For The General Public

Look Before You Book!

We are glad you are interested in learning more and doing your part to reduce Human Trafficking.  If we all work together in our local communities, we can have a larger impact on the reduction of illegal, harmful activities. It’s important that the general public know what to look for when getting services like massage, reflexology, beauty services, and more.

We’d like to share with you a few tips on how you can make sure your hard earned money is staying out of the hands of criminals, and tax dollars are not lost by the state.

Is a Business Operating Within the Law?

Looks can be deceiving. Just because a business has a storefront, it does not automatically mean they are operating within the law. In North Carolina, there are few regulations that protect consumers and prevent or monitor illicit businesses from operating storefronts. It’s up to you to protect yourself and your friends and family.

Before you commit to a service, do your research. If a business is operating illegally, walk away and do not buy from them. You aren’t protected as a consumer, and the business may be involved in illicit practices such as labor or sex trafficking.

For now, this information focuses on North Carolina, our home state.  These guidelines can be used for other states, but most links are only helpful  for people in NC.

Find out if the business is legitimate

  • Is the business registered and listed with the North Carolina Secretary of State or with your County Register of Deeds? Here are links to the search pages for the top three counties in the state for Human Trafficking: Wake County, Mecklenburg County,  and New Hanover County . For all other counties, please do a web search for your county’s registry of deeds. If you cannot find the business name listed under any category, they may be operating illegally.
  • Is the business registered but dissolved? Technically the business is closed, so why is it still in operation?

See “Is This Trafficking” for typical signs to look for when deciding if the business is legitimate.

Do you Suspect Illegal Activity?

Learn the steps you can take to report suspected trafficking and illegal activity.

Are you Looking For Specific Touch Services?

North Carolina has some confusing laws in regards to which touch services can only be provided by licensed professionals.  Make sure you choose someone who is operating within the law.

Who Needs a License? 

According to the current guidelines of the North Carolina Board of Massage & Bodywork Therapy, not all touch therapies need to be provided by licensed professionals.


Requires License according to NCBMBT NC Grey Area: not explicitly spelled out in NCBMBT approved modalities but does fall under massage. Does Not Need NC LMBT License as its considered “energy work/ healing”
  • Abhyanga
  • Acupressure
  • Aroma Touch Technique
  • Bowen Technique
  • Bowtech Technique
  • Craniosacral Therapy
  • Cupping
  • Endermologie
  • Fascial Stretch Therapy
  • Gua Sha
  • Hot Stone Massage
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Infant Massage (unless exempt under NCGS 90-624)
  • Kiatsu
  • Lomi Lomi
  • Lymph Star Pro Machine
  • Lymphatic Drainage Machine (must be trained & competent)
  • Marma Point Therapy
  • Mayan abdominal massage (Arvigo)
  • Neurostructural
  • Integration Technique
  • Ortho-Bionomy
  • Phytobiadermie Vacuum Suction Massage
  • Pregnancy Massage
  • Raindrop Technique
  • ReFaceology
  • Rolfing
  • Rossiter
  • Shiatsu
  • Shirodhara
  • Stretch Zone
  • Structural Integration
  • Synergie AMS Device
  • Thai Yoga
  • Thai Yoga Bodywork
  • Thai Yoga Massage
  • Thai Yoga Stretch
  • Thai Yoga Therapy
  • Theraflex System
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Watsu
  • Yamuna Table Treatment
  • Zero Balancing
  • Aroma Therapy: the board recognized “Aroma Touch Therapy” so if the practitioner touches the client or spreads emollient on them, it falls under the BMBT as massage.
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage:  the board specifies lymphatic drainage machine but not the manual practice
  • Myofascial massage
  • Sports Massage
  • Chair Massage
  • Medical Massage
  • Swedish Massage
  • Healing Touch
  • Deep Tissue (though this is not a modality but a tool it is part of the public lexicon)
  • Tui Na: ancient Chinese system of manual therapeutics
  • Quantum Touch ®
  • Quantum Clearing System (QCS)
  • Seemorg Matrix Work
  • The Yuen Method
  • Thought Field Therapy (TFT)
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques ® (EFT)
  • Restorative Touch ™
  • Brennan Healing Science ®
  • Pranic Healing
  • Theta Healing ®
  • Longevitology
  • The Wonder Method
  • Reflexology
  • Polarity
  • Iridoligy
  • Castor Oil Packs
  • Angel Healing
  • Reiki
  • Shamanism + Indigenous Healing
  • Qigong
  •  The Healing Code
  • Jin Shin Jyutsu Crystal Healing
  • EMF Balancing Technique®
  • Chakra Healing
  • Matrix Energetics
  • Ayurvedic Medicine
  • Feng Shui
  • Moxibustion
  • Breema
  • Insight Bodywork

The definition of many of these modalities can be found here, thanks to the Washington state chapter of the  American Massage Therapy Association.