Who's putting their hands on you: Staying safe while getting a m - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Who's putting their hands on you: Staying safe while getting a massage

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

If you're looking to de-stress from the holidays, or maybe give the gift of de-stressing, a massage may seem like the answer.But after the arrest of a massage therapist at a national chain for sexually assaulting clients last month, it brings up the question, who is giving me a massage?

Before you even go inside your regular massage place, there are steps you might have already skipped to make you safer. We met up with Rebecca Dragseth who runs a massage school in Spokane training people to become licensed massage therapists.

The first step is to get a referral, "talk to your friends and find out who people are seeing and who they recommend. And that way you don't feel like you're just stepping into a random situation where you could potentially feel unsafe," said Dragseth.

If that's not an option, you should start by making sure your therapist is licensed. They should display it at their business and on their business card. Going through training school, Dragseth says, is the first step in the process of weeding out the creeps, "I do a very clear interview process and make sure that I know when the students come in, they're coming in for the right reasons."

Dragseth works closely with each student for 10 months until they graduate and take their boards where the state does a background check, which includes explaining any personal history that could be an issue. If the state approves, a therapist gets their license, which you can verify through the Department of Health's websites in Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

But even after all of that, it doesn't always work. A licensed massage therapist just pleaded guilty to assaulting multiple massage envy clients in the D.C. area. Locally, Liberty Lake police arrested chiropractor Phillip Harris last year and he is going on trial for drugging and molesting two clients.

The lesson to learn? To relax, you have to stay vigilant. So what should a new client look for, maybe as a red flag when they go in for their first massage? Dragseth says, "if you feel uncomfortable at any time during the massage."

Dragseth once you are in a legitimate safe place, communicate with your massage therapist; be clear about what you want and what your limits are so there's no gray area. That way if you think something doesn't feel right you don't have to go back.

Getting a hold of state data on your therapist is as easy as clicking a link on your smartphone - Washington and Montana make the searches free on their websites - Idaho goes a step further, by listing all disciplinary actions online.

We have listed the web pages you need to file a complaint.

WA STATE BOARD OF MASSAGE

https://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/MassageTherapist/BoardInformation

PROVIDER CREDENTIAL SEARCH

https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/providercredentialsearch/

IDAHO BOARD OF MASSAGE THERAPY

https://ibol.idaho.gov/IBOL/BoardPage.aspx?Bureau=MAS

PUBLIC RECORD REGISTRATION & LICENSE SEARCH

https://ibol.idaho.gov/IBOL/AgencyAdditional.aspx?Agency=427&AgencyLinkID=30  

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

https://secure.ibol.idaho.gov/eIBOLPublic/FormalActionBrowser.aspx?Bureau=MAS

MONTANA BOARD OF MASSAGE THERAPY

http://boards.bsd.dli.mt.gov/lmt

Licensee Lookup System

https://ebiz.mt.gov/POL/Welcome.aspx

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Detectives identify woman found in Spokane River

    Detectives identify woman found in Spokane River

    Thursday, September 20 2018 8:35 PM EDT2018-09-21 00:35:31 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Detectives have identified the woman found in the Spokane River September 15 just hours after releasing a rending of what she may have looked like. Detectives continue to work to determine what occurred prior to her death.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Detectives have identified the woman found in the Spokane River September 15 just hours after releasing a rending of what she may have looked like. Detectives continue to work to determine what occurred prior to her death.

    >>
  • Suge Knight pleads to manslaughter over fatal confrontation

    Suge Knight pleads to manslaughter over fatal confrontation

    Thursday, September 20 2018 5:16 PM EDT2018-09-20 21:16:55 GMT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight has pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and after he ran over two men, killing one, nearly four years ago.    The Death Row Records co-founder entered the plea Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court and has agreed to serve 28 years in prison.

    >>

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight has pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and after he ran over two men, killing one, nearly four years ago.    The Death Row Records co-founder entered the plea Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court and has agreed to serve 28 years in prison.

    >>
  • School bus drops off kids over an hour late after driver was lost

    School bus drops off kids over an hour late after driver was lost

    Thursday, September 20 2018 10:24 PM EDT2018-09-21 02:24:04 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Durham Bus Services has had a rough start to the school year. Less, than one week in, Durham had to answer for a bus driver who dropped off a kindergartner at the wrong bus stop. Then, they had to respond to parents' concerns about overcrowding on school buses. On Thursday, they were once again addressing a serious parent concern.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Durham Bus Services has had a rough start to the school year. Less, than one week in, Durham had to answer for a bus driver who dropped off a kindergartner at the wrong bus stop. Then, they had to respond to parents' concerns about overcrowding on school buses. On Thursday, they were once again addressing a serious parent concern.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Unreleased Chris Cornell songs to be released in November

    Unreleased Chris Cornell songs to be released in November

    Friday, September 21 2018 12:29 AM EDT2018-09-21 04:29:16 GMT

    NEW YORK (AP) - New Chris Cornell music is being released more than a year after his death. Cornell's widow Vicky is behind the new album "Chris Cornell," as well as a four-disc box set. Both will be released November 16. The first track from both projects is titled "When Bad Does Good ." Vicky Cornell says it came from her husband's archives.    

    >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - New Chris Cornell music is being released more than a year after his death. Cornell's widow Vicky is behind the new album "Chris Cornell," as well as a four-disc box set. Both will be released November 16. The first track from both projects is titled "When Bad Does Good ." Vicky Cornell says it came from her husband's archives.    

    >>
  • School bus hit by car while taking students home

    School bus hit by car while taking students home

    Friday, September 21 2018 12:21 AM EDT2018-09-21 04:21:45 GMT
    A school bus was hit by a car on the intersection of Joseph Avenue and Standard Street on Thursday. Nobody was hurt. All students were picked up from the scene of the accident by parents or guardians. The bus was taking Libby Center students home from school on Joseph Avenue. That's when a car hit the side of the bus while traveling on Standard Street, destroying the doors and stairs leading up to the vehicle's floor, according to a representative from Durham School Services.>>
    A school bus was hit by a car on the intersection of Joseph Avenue and Standard Street on Thursday. Nobody was hurt. All students were picked up from the scene of the accident by parents or guardians. The bus was taking Libby Center students home from school on Joseph Avenue. That's when a car hit the side of the bus while traveling on Standard Street, destroying the doors and stairs leading up to the vehicle's floor, according to a representative from Durham School Services.>>
  • Black Eyed Peas tackle gun violence, immigration in videos

    Black Eyed Peas tackle gun violence, immigration in videos

    Friday, September 21 2018 12:20 AM EDT2018-09-21 04:20:33 GMT
    Black Eyed Peas - FacebookBlack Eyed Peas - Facebook

    NEW YORK (AP) - The Black Eyed Peas tackle gun violence at schools and immigration in two new music videos for their song, "Big Love." The trio released the videos Friday. Proceeds from the song will benefit the student-led March for Our Lives organization, calling for stricter gun laws, and Families Belong Together, a protest against the Trump administration policy of separating children from families after they are detained illegally crossing the U.S. border.   

    >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - The Black Eyed Peas tackle gun violence at schools and immigration in two new music videos for their song, "Big Love." The trio released the videos Friday. Proceeds from the song will benefit the student-led March for Our Lives organization, calling for stricter gun laws, and Families Belong Together, a protest against the Trump administration policy of separating children from families after they are detained illegally crossing the U.S. border.   

    >>