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Long Beach : New Law Increases Training Time for Massage Therapists

February 27, 1992

The Long Beach City Council gave preliminary approval Tuesday night to an ordinance increasing the amount of training that therapists must undergo before they are licensed.

Under the old ordinance, a massage therapist needed only 200 hours of training to work as a licensed practitioner. Therapists will now be required to complete 500 hours, said Patty Heintzelman, business services officer for the city.

The new ordinance also permits massage therapists to perform a "corporate massage," which was illegal under the old laws. It is essentially a back rub performed on a patient who remains fully clothed and seated upright. The new law allows licensed massage therapists to give a corporate massage in city businesses but not in private homes. Therapists may give massages in hotels and beauty parlors as well, as long as the businesses are licensed.

"I believe it's giving them more legitimacy," Heintzelman said.

The ordinance further requires that massage parlors provide separate rooms for men and women, an adequate supply of towels and adequate lighting.

"It protects the legitimate therapist practitioner . . . from the public's cloud of doubt," said Michael Levi, a massage therapist with the Ramada Renaissance Hotel.

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