Massage & Bodywork

January/February 2013

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Page 85 of 140

The subject makes for uncomfortable conversations, and it's certainly easier to ignore, but the impact human trafficking has on the massage therapy profession is undeniable. M assage-parlor and humantrafficking regulations are all too prevalent throughout our profession's legislative landscape these days. Within the scope of some of these laws, legitimate, law-abiding massage therapists are, by default, lumped into the seedy mix of "massage parlors" and forced to comply with everything from blood tests and background checks to posting human trafficking hotline numbers in their places of business. Frustration and anger are the underlying emotions as therapists navigate the unfortunate reality that oftentimes puts them in the same regulatory category as escorts and prostitutes, and makes them suspect for human trafficking violations simply because of their career choice. There is no doubt that our charitable hearts extend to the victims of human trafficking, and there are individuals and entities in our profession who are doing good work advocating for the freedom of these women and children (see Making a Difference, page 86). Whether we are uncomfortable with this reality or not, this is our new normal, and we must decide—collectively and individually—how we address it. See what benefits await you. 83

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