The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) is aware of the Buzzfeed article and related news coverage, but is not in a position to comment on ongoing litigation making its way through the judicial process. What we can comment on is how strongly we believe that safety of both the client and the massage therapist is of utmost importance.
First and foremost, inappropriate touch is always wrong. Massage therapy is and always should be about health and wellbeing in a safe environment. AMTA strongly believes that any massage therapist who steps over the line to inappropriate touch should face the legal consequences. We also empathize with any person who has had to endure such behavior. There are more than 350,000 massage therapists in the U.S. and it is a matter of concern for all of us when any one of them behaves badly.
Every situation is different and deserves attention. That’s why AMTA encourages anyone who feels there may be inappropriate behavior to call the local police. It’s the victim’s right to determine how to proceed. The safety of the client and of the massage therapist should be paramount.
AMTA and Massage Envy entered into a relationship over a year ago with the goal of supporting a better workplace for their massage therapists. We have been discussing the topic of safety for both clients and massage therapists since this past summer—and effective immediately, that will be the emphasis of our efforts moving forward. AMTA is the association that represents all massage therapists, and we don’t want to abandon the 20,000 massage therapists at Massage Envy nor the other 330,000 massage therapists dealing with these issues throughout the profession. Inappropriate behavior impacts the perception of the entire massage therapy profession and cannot be tolerated. AMTA will lead the efforts in advancing a conversation surrounding inappropriate behavior, and a call for a profession-wide discussion will be shared in the near future.
We believe educating and creating a better understanding between employers, massage therapists and clients will result in an improved massage therapy profession. AMTA is committed to working with all employers to address safety for the massage therapy profession.
Update: November 30, 2017
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Massage Envy Issues Statement