Brief Glimpses into South Korea’s Sensational Massage Industry

Talks about South Korea’s sensational massage industry are not hypes, but there are 건마 types of massage service providers that give the industry a bad rap. Actually, 건마 is a slang term referring to illicit massage shops offering sexual services in addition to massage therapy.

How to Locate the Best Massage Service Providers

The simplest way of locating the best massage service providers who offer decent, relaxing and safe experiences, is to visit the websites of intermediary entities. Their purpose is to give local and foreign customers reliable guides on how and where to find reputable providers of spa, massage, facial and other body rejuvenating services.

A website like for one, curates information and gathers reviews about massage shops and spas. The website merely presents data but does not maintain massage therapists who directly render or perform different types of relaxation and rejuvenating services. merely links subscribed customers to legit exclusive sites that offer professional massage services.

There are laidback studios that offer only traditional South Korean massage. As such, the shop or clinic does not include sleeping amenities and is available to walk-in clients.

Some other establishments offer sophisticated services, called 5 senses therapy.These are usually offered along with sleep-in options from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM during the day; or from 6:00 PM to 12:00 noon of the following day.

Some massage businesses are focused on providing home services all year round.

Larger massage entities can afford to offer their massage services as a special health feature of a corporate event.

Laws Governing License to Operate as Professional Massage Therapists in South Korea

Only a few are aware that in South Korea, there is an existing law that allows only licensed massage therapists and legally blind people to render massage services as a profession. The law first originated in 1948 after the Ministry of Social Affairs barred persons who are not legally blind from working as professional masseuse or masseurs.

Many South Koreans stood their ground against the ruling to maintain their license to operate as natural healers. In 1963, partial victory was achieved as the state medical board was revised. Under the new ruling, individuals who are visually impaired and licensed therapists can practice massage therapy as a source of livelihood; or as part of traditional healing therapy like acupuncture or moxi bustion.
Since then massage businesses try to be discreet in furnishing massage services lest they run into legal complications.