Is Massage Still Stigmatized in Some Circles? One Expert Weighs In

The concept and understanding of massage as a healing therapy has come a long way. Yet there are still challenges facing the industry of massage.

Long-held assumptions about massage often have to do with sexuality and misconceptions surrounding massage and the sex-worker industry.

There is also factual data that points to an imbalance in the way massage is perceived even today. A blog on the Massage Therapy Training Institute’s website called “Making It As a Male Massage Therapist” points to research by the American Massage Therapy Association indicating that roughly 85% of massage therapists are women. This indicates that for one reason or another, there is a gender imbalance in who is practicing massage therapy today.

Dan Melmed, Owner and Founder of Body Well Mobile Massage shares his experiences advocating against discriminatory practices against massage professionals.

Image courtesy of: apexdspa1

“When I brought Body Well’s mobile massage services to the Northern Virginia region, it came to my attention that at the time the city of Alexandria had some extremely discriminatory and prejudicial laws on the books related to massage therapists.

Massage therapists had to register with the police department at the Vice & Narcotics Division, including fingerprinting, in order to obtain a license. Virginia Certified Massage Therapists were essentially not allowed to perform house calls at all, or freely visit clients at hotels in Alexandria. It was a clearly unfair situation.

Perhaps because it had been that way for so long, no one was fighting very hard to do anything about it. I took it upon myself to try to get the laws changed, and working with a sympathetic City Councilman who helped me to take up the cause with the full City Council and the Mayor, I was able get all of the local massage laws repealed after about one year.”

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