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Please advise!!  I'm a Nevada LMT who has recently obtained my CMT in CA and am in the process of obtaining business licenses throughout the SF Bay-Area for my out-call business....

My concern (scare) is this:  I have been seeing advertisements by alleged "CMTs" or "RMTs" etc that say: "draping optional".  My national code of ethics is clear that this is a big no-no, and per Nevada law it is simply illegal!  I haven't had any luck finding any California laws or statutes pertaining to this...  is "optional draping" acceptable in CA?  

 

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Not sure what is established.My guess is nothing and that these are yet to be officially decided. More reason to speak you voice! What do you think the draping rules should be?

 

I have always appreciated the ethical standard of draping and upheld it strongly in North Carolina and New York since the late 90's. But, now, looking at it as a community builder, I have a shifted perspective (to my surprise) to see what the communities of Massage Therapists and Practitioners want and need to uphold their established practices.

 

Esalan and other ol skool communities  have been established in CA  many years  and I feel like respecting these practices honors the elders here for their value in growing the profession.  California is its own world. As a newer resident but seasoned CMT/LMT, I feel open to see how the state "optional lisencing" requirements  change as things get more regulated.

 

Personally I am more conservative with draping and will continue to drape as I have for 13 years. Still, I  support the right of the practitioners to establish their own practices.

I think that draping is largely a result of a social paradigm.  It is a great way of defining what "line" you are establishing between massage or "other services" in American culture.  I say this, because as I'm sure you're all aware, there are countries/regions where draping is a non-issue because massage is not confused with "other services" and the culture is not as sexually confused. 

I completely understand and agree with the ethics of draping, and pride myself on secure comfortable draping in conjunction with a thorough massage...  that's not to say I couldn't adapt to different regulations if that were the case and the acceptable norm, while maintaining the professionalism of therapeutic massage without blurring the established "line".  I just don't get the feeling that is entirely possible in today's American culture, and I still have a hard time believing that California doesn't have some type of established regulation... perhaps I shouldn't be surprised.

Christopher, by calling those who chose to give their clients a choice on draping "alleged CMT's" your position and level of open-mindedness, or lack thereof, is pretty clear.   When you come to California you are allowed to be one of many voices and  I believe you will find one of the most vibrant massage communities in the world in the SF Bay and California as a whole (17,000 and counting in the recent certification.) I imagine it would take all of your energy to root out and expose (no pun intended) all of the CMT's alleged or otherwise who give their clients a choice, whether advertised or not, in draping in the Bay area and not leave much for your own personal practice.  As per "getting licenses throughout the bay" you might want to check into the CAMTC as their excellent certification allows you to work throughout California if you have the proper schooling and can pass the muster of the DOJ and FBI. Welcome to the Bay Area.  Also we had a recently very extensive discussion on the issue of draping in the forum which you might find informative.

Ezekiel ~ thank you... I meant no accusatory or presumptive nature by saying "alleged"... its just that I am completely ignorant as to the nature of CA regulation, and the more I try to find out, the more confused I become by the seemingly conflicting information.  I have received my CMT through the CAMTC, and am just getting business licenses now so that I can practice legally...  I will look for this in the forum topics... thanks for your input. 

Ezekiel OBrien said:

By calling those who chose to give their clients a choice on draping "alleged CMT's" your position and level of open-mindedness, or lack thereof, is pretty clear.   When you come to Ca you are allowed to be one of many voices (17,000 and counting in the recent certification.) I imagine it would take all of your energy to root out and expose (no pun intended) all of the CMT's alleged or otherwise who give their clients a choice, whether advertised or not, in draping in the BaAy area.  As per "getting licenses throughout the bay" you might want to check into the CAMTC as their excellent certification allows you to work throughout California. Welcome to the Bay Area.  Also we had a recently very extensive discussion on this in the forum which you might find informative.

