A state law scheduled to take effect in September is expected to work the kinks out of laws regulating the massage industry…

“I am hoping the state standards will clear the image,” said Jennifer Blaz of Massage Envy in La Verne. “They definitely gave massage a bad reputation…”

“It is a little early to say, but I am not convinced it is going to address that,” Arcadia City Manager Don Penman said. “It depends on what the actual intent is. It is not going to stop those who want to commit a crime and do illegal acts…” 

Sen. Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach, wrote Senate Bill731, which forces all message therapists to be licensed by a new regulatory agency, the Massage Therapy Organization… 

In Whittier, officials were preparing a law to enforce standards for therapists when the state unveiled its plan. So, city officials decided to cater to that… 

“I think this is going to set a bar for all massage activity out there,” Collier said. “But I am sure we are still going to have to monitor massage businesses to make sure they stay within the confines of the law…”

“In county areas or cities without standards, it will tighten up (standards) and remove the opportunity for illegal businesses because of those standards,” La Verne Community Development Director Hal Fredericksen said. “Ninety-nine percent of the customers of (massage therapy) expect to have a professional, legal approach to massage that is meeting the needs of the customer without bordering on anything illegitimate…”

“I am not really sure it is all that necessary,” Karich said. “This is basically the same thing most cities already have in place. I am not getting why this is supposed to change everything just because it has the stamp of California behind it.”

daniel.tedford@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2730

— Whittier Daily News, Whittier, California, August 2, 2009