Get to know the Administrative Team!

Our front desk crew has years of experience and works together to ensure guests have the best visit possible and that our service providers have what they need to perform treatments that exceed expectations.

Cassie Sampson, BA, LMT, Spa Director, Community Relations, Misplacer of things

Cassie opened East Village Spa in 2008.  With the spa’s growth through the years (from 3 to 10 treatment rooms!) she primarily oversees the general day-to-day operations of the spa including social media and marketing. She occasionally fills in for our massage therapists as needed and does an annual charity “massage-a-thon” in February. In her free time you’ll find her running, biking, swimming and snuggling her old hound dogs. Cassie also designs jewelry to raise money for animal charities (check it out at the spa!) She’s a member of the Des Moines AM Rotary Club and serves on the South Suburban YMCA board and chair of the Iowa Massage Therapy Board. Cassie is passionate about elevating the massage therapy profession and educating the public about the benefits of licensed, skilled massage therapy. You’ll usually find her at our front desk as she loves getting to know everyone’s clients (and because that’s where we keep the chocolate!)

Cassie’s the best person to contact if you are looking for speakers for your organization.

Kelly Parker, LMT, Spa Director, Boss Lady, Knows where everything is

Kelly originally joined our team in 2009 as our managing massage therapist.  Kelly’s travels took her to a position with the Four Seasons where she further fine-tuned her massage and customer service skills and became an expert in the Farmhouse Fresh product line.  Kelly returned to Iowa to rejoin our team in 2014 as our front desk manager (and Cassie’s “Life Manager.”)   In 2018 she was promoted to Spa Director, since she’s truly the glue that keeps everything together. Kelly loves live music and is an active member of the Historic East Village board. She’s often out and about in the neighborhood working on fundraising projects and supporting local shops and restaurants. While Kelly doesn’t accept massage bookings, she will happily help out in a pinch so sometimes you’ll see her in the treatment room!

Kelly’s the best person to contact with inquiries about group bookings, non-profit donations, and general spa inquiries, or troubleshooting your online account or order concerns.

Molly Kinsey, Licensed Esthetician, Guest Services Manager

Molly will help you plan your spa day, make sure you remember your appointments, and become your best friend in the process. She’s a licensed esthetician and sees guests by appointment on Tuesday afternoons and fills in occasionally to help in an emergency.  She LOVES all esthetics services but especially waxing. She’s happy to make skincare recommendations at the front desk and knows our Rhonda Allison line in and out.

Molly’s a great contact for scheduling and changing appointments, troubleshooting your online orders, gift cards, and other general spa service inquiries. She’s also the best person at the desk for skin care retail suggestions.

Cori Hugins, Licensed Cosmetologist, Guest Services Assistant

Cori is a licensed cosmetologist who has also graduated from massage therapy school.  She has been providing excellent nail care for our team since 2016 and in June 2017 transitioned to a full time position as guest services assistant because of her excellent customer service skills and calming nature. Cori still sees nail care clients on a limited basis, you can book with her on Thursday afternoons and she fills in as needed to assist guests with safe, skilled manicures and pedicures.

Cori is a great person to suggest products for body, hand, and foot care and answer your questions about manicures and pedicures. She’s often the person who will help you schedule appointments and pick up gift cards.

You can reach our front desk team by:

E-mail us at We check our e-mail frequently during business hours and will respond ASAP.

Phone: (515) 309-2904

You can also create an account and book online at Let us know if you have questions or would like assistance with your account!

Get to know Karina Levy, Licensed Massage Therapist

Karina Levy joined the East Village Spa team in March, 2018 when we recruited her to fill an open position, knowing she was the perfect fit for our guests. Karina ‘s experience as a professional ballet dancer and founder of a non-profit that provides massage therapy to individuals who have ALS are two things that create her uniquely relaxing and therapeutic style of bodywork.

Where and when did you receive your professional training?

