March 12, 2001
Mr. Richard D. Booth
President, Board of Commissioners
Upper Moreland Township Building
117 Park Avenue
Willow grove, PA
Dear Mr. Booth:
This letter concerns the Upper Moreland Township Ordinance No. 1426 to amend the township code Title 5: Health and Sanitation. Chapter 11: "Massage Providers"
1. The following two provisions of this Ordinance categorize it as a LOONY MESSAGE LAW..
(a) No person employed or engaged in the business of providing massages shall treat or massage a person of the opposite sex."
(b) No person under the age of eighteen (18) years of age shall be permitted to enter or remain on the premises or receive any massage."
A copy of the article LOONY MASSAGE LAWS (Massage Magazine. Issue #30. pages 64-66. March/April. 1991) is attached.
2. Prostitution (in and out of massage parlors) is covered by Pennsylvania State Law. See Section 5902: Prostitution and Related Offenses. Chapter 59 Public Indecency in Purdon's Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Annotated.
3. The Commission cannot completely eliminate prostitution. After Hawaii enacted a state law regulating massage therapists, "The Honolulu Police Department reported that, instead of using massage as a front, prostitutes had shifted their activity to other fronts, such as escort and dating services."
4.. To prohibit prostitutes from masquerading as massage therapists, I suggest the Board of Commissions draft an ordinance that incorporates provisions of the Hawaii law which prohibits sexual advertising. The provisions are as follows:
It is a violation to advertise: (a) the combining of massage with escort or dating services; (b) performing massage in connection with body shampoo, tantra, or sensual healing (or other such trades); (c) in any advertising medium, the depiction or description of the human form in any manner that suggests anything other than professional massage. (See Clute, E. Hawaii law effectively eliminates sexual ads. Massage & Bodywork. pp. 40-42. Summer. 1998).
Such an ordinance respects massage therapists as professional health care providers, and focuses directly on prostitutes.
5. An ordinance should require massage therapists to have a business permit and professional liability insurance. Massage therapists will have to comply with requirements for eligibility the insurance companies have. No other requirements are necessary.
6. With the ordinance to which paragraph 5 refers, it is not necessary for a municipal ordinance to require that massage therapists have any minimal training. (See Appendix A)
There is no well-documented evidence that massage therapists, regardless of their training, have harmed people, This is validated by numerous reports in the Massage Law Newsletter available on the inter net <www.healingandlaw.com>. There is thus no need for the 70 hours of course work, which the ordinance presently requires, so that massage therapists will presumably be sufficiently competent and not harm people.
Albert Schatz, Ph.D.
Editor, Massage Law Newsletter
cc: Joseph L. Hagy, III, Vice President
Sandra L. Goldman, Commissioner
Michael G. Crilly, Commissioner
Thomas P. Murt, Commissioner
Jack Tarman, Commissioner
Henry P. Jacquelin, Commissioner
Sources of information
Prostitution and massage
The following reports have information about prostitution and massage, and are available on the web site <www.healingandlaw.com>.
Schatz, A. Prostitution and massage. Journal of Spiritual Bodywork. Special Issue No. 2. 1997.
Calvert, R. N. Letter to the Editor. More on prostitution and massage. Spiritual Massage Ministry Newsletter. 3(3):6-7. 1998.
Schatz, A. Should the Tucson. Arizona,. Committee of Massage Examiners be abolished? Massage Law Newsletter. 4(1):1-8. 1998. This report has information about prostitution and massage.
Regulation of massage therapists
Albert Schatz and his colleagues have published 90 or more letters and articles on regulation of massage therapists and related subjects. Most of these are available on the web site <www.healingandlaw.com>. Click on "massage law."
For information about Albert Schatz, click "bios" on the web site <www.healingandlaw.com>.
Information about Albert Schatz
For information about the background and experience of Albert Schatz, in massage and other kinds of bodywork, science, education, etc., click 'bios" on the web site <www.healingandlaw.com>