ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - The spa experience is all about reducing stress, and just about everywhere you look -- from hotel resorts to strip malls -- new massage spas are opening up all over town.
"It really helps relax your muscles, and really just helps you feel great," said Xanthia Reeves, manager of Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa on 4th Street North in St. Petersburg.
"That's why I think it's becoming more mainstream, because people are seeing the benefits of it," said Reeves.
But how can you keep from stressing over whether the massage therapist you're paying for is really legit? Reeves said every massage therapist in Florida is required to be licensed by the state.
"That means that they've had to go to school and they've had to take a test."
Customers can access their massage therapist's records by visiting the Florida Department of Health website, which will show the status of an employee's license and any complaints filed with the state.
"If they have something that someone has filed against them, it's going to be on their license. It's public information."
At Hand & Stone, Reeves showed us how every license is clearly displayed on the front wall. If a massage therapist can't or won't provide a copy of their license? "That's an absolute red flag," warned Reeves.
She said along with checking state records, consumers should use common sense. If a massage business doesn't look clean and inviting, chances are there could be problems. Also check for feedback from other customers online using searchable websites such as Google or the Better Business Bureau.
To check the status of a massage therapist's state license, or to file a complaint, visit the State Department of Health website here.
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