I received massage therapy training at the Iowa College of Natural Health (Iowa School of Beauty) in 2012 in Ankeny. I have a BA from Iowa State in history and religious studies and I’m working on my master’s in history. I’ve taken several advanced trainings including Myofascial Release by John Barnes, Orthopedic and Sports Massage by James Waslawski, and cupping.

What are your specialties?

Orthopedic massage, working with people who have serious illnesses like ALS, prenatal massages. I love to give relaxing services like body scrubs and hot stone massages as well.

Why did you choose this field?

I was a professional ballet dancer for 12 years, massage therapy helped me with injury and maintaining healthy muscles through my career.

Describe your massage style in 3 words:

Therapeutic, Deliberate, Quiet

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to give?

Either the EV Signature or Athletic Edge Massage

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to receive?

Same! Depending on the day, either the EV Signature or Athletic Edge Massage

What is your favorite retail item?

I LOVE bath salts so I’d say the Kneipp salts or Rapid fire for injuries.

What are some fun facts about you?

I’ve lived, taught, and performed ballet in Denmark, New York City, Chicago and many other places. I love to read and I’m a history nerd. I love wine, cheese, and strong coffee.

Why should guests book with YOU?

I respect your life story and health needs, whatever they are that day. I do my best to listen to your body and cater to your needs every session.

What are guests saying about Karina?

“From the instant my massage started, I knew I was literally in good hands. Karina used a nice, firm pressure throughout the massage but her technique was so slow that it didn’t cause pain and was super relaxing. She let me rest quietly and my mind drifted away. Before my session I was stiff and achy from swimming, but I left the spa with greater range of motion and a much better attitude!”

To book a session with Karina, click here. Please select “Specific therapist” from the drop down menu, then select her name to see her availability. This will register your booking as a request for Karina.

Get to know JoLynn Evans, Licensed Esthetician and Nail Technician

JoLynn Evans joined our team in 2018, but her career in esthetics started long before. Prior to joining our team, she had experience working with Rhonda Allison Skin Care and was certified by Hydrafacial, and was a loyal fan of the type of wax products we use in services. She has quickly fit in with our team and our clients.

When and where did you receive your career training?

I studied Early Childhood Education and Performing Arts at Iowa State. I received my esthetics training at Capri College in Cedar Rapids and became a licensed esthetician in 2004. I graduated with my nail tech license from La James in Johnston in 2015, and attended Iowa School of Beauty for my Cosmetology Arts and Sciences Instructor license in 2016. I was fortunate to have a mentor in Dr. Kim Schulz in Coralville, IA. I worked at her Dermatology clinic right out of estthetics school and she was always willing to show me what she was doing with her patients and keep me up to date on the latest skin care information.

What are your specialties?

Brow waxing, skincare for highly pigmented skin, acne management, chemical peels, and Hydrafacial. I’m extremely passionate about skin cancer prevention. For nails, I love doing Shellac manicures and nail art (book extra time for that!)

Why did you go into this field?

Originally, to become a make up artist, then once I learned more about skin and skin care, I was hooked! Plus, the best foundation is great skin. I’ve always loved giving and receiving manicures and pedicures and I almost went to nail school before I even knew what an esthetician was.

Describe your treatment style in 3 words:

Thorough, relaxing, safe

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to give:

Any facial (especially for acne management or highly pigmented skin)

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to receive?


What is your favorite East Village Spa Retail Product?

Not fair…there are so many! I love anything with hyaluronic acid in it and I think people need to wear sunscreen every day of the year. A few specifics I especially love are Rhonda Allison’s Mandelic Argenine Serum, Ultra Hydration Cream, and C-Stem Cell Serum.

How do you spend your time outside of work?

I love art, spending time with my twin daughters, watching and participating in theater products. I also love to sing. For fitness, I’m a fan of yoga and pilates. A few of my favorite TV shows are Grey’s Anatomy (still!), How to Get Away with Murder, and This is Us.

