Massachusetts Bill Threatens Consumers’ Access to Yoga, Reiki, Tai Chi, and other Healing Services
BOSTON, July 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Introduced as an “Emergency Law” and passed quickly and unanimously by the Massachusetts State Senate on July 19, 2018, Bill S.B. 2621 ( https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/S2621 ) has been referred to the Ways and Means Committee. It would mandate the licensure of all “bodywork therapists”* in Massachusetts. In a Catch-22, the bill defines “bodywork therapists” so broadly that thousands of Massachusetts-based healing arts practitioners and their clients would be impacted.
If passed into law, hundreds of well-regarded businesses, whose practitioners represent professionals with established standards and ethics, offering services such as Reiki, Qi Gong, Trager, Yoga, Tai Chi, and many others may be forced to close immediately. This would leave potentially thousands of Massachusetts consumers without these services.
“The problem with this Bill is that as currently worded it does not accurately or fairly represent the populations it impacts,” said Rita Glassman, a Reiki Practitioner and Board Member of Medical Reiki Works https://www.medicalreikiworks.org/ .“To support Massachusetts alternative health care providers, please contact your local Representatives https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator and urge them to stop this Bill’s passage. Every phone call and every email counts.”
Although introduced as an anti-human trafficking measure, Bill S.B. 2621 focuses primarily on efforts to impose restrictive education and licensing requirements upon practitioners who are not typically licensed. Despite the very wide diversity of practitioners covered under the term “bodywork therapists” the proposed licensing board would include only two licensed bodywork therapists, a consumer familiar with the massage therapy or bodyworks therapy fields, and a law enforcement representative whose focus is human trafficking.
There is no basis for requiring complementary and alternative health care practitioners to be state licensed with state mandated educational requirements. In seeking to combat the serious problem of human trafficking, this bill appears to be conflating bodywork with human trafficking, and as such, does not offer a fair hearing to those many constituencies that it will negatively affect.
About Health Freedom Action MassachusettsThe purpose of HFAMA is to ensure that the citizens of Massachusetts have the freedom to choose and access all healing arts and ensure practitioners have the right to practice legally. This is achieved by working on a local and state level to educate the public and participate in legislative, legal or public policy reform to accomplish the above goals. http://hfama.org
Editor’s Notes: Spokespersons are available upon request.
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