Reynolds Brown seeks regulation of ‘touch therapy’

Saying “touch therapy” can be exploited by human traffickers, a Philadelphia councilwoman is calling for its regulation.

Councilwoman at-large Blondell Reynolds Brown says her bill would close a loophole in Pennsylvania’s Massage Therapy Act of 2008. The legislation would mandate that all types of touch therapy be licensed, not just the methods named in the state law.

“You must get a license like every other type of massage establishment and keep it up for a year or pay the fine if you don’t,” she said. “What we know for sure, is in these establishments, women and girls are forced into forced labor and debt bondage type of activity.”

Reynolds Brown says the bill was written broadly to cover an array of circumstances: “Any practice involving physical contact or extremely close proximity between a practitioner and a client or the application of any device or object by a practitioner to a client,” she said.

The annual license will cost $100; the fine for working without one will be $300.

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