Why should guests book with YOU?

I’m going to take great care of you,  help you relax, and keep your skin and nails healthy.

What are guests saying about JoLynn?

“She did a great Brazilian wax! JoLynn was professional, her technique was comfortable, she got all the hair, and didn’t make me feel weird or awkward about getting a Brazilian. I’d definitely return to see her for another service!”

To schedule a service with JoLynn, click here. Select “Specific service” from the drop down menu and then click her name to check her specific availability and register your booking as a request.

Flower Power Spring Featured Aromatherapy Blends

Every season we’re thrilled to bring a new features menu. For Spring 2018, our team selected three aromatherapy blends to help with common spring concerns. When you schedule our Flower Power massage, body scrub, or facial, you’ll get to select from one of the following three essential oil blends to enjoy during your service and take home as our gift!

Spring Cleaning Blend: Toning and astringent essential oils support lymphatic drainage, increase circulation and boost immune function. Choose this to feel refreshed and revitalized.  This blend includes lemon, lime, geranium, and rosemary essential oils.

Breathe Deep: Clear and protect your respiratory tract and sinuses, soothe congestion and coughs. This is a perfect blend for someone who is experiencing seasonal allergies. We don’t recommend visiting the spa when you have a cold, but the oil you take home will be perfect to keep in your medicine cabinet! Includes lavender, frankincense, peppermint, and eucalyptus essential oils.

Flower Power Blend: This uplifting flower and citrus blend will help give you courage to say “no” to some of the spring events, occasions, and obligations filling your calendar. The energizing properties in the blend help give you a pick-me-up when you feel like your schedule is running you instead of you running your schedule. Includes lemon, rose, and a hint of peppermint essential oils.

Scent is a powerful tool and we like to think that by associating these scents with a nurturing East Village Spa Service, when you enjoy your product at home your mind take a mini trip back to your relaxing visit at the spa. Learn more and schedule our seasonal features here. (Flower Power features are available March- May 2018, after May 2018, this link will take you to whatever our current seasonal features are!)

Our Flower Power Facial includes not only our aromatherapy blend, but a 12-flower mask and cold marble stones in your facial massage to reduce puffiness and help with sinus pain.

What is Reiki and why should I try it?

Brandi Munch, a licensed massage therapist and certified yoga instructor, offers Reiki (pronounced Ray-kee) energy work for relaxation at East Village Spa. Brandi answered a few frequently asked questions about Reiki. Brandi was attuned to Reiki in June 2016 by Reiki Master Erika Nielsen.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is an ancient form of energy work that clears your energy and removes blocks to bring you greater health and wellness. Think of acupuncture without the needles. Reiki gently encourages you to heal from within.

What does Reiki feel like? Are there any risks or side effects?

Reiki does no harm and the only side effect is relaxation. It can be given during traditional, hands-on bodywork or be given hands-off. Reiki feels different for everyone, but a lot of the feedback I have received is that my hands feel warm. Others say they can feel energy radiating through them in various ways. Some don’t feel anything at all except relaxation. There is no right or wrong way to feel.

Is Reiki a massage? Can you include Reiki in a traditional massage?

Reiki can be incorporated into massage but I find it is strongest during a specific Reiki session. In a Reiki-only session, the practitioner is “hand’s-off” and the client would be resting on the table in comfortable clothing or undressed to your comfort under the sheet and blanket.

Who benefits from Reiki? Do you feel Reiki or massage therapy are more beneficial?

Reiki is for everyone (and so is massage!) I would recommend a Reiki session for those with high-stress levels, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, those who feel stagnant, who are looking to clear their vibrational frequency, or clear their emotions. Reiki AND massage are both important self-care tools.

How do I book a Reiki session with Brandi?

