The FFMBE – Fédération Française de Massages-Bien-Être – is an organisation for massage therapists in France. They set up rules and regulations in order to heighten the quality of massages and to separate proper massages from erotic massages. Their members can call themselves “Praticien(ne) de Massage bien-être” which is a protected title.
There are no formal regulations on wellness massages in France. The only medical massages can be performed by “kinésithérapeutes” or osteopaths, which are under the public education system. They are covered by the health insurance and prescribed by normal doctor. Non medical massage must have the label “massage de relaxation” to distinguish it from the medical therapeutic massages. As such, the profession massage therapist doesn’t exist in France as it is known from the USA or other places.
Practitioners of “Massage de relaxation” are not allowed to claim they heal or can address medical problems, but is solely for wellness, relaxation and de-stressing purposes. It is not a medical treatment. There is no public, state funded or supported educations for wellness massage in France either. Unfortunately all this makes it hard to distinguish a wellness massage from an erotic massage.
To deal with these problems and to bring quality to the massages performed, as well as security for the clients the organisation FFMBE was created. It is a private organisation created and run by wellness massage therapists. The organisation also have the political goal of making wellness massage into state regulated and approved profession.
In order to be a member the masseuse must have graduated from an approved school and have had minimum 200 hours of classes. Members also sign to adhere to specific standards and ethical rules of conduct and performance. Some of these obligations include: Proper hygiene and appearance, to direct a client to a doctor/kiné if there is suspicion of any medical problems, to respect the client, not to discriminate and others. Also, members are forbidden to use drugs, to be influenced by alcohol while giving a massage, give any form for erotic or sexual massage and others.
To be a member of the FFMBE is a stamp of quality in the massage, as well as an insurance that the masseur is a professional and not a sex-worker in disguise.