Take Action Now To Help Oppose Massachusetts SB 2461
A restrictive licensing bill for all bodyworkers in Massachusetts
SB 2461 is a draconian bill that seeks to mandate the licensure of all bodyworkers in MA and prohibit the use of the title “bodywork” by practitioners without the new license. There are thousands of practitioners from a wide array of disciplines such as Reiki, Qi Gong, Trager practitioners and many more, who would fall under the jurisdiction of this new bill, and who are practicing in MA providing much desired healing to consumers.
The bill is being promoted as an anti-human trafficking bill and has many sections in the bill that have nothing to do with licensing of bodywork, however these two topics have been merged into one bill and it is giving the impression that bodywork has something to do with human trafficking more than other professions and persons in the culture. This bill should be stopped immediately.
There is no basis for requiring complementary and alternative health care practitioners to be state licensed with state mandated educational requirements. We need your help in vigorously opposing this licensing attempt. Take Action here to stop the bill from moving in the House. The MA Senate passed the bill on July 23, 2016 [Yeas 40 to Nays 0] and the House referred the bill to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing on July 28, 2016, which is where the bill remains. Read the bill, entitled An Act to strengthen the anti-human trafficking law, here. Take Action here.
What the bill does:
Massachusetts already has a very good massage law that allows bodyworkers to be exempt from licensure requirements. Click here to read current exemptions in Title XVI, Chapter 112, Section 228 Licensing of massage therapists – at part (b). S.B. 2461 is an attempt to create a new and burdensome licensing law for these currently exempt practitioners and force them to obtain a bodywork license instead.
The bill defines bodywork very broadly covering many common practices including: the Feldenkrais method; reflexology; the Trager Approach; Ayurvedic Therapies; Rolf Structural Integration, Polarity Therapy; Asian bodywork therapy; acupressure; Jin Shin Do; Qi Gong; Tui Na; Shiatsu; body-mind centering and Reiki.
To become licensed under the bill, a person would need to practice under the jurisdiction of a state Board and show, among other things: proof of completion of a course of study consisting of at least 500 classroom hours, professional liability coverage and demonstrate professional competence as determined by the board – which the bill creates. Licensure renewal requirements will also be set by the board through its rule and regulation making authority.
The bill’s burdensome requirements will cause practitioners to close their practice and thereby reduce the number of practitioners providing the services covered by the bill. It will raise the cost for consumers to access these services by those who chose to get licensed. This is not a good solution for MA citizens and it will not solve the problem of human trafficking, which the bill supporters claim it is attempting to address.
What you can do:
1. Take Action Here to automatically send a message to your personal legislators in the House and Senate and to all members of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing by.
2. Call each member of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and leave a message with their staff asking the legislator to vote no on S.B. 2461. Use the contact information on the hyperlinked page, above, or click on each name in the table below.
The Message: “Please vote NO on S.B. 2461, the anti-human trafficking law, which seeks to license bodyworkers, when it comes up for a vote in the Health Care Financing committee.
I oppose S.B. 2461 because ….
– it threatens my ability to access the natural health practitioners of my choice;
– 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;
– 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”
Jeffrey Sánchez, House Chair
Lori A. Ehrlich, House Vice Chair
Christine P. Barber
F. Jay Barrows
Kate D. Campanale
Marjorie C. Decker
Michael J. Finn
Daniel J. Hunt
3. Arrange a meeting with your personal legislators to discuss your opposition to S.B. 2461 face-to-face. Meet with them at the capitol or in your district at their local office or a local coffee shop. If you don’t know who represents you, you can identify them here.
4. Stay in touch with NHFA (National Health Freedom Action) for updates on the bill and for ways to support Health Freedom legislation in MA. Visit the NHFA website and sign-up to receive our emails here.
5. Support Health Freedom Action Massachusetts, a grassroots, non-profit, 501c4 group in MA working to pass S.B. 1136, a bill that would protect access to all complementary and alternative health care practitioners.