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Council seeks end to ‘happy endings’

Any Bay Area residents out there fans of the “extra services” that some super sketchy massage parlors provide?

Those “happy endings” might go extinct if more Bay Area cities utilized the certification services of the Massage Therapy Council.

The council is the first statewide effort to keep prostitution and other illegal practices out of the massage industry by certifying massage parlors while imposing stricter rules and standards for therapists and the establishments at which they work.

In the Bay Area, jurisdictions like Antioch, Campbell, Cotati, Lafayette, Morgan Hill, Pleasant Hill, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo County and San Rafael all require certification.

But not all Bay Area cities are on board.

That’s not to say places like Oakland and San Jose are okay with massage parlors conducting “illicit activities.” San Jose cited budget cuts as the reason for not utilizing the Council’s services.

Oakland Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan told Inside Bay Area she’s not convinced that the council’s requirement of 500 hours of education for massage therapists at a council-approved establishment is beneficial.

While the council offers certification for massage therapists, it’s not mandatory, making it pretty simple for rogue “therapists” and parlors to bypass the system entirely.

Legitimate massage therapists back the effort to regulate the industry. Council member and campus manager at the National Holistic Institute Joe Bob Smith told Inside Bay Area:

“We are trying to bring a professional respect to massage, to educate everyone on what we really do. The whole prostitution thing, they have hijacked the term ‘massage.'”

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