Protecting the Right to Practice, Teach and Access Alternative Healing Therapies in Massachusetts
Congratulations to everyone who supported the petition to oppose the Massachusetts legislation S.221 & H.350 – An Act Regulating Alternative Healing Therapies (formerly S.168). Reiki Unified and all their supporters succeeded in opposing the legislation on Regulating Alternative Healing Therapies, Reiki included!
1. What was the legislation about? How was Reiki being affected?
Since 2016, the Massachusetts Attorney General has introduced licensure bills to five different legislative sessions, mandating standards for the practice and teaching of Reiki and 11 other holistic modalities, under the control and direction of a board predominantly populated by massage therapists. The bills would restrict the teaching of the holistic modalities to schools licensed by the state at a cost of more than $8,000 for an application.
The bill would negatively affect thousands of sole practitioners and instructors from a wide array of disciplines such as Reiki, Qi Gong, Asian Bodywork Therapy, Trager, Feldenkrais, Ayurvedic Therapies, Reflexology, Polarity Therapy, Rolf Structural Integration, Body Mind Centering, Acupressure, Energy and Somatic Healing Practices who are now exempt from massage licensure under current law.
Read more about the bills here.
2. What was the Outcome
On Monday, January 31, the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure in an executive session voted to send S.221 and H.350 to a further investigation and study order.
A study order is typically an indication that the committee has decided to focus its efforts for the remainder of the legislative session on other matters. It is possible for the chairs to agree to take a matter out of study order, but it is very, very rare.
This was the fifth attempt to regulate complementary practices in Massachusetts. Without your help, we are sure the bill would have passed.