When A Massage Industry Giant Allows Sexual Abuses To Continue Uninterrupted

Why this company’s lapse in responsibility at every level demands a response

We felt it was important that Elixir Mind Body Massage address the breaking story of more than 180 people across the United States that have filed sexual assault lawsuits, police reports and other sexual misconduct complaints against Massage Envy spas, the national company, and their employees, according to an investigative report by the website BuzzFeed News.

These reports indicate that for years an industry leader has fractured the credibility of an entire healing industry by intentionally ignoring a serious, pervasive and systematic problem, then pointing fingers rather than accepting responsibility and addressing the issue. This lack of ethical business practices and basic human respect and empathy, harms a profession that already has fought so hard for legitimacy. We stand with the victims of these abuses. We also stand with our professional Massage Therapists, and ALL Massage Therapists, who come to work every day caring for their clients with respect, dignity and integrity. Elixir has, and will continue to be, a safe place for our guests and staff. We are a place of professional healing and compassion, and this is our ongoing commitment to you.

Adherence to ethical standards is critical in all workplaces, but even more so in the field of Massage Therapy. As our guests, we want to take this time to be fully transparent and share with you what our standards, procedures and practices are as they may relate to any implication of impropriety within our organization. Beyond that, we want to equip you with tools in the form of sharing with you how Massage Therapist’s are educated on this matter, so you know what you should and should not expect. And finally, how to effectively report harassment, assault or any impropriety.

Elixir has never tolerated any sexual misconduct or abuse by either therapists or guests and we have always held ourselves to an ethical standard to do no harm.  We feel that it is our duty to provide a safe environment for all that come through our doors.  Our policies are not in response to recent news rather they have been in place since we opened in 2007.

What you can expect from Elixir Mind Body Massage

  • Elixir has a very thorough interview process; including phone and in-person interviews, a practical interview and all professional and educational references are verified. Elixir checks for complaints with DORA, the regulatory agency that does fingerprint and back ground checks on all therapist before granting a license and that investigates all claims of therapist misconduct.
  • Elixir has always had a solid sexual and other harmful harassment policy since we opened for business in 2007. This is a no tolerance policy and grounds for termination of employment.
  • This clearly written “Sexual and Other Harmful Harassment” policy, “Business Ethics and Code of Conduct” policy and “Elixir Company Culture Statement” is read and signed by every employee upon being hired.
  • Elixir conducts preventative training with the staff of not only how to mitigate any potential ethical breaches but also what to do in the case of a report of sexual or harmful misconduct by either a team member or guest.
  • Any report of misconduct will be immediately addressed by the manager on duty and in the case of an alleged assault the police will be called.
  • Elixir will provide full and unfettered assistance in any police or regulartory investigation.
  • If a therapist receives a complaint of sexual or dangerous behavior, that therapist would immediately be taken off the schedule, authorities notified, a full interview and written account from every staff member involved would be taken, and if the allegations prove to be legitimate, that therapist would be fired and reported to DORA. At NO time would the therapist be allowed to continuing working if an allegation of this nature were made.
  • A therapist should always maintain a professional boundary by securely draping the sheet to expose only the area being massaged.  If undergarments are worn by the guest during the session, the therapist should also consider this a “no go” boundary.
  • If at any time breasts or genitals are intentionally exposed or groped this is not appropriate.
  • Therapeutic massage in areas such as glutes, adductors and hip flexors are appropriate with an agreed upon treatment plan between you and your therapist.

How to report harassment, assault or any impropriety

As a guest, if you are ever made to feel uncomfortable either by something that is said or by being touched inappropriately; we recommend you end the session immediately, tell the manager on duty, and if you wish to proceed with filing a complaint to DORA and filing a police report, please do so without hesitation.  When reading some of the accounts of abuse we know that sometimes people either don’t feel they can end the session or say something right away to the front desk or manager.  This is in no way an indication that you have done something wrong or what happened is excusable.  We would encourage everyone to speak up, either at the moment or by calling a manager or owner once you feel you are in a safe place.  Whether or not you choose to file a police report, the staff of any professional organization should be wholly supportive of you in this matter.