Weston businessman wants Platte City regulations on massage therapy changed

A Weston, Mo. business owner wants Platte City to take a look at its “adult entertainment district” restrictions on certain businesses with intent to bring touch massage therapy to town. During last week’s Platte City Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Kirk Nelson took the chance to bring up an old issue. He runs Touchwork of Weston Massage Therapy along with his wife, Julie Nelson, and offers general relaxation massage to post-operation treatments.

Currently, Platte City won’t allow a standalone massage therapy practice to open and also restricts on-site massage therapy, lumping it in with other restricted adult services.

“I take professional and personal offense,” Kirk Nelson told the commission, “when somebody starts insinuating I’m a prostitute or my wife is a prostitute. I’m sure any of you with a spouse would feel the same way.”

According to Platte City zoning regulations, a massage therapy practice can only be opened under the roof of a physician, chiropractor, physical therapist or hairdresser. Missouri state statutes consider massage therapy a health care profession, which Kirk Nelson believes should be used to separate his business – which opened in Weston back in 1998 – from its current tie to adult entertainment.

Nelson said they often travel to meet with clients due to limited mobility, which is also against Platte City’s current regulations.

The Nelsons are certified to perform massage therapy, and Kirk Nelson is certified as a precision neuro-muscular therapist – one of only about 100 in the nation with that designation. He said that most “top-tier” massage therapists are solo practitioners and believes Platte City is keeping what he believes is a desired service from its citizens.

“It’s not a hobby,” Kirk Nelson said. “You have now just eliminated a large number of your top quality practitioners from ever being available to your community. The public safety issues that are attempted to be addressed in this? These are overwhelmingly already addressed in state laws and state regulations.”

Ray Clements, the chair of the commission, referred the matter to the office of mayor Frank Offutt.