Super!  I too have the CMT and as far as I know you do not need additional licenses to practice as an outcall therapist.   But as a recent e-mail from the director reminded certificate holders you are required by the city to still hold a business license for an incall practice as it is critical for both the health, parking, and safety standards  of communities and the revenue of the cities.  Because the certification is such a new thing and there are so many communities in the Bay Area getting answers from planning departments can be really frustrating with SF being the most progressive and many of the surrounding towns being quite confusing.  I think the attitude in many towns is live and let live with the police departments handling and dealing with complaints.  I think many of us are very interested to see how the Camtc evolves but the limited scope and lack of clear direction has to do, from what I understand, is the freedom of choice in health care that is a birthright of Californians.  Again welcome!

Christopher Gallagher said:

Ezekiel ~ thank you... I meant no accusatory or presumptive nature by saying "alleged"... its just that I am completely ignorant as to the nature of CA regulation, and the more I try to find out, the more confused I become by the seemingly conflicting information.  I have received my CMT through the CAMTC, and am just getting business licenses now so that I can practice legally...  I will look for this in the forum topics... thanks for your input. 

Ezekiel OBrien said:

By calling those who chose to give their clients a choice on draping "alleged CMT's" your position and level of open-mindedness, or lack thereof, is pretty clear.   When you come to Ca you are allowed to be one of many voices (17,000 and counting in the recent certification.) I imagine it would take all of your energy to root out and expose (no pun intended) all of the CMT's alleged or otherwise who give their clients a choice, whether advertised or not, in draping in the BaAy area.  As per "getting licenses throughout the bay" you might want to check into the CAMTC as their excellent certification allows you to work throughout California. Welcome to the Bay Area.  Also we had a recently very extensive discussion on this in the forum which you might find informative.

In CA, you will have to check your local law enforcement regulations (typically vice & building & safety) regarding draping, use of "tools", permissible venues, etc.  My non-lawyer take-away is that one should do nothing that local law enforcement would deem illegal.  

 

The voluntary CAMTC ( http://www.camtc.org/Default.aspx ) perspective may be interpreted from the following.  You should also note that CAMTC is notified immediately and pending a review may suspend any of its certified practiioners/therapists should they be convicted of a crime that shows up on the DOJ, FBI &/or participating local law enforcement database.

"California law (California Business and Professions Code Section 4600 et seq.) establishes statewide standards for voluntary massage therapist and practitioner certification. The bill was signed into law on September 27, 2008 by Governor Schwarzenegger and became effective January 1, 2009. The non-profit California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) was then created to provide voluntary statewide certification to eligible massage professionals no sooner than September 1, 2009.

Applications for CAMTC certification undergo a rigorous review. Before issuing a certification, the CAMTC reviews the applicant’s education and professional credentials and conducts a background check, including checking for potential criminal history with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Some applications require additional review, including but not necessarily limited to consultations with local law enforcement agencies, investigation of the applicant’s education, and/or interviews with applicants.

Applicants applying to become certified massage professionals must authorize the sharing of information between the CAMTC and law enforcement agencies in California. If you are directly involved with enforcing massage regulations in your area, we encourage you to become a registered contact to receive information about those who are applying for, or have received, certification in your area. You will be given access to all pertinent data and receive updates from the CAMTC about new applicants. You'll also be able to contact us directly about any questions or concerns you have about an applicant."

Thank you Noel ~ your "non-lawyer take-away" is exactly why I ask the question.  I guess I'll start asking the local governments individually, and hope that they know themselves. 

 

In the end, I suppose my one fall-back is that I make every new client sign an intake form that includes a clause that the massage is non-sexual, and if they request anything of a sexual nature, or attempt to sexualize the massage in anyway... it will be grounds for immediate termination of the massage.  Can't confuse that line.

California state laws are virtually silent on draping.  But, almost all local governments that offer licensing for CMT have laws that are comparable to the rules in our code of ethics.  So, by law, we are required to drape -- fully.

 

Almost none of the local governments have the resources (or the interest) in enforcing those rules though.

