North Carolina House Bill 451 and North Carolina Senate Bill 548 propose to require that all massage therapy establishments, other than sole practitioners, hold a state massage establishment license, in addition to individual therapist licenses for each practitioner. Many states across the country are adding an establishment license requirement, and these two bills are overwhelmingly supported by the North Carolina legislature and the Lt. Governor. One of the bills will likely pass.
At this point we are working to attack one aspect of SB 548, which, if passed, will require that massage businesses must "prominently display on the premises in a place that is clearly conspicuous and visible to employees and the public a public awareness sign created and provided by the North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission that contains the National Human Trafficking Resource hotline information." ABMP opposes this posting requirement. While we believe that human trafficking is a serious international problem, human trafficking notices posted in legitimate massage businesses will do nothing to address the problem, and are not appropriate in such locations. Human trafficking notices in massage clinics and spas harms the peaceful, relaxing, aesthetically pleasing environment that the practitioner works to foster by creating an unacceptable link between legitimate massage therapy and prostitution. State-licensed massage therapists are trained professionals performing an important health care function. They are promoting relaxation and working to alleviate pain and stress. Posting alarming human trafficking notices in their spas and clinics does nothing but harm their businesses. No other health care profession in North Carolina is required to post this type of notice.
SB 548 has passed in the Senate and has been sent to the House. Please contact your state House Representative now to let him or her know that you oppose the human trafficking notice requirement in SB 548. Click here to locate your state House Representative.