Stop S168 Protect the Right to Practice, Teach & Access Natural Healing Therapies in MA

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Stop S168 (formerly SD1840) An Act Regulating Bodyworks
Protect the Right to Practice, Teach and Access Natural Healing Therapies in Massachusetts

Please oppose this legislation and VOTE NO on S168.

Senate Bill S168 aims to require licensing to practice and teach all forms of alternative and complementary healing modalities which are being grouped together under the term “bodywork” under the control and direction of a board predominantly populated by massage therapists, members of another profession, and to restrict the teaching of “bodywork” to schools licensed by the state.

This bill is being presented as a solution to Human Trafficking and Prostitution, but in fact places control of a diverse number of unlicensed holistic healthcare professionals, described as “bodyworkers” under the direct control of the massage industry.

S168 (formerly SD1840, 2599 and SB2621) will affect all of the diverse holistic healthcare practitioners and energy healers in Massachusetts. Thousands of practitioners from a wide array of more than 100 disciplines such as Reiki, Healing Touch, Qi Gong, Trager, Feldenkrais, Ayurvedic Therapies, Reflexology, Polarity Therapy, Qi Gong, Rolf Structural Integration, Body Mind Centering, Acupressure, Jin Shin Do, Tui Na and many more, are exempt from massage licensure under current law, but this bill attempts to set up an entirely new licensing process for all types of healing vocations. This will unnecessarily and negatively affect many thousands of independent practitioners throughout the state.

These requirements would create significant hardships and force alternative healthcare practitioners and teachers of these modalities to close their practices, eliminate freedom of choice in alternative healthcare for the people of Massachusetts, and at the same time, create a monopoly for state sponsored massage schools.

Detrimental aspects of this bill:

o  This bill uses occupational licensing laws to attempt to solve a criminal law enforcement issue - these subjects are completely separate and should not be lumped together;

o  This bill threatens the public’s ability to access the natural health practitioners of their choice; and

o  This bill seeks to license all holistic healthcare professionals which it labels “bodyworkers” and to use rule making to remove the diverse domains covered by the bill from the public domain without a constitutional basis of harm for doing so!

o  This bill seeks to have over 100 bodywork modalities taught only at state licensed schools with curriculum meeting state established standards.

o  This bill requires all holistic healthcare professionals, no matter what their specific modality, to be trained at a state licensed school in order to be licensed.

o  There are extensive existing laws covering Human Trafficking and Prostitution. This particular action is unnecessary to protect the safety of the public from the practitioners as defined.

o  It creates an unnecessary and burdensome level of compliance for Holistic Healthcare Practitioners.

o  Ultimately this bill provides a barrier to the public to access non-traditional healthcare practitioners of their choosing.

Please protect the public’s right to access healthcare.

Please oppose this legislation and vote NO on S168.

Thank you!