You can call (515) 309-2904 to schedule a 30 or 50 minute standalone Reiki session or book online. If you’d like to incorporate Reiki into a massage therapy treatment, we suggest booking an 80 minute massage and requesting Brandi. Please let us know in advance you prefer to integrate Reiki into your massage session we suggest booking a 30 minute Reiki session and a 60 minute massage session back-to-back, requesting Brandi for each.

Top 5 reasons to get a winter pedicure: Your freezing feet will thank you!

“Nobody seems my toenails in the winter,” is no excuse to let your foot care go during the cold months according to Lindsay Crow, a licensed cosmetologist and esthetician at East Village Spa. Lindsay strongly believes that foot and nail care is a year round health necessity. She shared her top 5 reasons to take care of your tootsies with a safe, professional pedicure this winter.

1. Cuticle and nail oil is a must for cold, dry weather. Natural oils like shea butter, avocado, and jojoba are the best types to use for hydrating nails and cuticles to prevent small cracks and openings in the nail which can lead to infections, hang nails, and ingrowns. These oils also strengthen the natural nail. We think about cuticle oils on our hands, but we forget about them for our feet.

2. A winter pedi is a perfect chance to treat your nails while taking a break from polish. It is ok to be bare! Nails are made of a tough protective protein called keratin. Nails do not breathe, but putting polish onregularly without a break can lock in and trap bacteria, fungus, yeast, mold, and mildes that can form under the nail plate. Podiatrist Erin Nelson from Des Moines University taught our team during a recent training that if you have unwanted growths, polish could trap them in, speeding along their progression. It is also good to take a polish break before a visit to your physician, podiatrist, or dermatologist so they can inspect nails for fungus, ingrowns, and melanoma. We can always buff your natural nails to a shine if you are willing to take the bare nail plunge!

3. Professional, safe nail trimming and filing helps prevent ingrowns, excessive skin overgrowth, and helps keep nails from catching onto those fuzzy socks and tearing. A licensed nail care professional can help teach you the best way to clip and file nails and can help identify concerns that might warrant a visit to the podiatrist.

4. A pedicure is a great opportunity for extra TLC to clean the unwanted dirt and debris that easily gets caught under toenails and between toes. People can also experience issues if they don’t properly dry between their toes, especially before putting on socks. For some people, especially guests with injuries, who are pregnant or aging, it is hard or impossible to reach your own toes! Our nail technicians take care of that while you relax.

5. A pedicure can be a time to relax and recharge your batteries. Enjoy a cup of hot tea, get an amazing foot massage, and do something that is good for your physical AND mental health.

Click here to book a pedicure with Lindsay or any of our great nail technicians this winter. Not ready to go bare but want a polish that dries immediately? Book a Shellac pedicure and you’ll be ready to put on your boots before you go.


European Spa Tour Part 6: A Thai Spa in Munich

I’m writing a 7 part series on my European Spa Tour with a group of midwestern massage therapists. Start from the beginning here!

Munich was an awesome city and I can’t wait to go back. By the time we got to Munich, I was in quite a bit of pain from travel and I needed a day off of dizzying public transportation (I have major vertigo issues). While the rest of the group took a day trip to a cool castle, my husband and I decided to find a small spa or clinic within walking distance for a really good massage.

Clockwise from left: Sumitra, a Thai massage therapist, esthetician, and spa owner with Cassie (me!), The most amazing tea made daily at Sumitra Spa with fresh ingredients, one of the massage rooms at the spa, and my foot soak with fresh flower petals.

We found exactly that at Sumitra Spa after reading online reviews. While it might seem odd to go to a Thai Spa in Munich while I’m supposed to be on a trip to get a European massage experience, Thai spas were everywhere and my body was needing a more aggressive approach at this point in the trip! We got to the spa shortly after they opened to see about making an appointment and Sumitra, the owner greeted us and was able schedule us right away. One of her employees brought out a delicious homemade hot tea for me to enjoy while I waited (lemongrass, pandan leaves, ginger, and brown sugar), then brought out a foot bath with rose petals and oil to do a much appreciated foot soak and cleanse.

