Florida massage draping laws fall in accordance with a patient's bill of rights. Since 1939, the Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) has worked to uphold the integrity of professional massage. Every licensed masseuse is required to conduct herself with ethical behavior while keeping a client's needs first. Massage clients should always feel comfortable, relaxed and at no time vulnerable due to improper draping.
A professional practitioner must state draping instructions for a client before a massage can commence. According to the FSMTA, draping instructions must be given before a client removes any clothing and when the practitioner is out of the room. The practitioner should indicate exactly how a patient should lie on the massage table and how the drape should cover the client before the practitioner reenters. A drape must be used whether a client partially or completely undresses or remains fully clothed.
Florida massage parlors must uphold cleanliness and personal hygiene standards, according to the FSMTA. Drapes should be washed on a daily basis, and no drape or sheets should be used between patients before being cleansed. The personal hygiene of the practitioner also is important.
A clean drape can be adjusted on a client throughout the course of a massage. However, at no time should a client's private areas be exposed. If a client needs to roll over, the practitioner should stand aside to allow the client to comfortably adjust.
The drape acts as a safeguard between the practitioner and client. The FSMTA states that this safeguard must always remain intact and never be violated. Practitioners are not allowed to engage the client in inappropriate physical or verbal activities. If the safeguard is violated, a report should be made immediately to massage parlor supervisors or appropriate authorities. Failing to uphold this safeguard can result in the revocation of a parlor's business license by the FSMTA and the Florida Board of Massage Therapy.
Jeffery Keilholtz began writing in 2002. He has worked professionally in the humanities and social sciences and is an expert in dramatic arts and professional politics. Keilholtz is published in publications such as Raw Story and Z-Magazine, and also pens political commentary under a pseudonym, Maryann Mann. He holds a dual Associate of Arts in psychology and sociology from Frederick Community College.