Glenwood Springs massage therapist sees benefit to licensing |

Glenwood Springs massage therapist sees benefit to licensing

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” As of Wednesday, Colorado will become the 39th state to require licensing for massage workers.

Massage therapists say licensing increases public safety and gives the field more credibility.

“We think it’s in the best interest of the profession to regulate,” said Tucker S. Meager, a naturopathic doctor at Two Rivers Natural Health in Glenwood Springs. “We want to help clarify in the mind of the public the nature of the training and process that each of us have gone through to credential ourselves.”

The law requires people to register to legally use the title “masseuse” or “massage therapist.” Violations could result in fines and jail time. Therapists must be licensed, undergo a background check and fingerprinting, complete 500 hours of course work, and must not have committed any serious crimes in their work.

“The regulation allows us to clear the water when there’s a lot of people who claim to have a title,” Meager said. “It certainly happens in the massage industry as being a potential guise for prostitution.”

In 2006 and 2007, the credibility of three local massage businesses was under police scrutiny. In undercover operations in April 2007, police arrested the female owner and a female employee at the VIP Spa in Parachute. The case against the owner was dropped. The employee pleaded guilty to a count of soliciting for prostitution and received a year of probation under a deferred judgment and sentence.

Police also went undercover and arrested one woman at the A1 Chinese Health Care Massage and another at the Asian Day Spa in Glenwood Springs in October 2006. The owner of a different massage business had complained to police that suspicious phone calls asking about “special massages” and “special manly” massages started coming in after A1 Chinese Health Care Massage opened in summer 2006.

However, the A1 Chinese Health Care Massage worker was found not guilty at trial. Her attorney said that she never did anything inappropriate, she spoke only limited English and could not understand sex acts an undercover officer tried to communicate to her with words and a hand gesture.

The attorney said the massage worker was happily married, had two children, and had completed 600 hours of massage training. The woman reportedly moved to the U.S. in 1998 in order to have her second child.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

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