displayed. We have one pictured so you will know what you are looking for. If they don't have one or won't let you see it, that's a red flag.
When you make your appointment, ask for your massage therapists name and license number. Then go look it up. The board site lets you search to see if their license is up to date and if they have any complaints filed against them.
Even the therapists who do the quick massages in the chairs, say in the middle of the mall, they have to have their license somewhere you can see it too.
The North Carolina Board of Massage and Body Work doesn't inspect the spas. And there's no state mandate that anyone has to! The board checks on the licenses not the locations.
Come March, the board's website will include video tutorials of how to make a complaint, what you should expect to see at a spa and more.