 

The Esalen institute teaches full draping for massages.  And, if you receive a massage at the institute you will be draped.  Which is kind of weird when your therapist fetches you from the mineral baths where EVERYONE is naked.  And many people walk naked to the massage table, and then get under the drape for the massage.

 

As far as those CMTs that advertise draping optional -- I know many legitimate, therapeutic CMT who are comfortable with no draping and offer that option.  And, I have seen many ads from "sketchy" massage therapists who clearly imply "extras" might be available.

 

Esalen massage is my specialty.  It was originally often performed with both the therapist and the person receiving the massge being nude.  But, it is quite possible to perform Esalen massage with full draping, and that's my rule for paying clients.

Lara Narayani Golland said:

Not sure what is established.My guess is nothing and that these are yet to be officially decided. More reason to speak you voice! What do you think the draping rules should be?

 

I have always appreciated the ethical standard of draping and upheld it strongly in North Carolina and New York since the late 90's. But, now, looking at it as a community builder, I have a shifted perspective (to my surprise) to see what the communities of Massage Therapists and Practitioners want and need to uphold their established practices.

 

Esalan and other ol skool communities  have been established in CA  many years  and I feel like respecting these practices honors the elders here for their value in growing the profession.  California is its own world. As a newer resident but seasoned CMT/LMT, I feel open to see how the state "optional lisencing" requirements  change as things get more regulated.

 

Personally I am more conservative with draping and will continue to drape as I have for 13 years. Still, I  support the right of the practitioners to establish their own practices.

Christopher - Again as a non-lawyer, MBA and retired teacher of massage ethics, legal and licensing, I can only speak from my training & experience:  FYI - I enrolled in the Los Angeles Police Department Community Police Academy and spoke with a Vice Division Lieutenant to gain a relatively clear understanding of the cues they taught their fellow peace officers to help distinguish between massage practitioners & "adult entertainers"/suspected prostitutes.  My advice is you screen all prospective clients and trust your "gut" about whom to diplomatically deny service and if you decide to terminate a session for inappropriate client behavior, that you don't charge the person for the session and don't ever again schedule another session with them.  Additionally, each such instance should be documented and filed!  Welcome to California.  My take away advice it to do nothing that makes you or your clients uncomfortable and when in doubt after something happened and it's too late, always consider how you might credibly justify your actions in a court of law.  :~)

Christopher Gallagher said:

Thank you Noel ~ your "non-lawyer take-away" is exactly why I ask the question.  I guess I'll start asking the local governments individually, and hope that they know themselves. 

 

In the end, I suppose my one fall-back is that I make every new client sign an intake form that includes a clause that the massage is non-sexual, and if they request anything of a sexual nature, or attempt to sexualize the massage in anyway... it will be grounds for immediate termination of the massage.  Can't confuse that line.

You might want to read last years thread on the subject. http://www.massageprofessionals.com/forum/topics/draping-versus-no-...

If you are CAMTC Certified you are only registering locally as a professional tax permit. Your local law enforcement might simply give you the local law regulating non certified therapists or establishments. But you are state regulated not locally. Like most states California does not regulate draping as long as the line to sexual activity isn't crossed.

 

In my opinion draping is strictly a matter of social custom and not an ethical or legal issue. Anything inappropriate that can be started without a drape can be started with a sheet over a naked body or sectional undraping of body parts as worked. To me the question is do you have a high professional ethic?

By the way, could you give me the paragraph in the Nevada law that regards draping? I couldn't find anything other than that a separate release form from the board must be signed by the client to perform breast massage. ( NRS 640C.700,4., (c))

Here in City of Sacramento, we are being taught that draping is required and you can drape lower back to the top of the 'butt crack'.
I've seen a number of schools in southern California that teach that a man's chest must stay draped throughout the massage. That includes using a towel to drape during stomach massage. Seems someone found out men have nipples too. I've heard a number of students questioning "why drape a man's chest if he can get dressed and leave the building without a shirt?". Things are getting out of hand.

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