Disappointed by AMTA in NY - too many illegal practices

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Disappointed by AMTA in NY - too many illegal practices

Postby massageprofessional7 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:03 pm

Hello all- first post here!

I am a veteran Massage Therapist of 10+ years.

It seems every day a new illegal massage practice is opening here in New York. When I began my practice it was only a few in less visible and less attractive areas. But over the past decade so little has been done to curtail such activities that these businesses are now brazenly opening just doors away from legit practices on main streets in every neighborhood.

They are noted to be charging less than half of my very reasonable fees and as such are doing a disservice to the profession. Not only does it hurt in the short term, but in the long term we have a general public who may not know the difference between a professional and someone who wants to make a fast buck and the vast distinction in the quality of care.

Additionally, as they are unscrupulous and driven by profit motives, employment or indentured servitude of help often does not stop at the waist which further characterizes Massage in a light we have been working so diligently to overcome.

As a practitioner I have contacted the AMTA on a handful of occasions to inquire what they are doing to derail this illegal activity. I explained to them that because the proliferation of these illegal practices is not seen as a threat to the community or way of life of our culture, that law enforcement has little impetus to do much about it.

I suggested they initiate a task force to address these issues. Their typical response has been to suggest I download their form online and enter into it the name of the business in question, the phone number, hours of operation, individuals names that are suspected of practicing without a license, etc. In other words- to be a gumshoe for them investigating all kinds of information in order to fill out the standard forms which they would then forward on my behalf.

I began to do this, but was overwhelmed and sickened by how many are quite frankly permitted to open 1 or more per square mile of business/shopping districts.

Meanwhile I know for a fact that hair salons are occasionally investigated to ensure that all stylists hold valid registrations so as to prevent issues with infection and communicable diseases. I would like very much to see such efforts on the part of the Massage profession.

My insurance with the AMTA is up and I am searching for more proactive allegiances if I am to fork over an additional $100+ for liability insurance above and beyond what I can obtain direct for the "benefit" of a professional organization that supposedly has the interests of my practice and the profession at large in mind.

In other words, what distinguishes a professional organization who touts themselves as something other than a profit oriented endeavor from an illegal massage practice beyond pomp and a good story?

Don't get me wrong- I know that the AMTA is not in law enforcement. However it would appear to me that this is one of the biggest issues if not THE biggest issue facing the profession today.
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Re: Disappointed by AMTA in NY - too many illegal practices

Postby RelaxandRejuvenate on Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:36 am

AMTA is not your issue -- they have no jurisdiction

it is the city and state

The city restricts zoning and permitting of massage establishments. They are restricted to certain areas and the building that houses any massage establishment - aka Physical Cultural Establishment -- must have a special use permit.

Contact the Board of Zoning at the Board of Standards and Appeals - www.nyc.gov/bsa You might want to check that your building is so permitted, or you will be shut down too! It is the landlords responsibility to have only businesses/uses for which the property is zoned. A tenant can't get the permit, only the building owner can obtain it, and it is not cheap (about $50k in total fees and expenses)

The state board of massage therapy covers unlicensed practices. Send them your documentation. If they don't follow up, then your tax dollars and the "benefits" of regulation really are just a scam for the government to collect more revenue and do nothing to earn it.
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