Protect Massachusetts Healers from Bodywork Licensing Oppose Senate Bill 168
Massachusetts bill S168 attempting to mandate restrictive licensure with only government endorsed education allowed, for all bodywork practitioners, has a public hearing on Monday, October 28. Will you please help us stop this restrictive bill from moving out of committee? Take Action Here to send a message to your personal Legislators opposing S168 and asking for support of exemption legislation, S665/H3660, instead! Complete the other action steps below too. Together we can make a difference to protect your health freedom rights!
If passed, S168 would negatively affect all Reiki and other energy healers and bodywork practitioners in Massachusetts. Under current law Reiki is exempt from massage licensure in MA, but this bill attempts to set up an entirely new licensing process for all types of healers and bodywork vocations, and mandate they be licensed, receive government endorsed education; and that these modalities can only be practiced by state licensed practitioners and taught in state licensed schools. Read MA bill to OPPOSE.
The Message: “Please vote NO on S168, the bill to license bodyworkers, when it’s voted on after it’s hearing in Committee on Monday, October 28. I oppose S168 because… ( e.g., it threatens my ability to access the natural health practitioners of my choice; or, it will cause many practitioners who can’t afford to comply with the bill’s requirements to go out of business and so it is bad for the MA economy; or, there is no constitutional basis to regulate bodyworkers because the state has failed to demonstrate that the practices under the bill rise to the level of harm requiring state regulation.”). Thank you.”
3. Prepare and submit opposition testimony to the Committee Chairs by 11am on Oct. 28. Write a brief statement explaining why you oppose mandatory licensure of all bodyworkers and energy healers and asking members to vote no on S168. Email your statement to the committee chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org and Tackey.Chan@mahouse.gov using the subject line: “Testimony in Opposition of S168”.
Be sure to include your name, home address, the bill number, and your position on the bill. Your statement will be shared with committee members as part of their “information packet” on S168 as long as received in advance of the hearing start time. The vote on S168 will take place at a later date during an “executive hearing”.
4. Attend the hearing on Monday, October 28, at the State House from 11am to 4pm! Come to Gardner Auditorium. S168 is the ONLY bill on the scheduled agenda. When you show up in support of health freedom, legislators notice how important this issue is to Massachusetts citizens and then they may support health freedom rights more willingly too! Exercise your right to protect your rights by speaking up! Enter your opposition for the record at the hearing in person or in writing.
Tell them you like the current massage law as it is and that bodyworkers who fit within the current massage law exemptions should not be forced to choose between (1) going back to school to attend certain board-approved education programs to qualify for the new state license or (2) becoming a criminal or (3) going out of business.
We are counting on you to be there!!! Stay for as much as you can. Invite friends and family too!
What S168 would do?
Thousands of practitioners from a wide array of disciplines would be impacted by S168 due to its broad definition of “bodywork” which includes "a person who uses touch, words or directed movement to deepen awareness of patterns of movement in the body, or the affectation of the human energy system or acupoints or Qi meridians of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics;".
Massachusetts law currently allows bodyworkers to be exempt from licensure requirements under the massage practice act. S168 would eliminate thisexemption which currently protects practitioners who deliver the following: “…Feldenkrais Method; Reflexology; The Trager Approach; Ayurvedic Therapies, Rolf Structural Integration, Polarity or Polarity Therapy; Polarity Therapy Bodywork; Asian Bodywork Therapy that does not constitute massage as defined in this chapter; Acupressure; Jin Shin Do; Qi Gong; Tui Na; Shiatsu; Body-Mind Centering and Reiki.
S168 attempts to create a new and burdensome licensing law for these currently exempt practitioners and force them to obtain a bodywork license instead. There was an amendment added to the bill that will exempt some of the practitioners, but not all. It also requires bodywork modalities be taught in state licensed schools.
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