I opted for the oil massage instead of the traditional floor Thai massage and I can honestly say that my massage was one of the best I’ve ever had. Some of the techniques were borderline “out-of-scope” for an American LMT (some incidental spinal manipulations…but I wasn’t complaining) and the draping was more sparse than I would offer a client in Iowa, but it didn’t feel inappropriate at all. I felt like a new human after my massage.

The highlight of the experience was sitting and chatting with Sumitra about our experiences as women business owners while my husband enjoyed his massage. She trained in Thailand and is proud of her experience and that of her employees, who are all from Thailand. She is 44 (but doesn’t look it!) and has been a massage therapist for 7 years and spa owner for 6. She works long hours but loves her work. Sumitra also employs 4 other Thai therapists. Sumitra returns to Thailand yearly for continuing education on specific treatments, for example, Thai Massage for rotator cuff injuries and brings the information back to her staff. She has also incorporated Thai techniques into facial services and she’s proud of her unique methods.

We talked about insurance and licensing and her clients pay out-of-pocket. The government insurance (and most private insurance) would not cover the style of massage they provide. She said “I know what my hands can do. My hands are better than medicine. Many people come to see us before getting surgery and we can often help.” Her business stays very busy and she has many clients, with about 50% local regulars and 50% tourists.

While we chatted, I noticed a group of male tourists standing at the door, hitting each other in the ribs and pointing in at us. From 12 years in the industry, I knew exactly what was about to happen. They walked into the spa and into our little tea party. Sumitra got up to greet them and immediately they told her she was beautiful and asked for sexual services. She firmly stated that they do not do that, they offer Thai massage. They were upset and left. I asked how often that happens and she said that maybe only 2% of the time, but that for the most part people are wonderful. It was unfortunate, but we shared a knowing look and got right back to our chat.

Sumitra’s spa was such a highlight of the trip that I brought one of my new massage therapist friends back the next day to try traditional Thai foot massage on the floor mats. It was just as wonderful as I’d expected and we were greeted like family by our therapists. If you find yourself in Munich, do yourself a favor and visit Sumitra and her team. 

One of my midwest massage therapist traveling buddies enjoying a traditional Thai foot massage on the floor mat at Sumitra Spa.

Get to know Becky, LMT!

Becky White, Full Time Licensed Massage Therapist at East Village Spa

Becky White is a full time licensed massage therapist at East Village Spa. She comes from a lifelong background in dance including dance instruction, so she can empathize with people who are hard on their bodies, and she can choreograph very flowing massages.

Where and when did you get your professional training?

I graduated from the Aveda Institute and got my massage therapy license in 2017. I have a BA in graphic design and minor in psychology from Grandview.

Which techniques or treatment styles do you feel most comfortable with?

Focus work, general relaxation massage, stretching

Why did you choose this field?

I like being able to connect with others on a deeper, unconditionally loving and healing level. I like to be able to give of myself in a way not many other jobs allow you to.

Describe your treatment style in 3 words:

Revitalizing, Rhythmic, and Relaxing

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to give?

The 80 minute Heavenly Hot Stone Massage

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to receive?

The 80 minute EV Signature Massage

What is your favorite retail product that we carry?

The EuroSpa Shower Mist

What are some hobbies or fun facts about you?

Dancing, tumbling, fishing, traveling (especially in Europe!), and cycling.

Why should guests book with you?

My intuitive nature helps me connect with guests easily and really understand what they want to get out of a session. My intent and touch is unique and I can help individuals reach a higher level of well-being.

What are guests saying about Becky?

“Becky was completely attentive and professional. She knew when to ask for my preference and how to recommend what was best for my skin and muscles.”

“She was extremely detailed during the massage (massaging my ankle bones with the stones and the little spot between your thumb and pointer finger). I loved her hand and foot massage. My favorite thing ever was her scalp and facial massage.”

