More than 1,000 people have signed up to join a nationwide online community called “Full Body Massage Australia”, in an effort to encourage people to get back to work.
In a statement to the ABC, Full Body Massages Australia says the organisation was formed to offer “some additional revenue” to massage therapists, and said the organisation has been in contact with “a few massage therapists” and is “currently working with a few massage providers”.
Full BodyMassageAustralia’s website says it is “not a massage therapist and does not offer the services of a licensed massage therapist”.
But the website does say “full body” massage can involve “the full body and back massage”, and that the organisation does “not offer any physical treatment, except when required by the individual to treat a medical condition”.
It says the site also says it offers “full-body massages in the back, buttocks, hips, shoulders, and neck area, as well as some very personal body massage, which may include nipple and butt massage, or breast massage”.
The organisation has said the website is being hosted by a third-party and is operated by an independent third party.
But Full BodyMassages Australia’s spokesperson told the ABC the website was hosted by the third party and “has no control over” the third-parties hosting of its site.
“Our third party host is also not responsible for the content of the website, including any links, images or other materials that appear on the site,” the spokesperson said.
“Full Bodymassages Australia is not a licensed professional massage therapist, and does have no knowledge of the identity or qualifications of the massage therapists or their clients.
The website has been developed by the author and presented by a member of the public, and is not endorsed by Full Bodymassage Australia or any third- party.”
In a submission to the Federal Government’s Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Licensing) Bill 2017, the Australian Licensed Practical Nurse (ALPN) Association, which represents massage therapists in the state of Victoria, said the site’s business model “makes it very difficult to obtain the professional services that they need”.
“The fact that there is a third party hosting the website makes it harder to verify the content, and make sure that massage therapists are offering a service in a safe environment,” said the submission.
“In addition, because the website’s content is not licensed, many massage therapists will not have the training and experience to offer their services safely and effectively.”
Full Body has also been criticised by some massage therapists for using “pathetic” terms to describe massage therapy.
In the submission to Parliament, the ALPN’s Victoria representative, David Kelleher, said that the company’s website “has the same titles as a porn site” and uses terms such as “fucked up”, “fucking up”, and “faggot”.
“This kind of terminology, and the fact that it is used by massage therapists to describe themselves, can only be understood as an attempt to be insulting to their clients and the general public,” Mr Kellehers said.”[It is] insulting and demeaning to people with physical disabilities.”
Full body massage has also received criticism from a range of people, including a group of parents who wrote a letter to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in June asking the agency to investigate the company for misleading consumers.
The parents argued that the website included “sexualised content” and that Full Body is “in breach of Australian Consumer Law”.
“Although we would not ordinarily support the use of the word ‘faggots’ in the context of the Australian massage industry, this website is clearly in breach of the Act,” the letter read.
The website’s business and content policy, as released to the public by Full Barrage, states that the business and community is run “for the benefit of all” and the website “is intended for people with a disability to enjoy their body in a way that is appropriate and safe”.
Full Barrage’s website also states: “We will only provide service to people who have a disability.”