More Massage Business Arrests Not Deterring Consumers

Six people were arrested this week for illegally running a massage therapy business in Glen Ellyn, IL. The police reports were made available on a local website and are adding to the growing list of other “massage business” busts.

The six people listed in the report are: Yan Mei (36), Jinhau Jiao (53), Dehua Fan (49), Mario Garcia-Moreno (39), Scott R. Vanhorne (27), and Tobias C. Braun (18). Their offenses range across a number of issues.

Mei, Jiao, and Fan were charged with the operation of a massage business without a license. Jiao was also charged with prostitution.

Moreno was charged with the possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, no driver’s license, and 2 DUIs, one for alcohol and one for drugs. Vanhorne was also charged for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, and Braun has been charged with theft by deception.

These arrests are simply the latest in a string over the last year for those operating massage businesses under false pretenses. Many have been under surveillance for quite some time.

Many in the massage industry worry that this will push consumers away from their businesses. Approximately 91% of consumers believe that massage is helpful to their overall health and wellness, and that belief is integral to an industry plagued by unlicensed businesses.

A recent magazine spread with Saya Barkdoll explained the power of massage therapy in the current market.

She says that there are many reasons that people come to see her at the wellness center she works in but one of the biggest is muscle issues.

“We see a good amount of people with pulled muscles, a lot of neck and back pain. Frozen shoulder is unfortunately a big one—when you totally lose range of motion on your shoulder. [We see] a lot of computer stuff. Everybody at the computer, rolled shoulders, head in.”

She also says that many people are still viewing massages as a luxury, which is just now starting to change. Massage therapy, while relaxing, is more about the health benefits. She notes that everyone can benefit from a massage, even moms-to-be. The power of a massage has no limits.

“Almost half of our practice is prenatal mamas—that’s such a wonderful thing. Two of us are doulas. We work with a lot of midwives and obstetricians that send their patients here. We sometimes see the babies afterwards for infant massage.”

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