To schedule a massage with Becky, call (515) 309-2904 or check her availability and book online here. If you wish to indicate a specific request for Becky as your massage therapist, please select “Specific Therapist” and her name from the drop down menu.



Hydrafacial FAQs

We’re so excited to offer exciting new Hydrafacial technology to our spa guests (and honestly, we’re super pumped to use it on ourselves!) Hydrafacial is quite different than a normal facial, but like all of our services, we want to make sure that our guests still have a relaxing and stress-relieving experience. Camille Arbegast, our managing esthetician and spa Hydrafacial Trainer has answered some of the most common questions our guests have.

Hydrafacial at East Village Spa

Q: What is Hydrafacial?

A: Hydrafacial is a corrective treatment to address any kind of skin concern such as fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, and oily/congested skin. The treatment process removes dead skin and painlessly extracts congested pores while infusing hydrating, firming serums into the skin. There is no downtime or “peeling” process with a Hydrafacial like there is with chemical peels.

Before and after with a booster designed to plump skin and diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Q: I have oily/acne-prone skin. Is Hydrafacial good for that?

A: Yes! Hydrafacial helps to balance oil production and the pH of the skin. During the treatment, the skin is exfoliated with a glycolic/salicylic peel solution and then extractions are performed with a suction technology to painlessly remove impurities. If you find traditional extractions painful, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much more comfortable Hydrafacial extractions are! At the end of your service you can look at the canister and SEE the debris removed from your skin!

Hydrafacial suction gently extracted this large, painful pustule from my shoulder. By the next day it was completely healed.

Q: How long is a treatment? Is it relaxing, it looks kind or medical…

A: Our most popular Hydrafacial services are 30 or 60 minutes long. While at some clinics, Hydrafacial is a quick in-and-out but as with any of our services we value giving our guests an opportunity to relax and de-stress so we’ve incorporated the TLC you’ve come to expect from our treatments.

For those wanting a more abbreviated session, the 30 minute “Classic” Hydrafacial is a good option to start with. This is a great service for any skin type or for people who are just curious about what the Hydrafacial is all about. For those wanting more TLC and more corrective focus on fine lines, hyperpigmentation, or acne, the 60 minute “Deluxe” Hydrafacial is perfect. In addition to the Classic service, you’ll receive a Hydrafacial “booster” serum to focus on your specific concerns or extended extractions if needed. This service also incorporates LED light therapy. Your esthetician can also incorporate either a Rhonda Allison Mask and hydrating hand treatment or gentle lymphatic drainage. The 60 minute option gives your esthetician a greater range of treatment possibilities and flexibility.

Q: Will I get instant results? 

A: You’ll notice instant firmness and a radiant skin tone after just one treatment. While there are no “quick fixes” the Hydrafacial is our most powerful tool yet. We recommend a Hydrafacial once a month to receive the maximum benefit and visibly reduce pigmentation, acne, and fine lines and wrinkles. If you have more corrective skin goals, your esthetician can recommend a customized series of Hydrafacial services or Hydrafacial services combined with Rhonda Allison Peels.

Hydrafacial before and after treatment for sun damage.

Q: Is special pricing available?

A: Yes! If you purchase a series of 3, you’ll get the 4th half price. If you purchase a series of 5, you’ll get the 6th FREE! These pre-paid packages make it easier and more affordable to enjoy regular Hydrafacial treatments.

You can book your Hydrafacial with a licensed esthetician who is Hydrafacial Certified online or call us at (515) 309-2904 to see if Hydrafacial is right for you (hint…it is!)

“Parlor” or Practice: Is your massage therapist legitimate?

Camdine Cox, LMT, uses a hot compress on a client.

