Masseuse Irked After Asian Spa Arrest

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After a local spa had its license revoked on allegations that a masseuse was offering more than a back rub, local massage therapist Lori Vario said she is outraged and wants people to know that massage has legitimate health benefits.

“Sex and massage are two different things,” she said.

“I want it to be clear that there are standards.”

Vario said after it broke in the Roundup that a masseuse at the Asian Spa on Highway 87 was arrested on charges of prostitution several weeks ago; clients and her have been concerned about misconceptions.

“A number of clients say they are offended and surprised something like this could happen in Payson,” Vario said.

One of the biggest misconceptions, she said, is that anyone can do massage.

In Arizona, a masseuse must be licensed at the state and national level and must carry their certification with them at all times.

If a client questions a therapist’s legitimacy, they should request to see their license, Vario suggested.

Vario, who has been practicing massage in Payson for the last six years at A Simple Touch, 407 W. Frontier St., said she supports ethical therapists.

A Simple Touch offers Swedish, hot stone, lymphatic, deep tissue and pregnancy massage, as well as myotherapy.

Besides the relaxation benefits of massage, Vario said some clients need massage for health reasons.

“Massage is a therapeutic feedback to ourselves, it is giving back to ourselves,” she said.

“If we are working 40 hours a week, don’t we deserve to give back to ourselves for an hour?”

She said she hopes others will realize the benefits of massage and not take advantage of it for other, illegal purposes.

To contact Vario, call (928) 468-8897.

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