Massage Therapists have come under attack from all sides in Iowa in the last year. Early in the year, lawmakers proposed a bill to eliminate massage therapy licensing, which never made it to a vote. Criminals are increasingly and illegally using the phrase “massage therapy” as a front for illicit activities including human trafficking. Local lawmakers are targeting legitimate and licensed massage therapists including long-time small business owners with restrictions and additional fees instead of enforcing existing laws to go after the actual criminals.

At East Village Spa, our experienced licensed massage therapy team provides nearly 7,000 massage treatments per year. Some of our team members have over 10 years of experience, some have transitioned to massage from other health fields like nursing; some from other science fields like engineering. As a whole, massage therapists are skilled, trained, caring health care providers. To help consumers to know what to look for when seeking a massage therapist, we’d like to offer the following suggestions.

  1. Check the Iowa Department of Public Health licensing website to make sure your massage therapist is properly licensed and has not had disciplinary action taken against them. Ensure you have the proper spelling and legal name when searching. To obtain a license in Iowa, a massage therapist must have a MINIMUM of 600 hours of approved education, passed their national boards, adhere to the laws, and maintain continuing education requirements. Many therapists far exceed this minimum standard. It is illegal to practice massage therapy or call yourself a massage therapist without a license.
  2. It is a legal requirement that therapists display their license in their office or treatment space. If you don’t see a license posted, it is safe to assume they are not licensed and you should leave, or check online to verify that they are approved to practice.
  3. Value professionalism. Licensed massage therapists should ask their clients to complete a written health history or intake form and update their health information regularly. Massage may need modified for certain health concerns. Your therapist should also keep treatment notes to monitor client progress and record session data.

    Justin Behanish, LMT, helps a client with a gentle neck stretch.

  4. Look for red flags. Therapists must provide safe, clean work surroundings including clean linens and sanitized head rests and massage tools, proper hand washing and common infection control measures. Does the business provide a comprehensive website or written menu of services with rates clearly defined? Are their marketing materials and advertisements clear and professional? Are clinic hours reasonable for a health provider? If your gut tells you something is “off” then it probably is.
  5. A licensed massage therapist will ensure your modesty and comfort at all times. If your therapist does not step out of the room to allow you to disrobe and lay under covers, or if they work with immodest or no draping, this is a concern and a breach of their professional ethics. If your massage therapist needs to address sensitive areas like the gluteal, abdominal, or pectoralis muscles, they should discuss this with you prior to work in those areas and obtain your consent. You should still remain modestly draped during massage in these areas. If you feel uncomfortable at any time in a session, ask to end the session.
  6. Phrasing matters. Licensed massage therapists use professional terminology when referring to their treatments. A massage therapist will never refer to him or herself as “masseur or masseuse,” terms that have been co-opted by people providing illicit services under the guise of massage. Also, licensed massage therapists work out of practices, offices, clinics, spas, salons, hospitals, in-home, etc… but they do not refer to their work place as a “parlor” which is another phrase commonly used to insinuate illicit activities take place.
  7. Like you would when seeing a new doctor or counselor, seek out referrals for a massage therapist. Read reviews online, read therapist bios, look into education and specialties to find the best massage therapist for your needs and preferences.

Brandi Munch, BA, LMT massages a clients shoulder.

Licensed massage therapists play a vital role now that traditional healthcare expenses are ballooning, where people are realizing the importance of alternatives to opioid pain medications, and seeking to manage stress for their overall health. It is my hope that lawmakers and people in authority will use the existing state laws to go after the human traffickers and people who are hiding under our professional title without punishing ethical, legal, LICENSED massage therapists and making it more difficult for consumers to take advantage of a safe, healthy, massage.

Learn about our licensed massage therapy team here, or schedule your therapeutic massage session by clicking here!


This post was written by Cassie Sampson, BA, LMT. Cassie has been an Iowa Licensed Massage Therapist since 2005, has served as massage therapy educator, and is proud to employ an incredible team of licensed massage therapists who make a difference in the lives of their clients every day.